Pictured above (left to right) Juan Zapata, Tristan Parker (President), Paul Kondratowicz (Treasurer)
One of NJIT’s newest clubs is hot and steamy: NJITea. Every Wednesday night at 9:30, in the Honors Lounge behind Smashburger, students come together to relax, chat and drink tea and coffee.
Speaking on his reason for starting NJITea, junior Mechanical Engineering major and club president Tristan Parker said, “Well, growing up, I’ve always had tea. So it’s something that is really integral to my life…. I feel like there are a lot of people that would love to have other people to drink tea with, and potentially coffee as well, and just have [a] community.”
While residents can easily enjoy socializing over hot cups at night, it could be tricky for commuters. “So right now,” Parker said, “I want to get something for commuters and those who can’t come in the evening or people that don’t want to be on campus waiting until 9:30. I want to get something either in the morning, but I think probably what would be better is like midday [during common hour].”
Apart from drinking tea, Parker promises an Intro to Tea instructional session “where we’re going to have all six types of tea” and an appearance at Multicultural Festival where the club plans on “hosting a table where you can make your own tea bags, like blend your own tea and make your own tea bags out of coffee filters and just staple it.”
In terms of expanding the club, Parker said, “I really do want to go into the culture, because there is a lot of culture behind it. Like with many countries all over the world, you look and the most popular ones [tea cultures] are in East Asia—like Japan, China—where they have their tea ceremonies.”
“But the biggest issue for me,” Parker continues, “is I really want to make sure that I’m being educated properly on this type of ceremony, like actually finding somebody who knows the culture so that I’m not just looking on Google or looking at a YouTube video and just trying to copy it, because there is a lot of other stuff behind it, like significance behind it, right? It’s not just pouring some hot water.”
However, Parker cautions that “one thing that we don’t want our club to become, or the perception we don’t want it to have, is that it’s a bunch of tea purists, because that’s not what we are.”
Parker encourages students to come out to NJITea’s events “because it really is a great place to just come out and chill… it’s a really chill vibe in there.”
Those interested in joining can find updates on NJITea on their Instagram page @njitea_ and on Highlander Hub.