Body, Mind and Spirit of Tea Featured in Colloquium

Buddha garden
Buddha garden, Kitamura Tea, Uji (Courtesy of Global Tea Initiative, UC Davis)

The 2019 UC Davis Global Tea Initiative Colloquium will bring UC Davis faculty, international scholars and industry experts together on Thursday, Jan. 24, to explore “Body, Mind, Spirit: Issues Surrounding Tea and Health.”

The conference will be held from 1 to 5:30 p.m. at the university’s Conference Center.

The fourth annual event will include presentations from UC Davis’ Yu-Jui Yvonne Wan, professor and vice chair of Research Unit Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, School of Medicine; Ping Chung Leung, director of the Centre for Clinical Trials on Chinese Medicine, Institute of Chinese Medicine, Chinese University of Hong Kong; and Weronica Ek, researcher, in the Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Uppsala University in Sweden; and additional experts from the tea industry.  

Topics of talks will include:

  • “Healthful Matcha: Its Demand, Perception, and Growth in the Marketplace”
  • “Tea Consumption and Epigenetic Changes in Women”
  • “Tea and Health from the Perspective of a Teashop Owner, Tea Ware Designer, and Tea Master” 
  • Tea
    Pouring tea. Getty Images
    "The impetus behind this year’s event is tea’s own early history as a medicine and the public’s perception of tea as a healthful drink,” said Katharine Burnett, GTI founder and associate professor of art history and expert in Chinese art and culture. “The earliest Chinese texts to discuss tea talk about it as a medicine, with the discovery of tea by legendary Shen Nong, the Divine Farmer. Later, it became a regular feature in monasteries across East Asia for Zen meditation. Today and around the world, it lures consumers because of its healthful properties.”

“The conference always aims to offer a provocative set of talks on the culture and science of tea ­— talks that will help us think further and deeper about this fascinating little leaf,” said Burnett. “As always, the hope is that the whole will be greater than the sum of its parts.”

A part of the College of Letters and Science, the Global Tea Initiative focuses on the cultural heritage of tea beginning in Asia and spreading to almost every continent on the planet. The project fosters collaboration across the sciences, humanities and social sciences campuswide to explore the wide-ranging influence of tea on ceramics, gender roles, health practices and more all over the world.

The conference is free and open to the public, but reservations are suggested at  

GTI will also hold a tea careers networking event prior to the conference from 10 a.m. to noon. It is open to UC Davis students only. The program is aimed at students seeking a job or internship in the tea industry and will feature a panel with representatives of International Tea Importers (ITI), Mighty Leaf Tea, Ito En and other companies. 

For complete details.

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