The Nature of Things: having a cuppa ANU-style

29 May 2014

The creator of the University’s own brand of tea says it’s great to produce an Australian-made product that is not sold anywhere else in the world.

Alumna Robyn Elliott, who studied Ceramics at ANU before becoming a high school teacher in food technology and hospitality, visited Canberra and the School of Art last year when she came across the University’s new shop.

She says she was impressed with the standard of items being sold and the subject of tea came up with the store’s Merchandise Manager, Teresa Nugent.

“After various meetings with ANU staff, the University was trying to source its own tea blend and hadn’t had any luck,” Teresa says, adding that visitors to the University wanted Australian-made gifts.

“Also when staff are travelling they like to have University gifts that are light-weight.”

Robyn says flavours were also discussed with Teresa.

“I returned to Melbourne and created a few blends which I trialled with a few friends. I also sent Teresa several variations. Blend 3 was chosen and ANU Tea was born!”

Madura black leaf tea, which is grown in the hinterland of northern New South Wales, is the main ingredient. Lemon Myrtle, from the Adelaide Hills, is dried and processed to her specifications, while the River Mint is grown in the Murray Darling Basin. The two flavours together provide a lemon-minty taste.

“It is particularly pleasant serve chilled on a hot summer’s day,” Robyn says.

The tea is blended and packed by hand at a commercial kitchen in Melbourne using a recipe that is exclusive to ANU.

Teresa says there are no plans to expand the range, but she says it’ll be available in special gift packaging including boxes made from Australian timber. On Campus understands the ANU Shop is also considering a range of tea-related gifts to complement the new brew.

“We knew staff would enjoy the novelty of the tea and that it would be an interesting talking point for gifts,” Teresa says.

“The surprise for us has been the interest from students who have enjoyed the tea tastings at the shop and are buying it too.”

The tea is also available online via the ANU Shop.