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A chat with… Glasgow University’s Tea Society

By Odhrán Gallagher

Writer Odhrán Gallagher sits down with GU’s Tea Society to chat about what they do and why you should join.

Tyler Eckback is the current President of the Tea Society. Tyler is a third year student, studying Law and Politics, and is from Denver, Colorado.

The Glasgow Guardian: Why did you decide to join the Tea Society?

Tyler: It started off in first year – obviously I was just trying to get to know people. And I’m a huge coffee and tea nerd [Tyler holds a steaming mug between his hands as we talk]. But I only went to one or two meetings and then Covid-19 happened. Then, after the pandemic no one was volunteering to be President, so I stepped into the role to stop the Tea Society from disbanding. 

GG: What kind of events does the Tea Society run?

T: Usually, every couple of weeks we go to a local cafe in the area. Firstly this year, we went to Tchai-Ovna [on Otago Street; a two-minute stroll from the union] it’s one of our favourites; a really cool little bohemian cafe with good tea. After that, we went to the Ottoman Coffeehouse [on Berkley Street; a five-minute walk from Kelvingrove Park] and I know it’s a little ironic to hold a Tea society meeting in a coffeehouse, but they also serve really good teas. And it’s a pretty unique, quirky place; I try to find places like that which have their own character. Once we show up we just chit-chat and have some tea, coffee, food, whatever. Really, we are just quite an informal society with tea as the unifying point. We don’t do big events but just explore different cafes around Glasgow together.

GG: What would you say to any students thinking of joining the Tea Society?

T: We’re a very diverse society; we have lots of international students and students of all years – we even have a member in their late twenties. So, obviously, everyone is welcome. At the moment, we usually meet after classes end at five or six o’clock on weekdays. Although currently we’re planning on doing a weekend afternoon tea on a Saturday or a Sunday. It’s a very informal and casual society, you don’t need to know anything about tea and it’s not serious at all. It’s a good society for anyone to join. I picture it as warm and welcoming – just like a cup of tea!

The Tea Society meets frequently in cafes around the West End. If you’re looking for a relaxed atmosphere to have a drink and a chat, the Tea Society is a great place to be! Check the Glasgow University Tea Society Facebook page for more information, meetings are usually posted at least a week in advance.


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