A renaissance in tea has attracted the interest of some of New Zealand’s major hospitality players, including AUT University.
High Tea, tea served with sandwiches, cakes and other delicacies, is popular at many of the country’s top hotels and as more people realise the health benefits of tea, the tea trend is set to continue growing.
Now AUT University is considering including a ‘tea paper’ in its School of Hospitality & Tourism’s academic programmes.
John Kelly, who heads AUT’s culinary arts department, met with Dilhan Fernando, son of the Founder of Dilmah Merrill J Fernando, when he was in Auckland recently to talk about the first International School of Tea recently opened in France at the prestigious Institut Paul Bocuse.
“Tea is clearly in vogue,” Mr Kelly says. “We discussed the possibility of incorporating a tea component into some of our programmes.”
Dilhan says Dilmah is seeking to educate professionals in the hospitality and culinary industries – “those in the front lines of customer service internationally”.
“The motivation for our School of Tea project is the reality that while tea is experiencing significant growth, driven by a desire for the natural antioxidants in tea, few tea drinkers understand how to make a cup of tea properly,” he says.
Mr Kelly says no university in New Zealand is currently offering a programme incorporating making and serving tea, the influence of climate and soils on growing tea, the expertise that goes into its manufacture and understanding the art of the tea maker.