Starting July 1, the European Tea Society will be known as the European Speciality Tea Association, following a vote by the association’s members in May.
The organization announced several reasonings behind the name change: “The word ‘association’ is an inclusive and contemporary word, one that aligns with the values of the organisation, which are totally inclusive; the word ‘association’ describes much more accurately what the organisation is, which is a members association; ‘Speciality Tea’ is very much at the heart of what the organisation does and believes in. It is enshrined in the association’s Charter and mission and is now appropriately reflected in the name.”
While the logo and overall branding will remain unchanged, the association will move forward with significant changes coinciding with its new name. Its new three-year strategic plan aims to foster growth in memberships, build relationships with other tea associations, and lead the industry as “a modern, efficient, inclusive, ethical, professional, member facing, committee-driven and volunteer led membership association.”
In order to facilitate membership growth, the association will hold a drive to reach new members throughout Europe, as well as introduce new membership categories, including one for producers in tea-growing countries and one for “tea baristas.” Once a country sees a significant number of members, the association will open a chapter to help members in that country network and organize events.
European Speciality Tea Association will also launch a Tea Certification Programme, which will cover topics including Camellia sinensis, brewing skills, sensory skills, botanicals, tea barista skills, health, and agronomy. A standalone “Introduction to Tea” will be available soon, and the main program is anticipated to launch by early 2021.