UC Davis Tea Colloquium: A Tribute to Tea

A Tribute to Tea

The University of California Davis has organized a rather extraordinary tribute to tea this week. The Thursday (May 12) event from 3 to 7 p.m. is free and open to the public. Advance registration is required.

Katharine Barnett, associate professor in the Department of Art and Art History and director of the East Asian Studies Program.

Katharine Burnett, associate professor in the Department of Art and Art History and director of the East Asian Studies Program.

The colloquium “The Basics of Tea: Tea and People” is a first step in creating a center for the study of tea culture and science on campus. It launches the Global Tea Initiative a global, transdisciplinary teaching, research and outreach effort for tea and tea-related studies in the humanities, arts, social sciences, agriculture and health. The initiative will make the university a research leader in tea, as it already is in wine, coffee and beer.

The university is known worldwide for its beverage research. Now it is time for tea.

“The Global Tea Initiative opens new approaches of inquiry that will raise new questions, promote research in new areas and advance new bodies of knowledge more quickly,” according to initiative director Katharine Burnett, associate professor in the Department of Art and Art History and director of the East Asian Studies Program.

“It will put UC Davis at the forefront of academic research on the multiple facets of human well-being touched by tea,” she said.

The colloquium will feature speakers from throughout the world speaking about the health benefits of tea, vessels for tea made from a rare clay, the various types of tea cultivars, and how tea culture is involved in defining an identity for a nation, said Burnett.

Talks cover ceramics to health

  • “Purple Clay Pots: Zisha Ware of Yixing” by Wingchi Ip, Lock Cha Tea House, Hong Kong. A tea master, tea-ware expert and designer, Ip will speak about vessels, made from a rare clay, that hold heat well and enhance tea’s flavor.
  • “The Science of Tea Cultivars” by Yaoping Luo, dean, Tea Research Institute, Zhejiang University, China. Luo will address the myriad teas of China and their cultivation.
  • “The Potential Positive Cardiovascular Effects of Tea,” by Carl L. Keen, MARS Endowed Chair in Developmental Nutrition, and professor of nutrition and internal medicine, UC Davis. Keen will give an overview of tea’s potential health benefits, with an emphasis on its effects on the vascular system.
  • “Making Tea, Making Japan” by Kristin Surak, senior lecturer in the Department of Political and International Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Author of Making Tea, Making Japan: Cultural Nationalism in Practice, Surak will explore the relationship between culture and nation in Japanese tea practices past and present.

Plans for the Global Tea Initiative include teahouses in the UC Davis Arboretum, Chinese- and Japanese-style gardens, endowed professorships, courses and workshops for industry and the community, symposia, and peer-reviewed research publications.

The colloquium takes place in the ballroom of the Activities and Recreation Center at UC Davis.

Source: UC Davis