Tea around the World to be hosted by UB

Chrissy Miller, News Editor

Fair trade tea from different continents will be served on Tuesday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Bridge Lounge and outside the Food Court in the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

“Tea Around the World” is an idea that originated from the University Board’s multicultural committee and Kaylee Fuller, the committee coordinator, said the activity is one in a series of events held to help students experience items they consume every day from a broader perspective.

Past events include Chocolate around the World and Coffee around the World.

“What inspired us to do tea this year is at every event we put out surveys looking for feedback from the students and overwhelmingly we got, ‘We want to see tea from around the world,’” Fuller said.

Fuller said members from UB went to a couple different international markets in Champaign to get the tea.

“We have some that are made in Africa and some that are grown in Asia and even Europe. We have some teas from Great Britain,” Fuller said. “We tried to find authentic teas, but not just authentic teas from across the world but also fair trade.”

According to fairtradeusa.org, Fair Trade “enables sustainable development and community empowerment by cultivating a more equitable global trade model that benefits farmers, workers, fishermen, consumers, industry, and the earth.”

Fair trade tea is not produced on the type of plantations that come to mind when the public thinks of a tea plantation Fuller said.

“We wanted to find the type of places that were providing opportunities for their workers,” she said.

Fuller said chocolate mint tea is what she is most excited to try.

“I’m interested to see what that’s going to taste like,” Fuller said.

She said this tea is still grown in China but was introduced to the U.S. by Chinese and Taiwanese immigrants.

“That particular tea is sold in the United States because there were some Chinese immigrants who decided that they really didn’t feel like their culture was being represented so they started their own company,” Fuller said. “They made it fair trade and they imported their tea directly from their home country.”

Fuller said she hopes many students come to the activity and get more from it than just the free tea.

“It’s a really quick event. It’s kind of a grab a cup of tea, try some different ones, get some information,” she said. “We want you guys to learn why these tea brands are good, what they are doing for their workers and also just try something from across the world because it’s a cool opportunity.”

Chrissy Miller can be reached at 581- 2812 and [email protected].