In December 2019 I took my first steps towards my certification as Tea Sommelier with the UK Tea Academy. I registered for the level 1 course - Tea Champion, a two-day training schedule that would officially introduce me to the fundamentals of working with tea. As their headquarters in London was over 500 kilometres down south, I opted for the closer location 227 kilometres north and set off to The Scottish Tea Factory in Crieff.
A bonus to this location is that the course instructor, tea consultant Beverly Wainwright, owns a self-catering studio that I managed to book for two nights, the Camellia Studio. The studio is a ten minute drive from the Tea Factory and is more like a small apartment rather than a studio. It has a very cosy and modern feel, a fully equipped kitchen, separate dining and sitting areas, a great bed and spacious bathroom so, I couldn’t have been happier.
When I arrived at 8:30 for my first day of learning, I met my fellow students Islay and Duncan from Glen Caladh Farm. They have a small tea plantation in Tighnabruaich and are hoping to welcome guests to the farm for tea tours in the near future. Together, we spent two amazing and very educational days learning all the basics about tea.
Beverly has been making hand-made teas and teaching tea making around the world since 2011 and is a true tea-encyclopaedia. She can back up all the theory with practical examples or funny anecdotes from her own experience which, makes it all even more interesting. She started the Scottish Tea Factory in 2018 as a small tea processing factory and tasting room and she produces artisanal teas for Scottish growers. Besides the Tea Champion course, she also offers her own courses, from tasting tea and blending all year round, to plucking and making your own tea in the summer months.
It’s a truly special thing to visit the Scottish Tea Factory and I would recommend all tea lovers who ever pass through Crieff to go and visit it and join in one of the many amazing activities.
Disclaimer: these opinions are my own. I was not paid to write this review nor am I affiliated with The Scottish Tea Factory, UK Tea Academy or Glen Caladh Farm.