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The Basics of Tea: Tea and People

The UC Davis Global Tea Initiative's inaugural colloquium.

May 12, 2016
from 03:00 PM to 07:00 PM

ARC Ballroom

The Inaugural Colloquium of the UC Davis Global Tea Initiative, "The Basics of Tea: Tea and People," features talks by leading international experts, followed by a Q&A session:

Purple Clay Pots: Zisha Ware of Yixing
Speaker: Wingchi Ip, 葉榮枝, Lock Cha Tea House, Hong Kong; Tea master, Tea-ware expert; Calligraphy artist, Designer

Purple clay (zisha) teapots of Yixing, China can be elegant or whimsical in shape. Since the Ming Dynasty they have held a special place in Chinese tea culture. Vessels made from this rare clay hold the heat and enhance flavor.

Tea master and scholar Wingchi Ip is an internationally exhibited calligraphy artist and designer of tea furniture, tea vessels and tea packaging. His expertise with tea is recognized by his appointment as Director of the China Tea Association, and several Visiting Professor positions in important tea regions, as well as a consultancy with the Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware in Hong Kong. His passion for tea finds an outlet in his role as Director of Lock Cha Tea House, Hong Kong, where he also works as a tea exporter and retailer.

Tea and Its Cultivars
Speaker: Dr. Yaoping Luo, 骆耀平, Dean, Tea Science Institute, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China (presentation in Chinese with English translation)

This talk discusses the myriad teas of China, the relationship between tea cultivars and quality, differences between tea and non-tea plants, and how to successfully cultivate and grow tea plants. 

Professor Yaoping Luo’s current research interests include understanding tea varietals, tea and water conservation, and mechanical harvesting, all closely related to the practical production of tea, and has received numerous grants from the Science and Technology Department of Zhejiang Province and China’s Department of Education.

Professor Luo’s distinguished career is marked by numerous publications including the books, Tea Cultivation (Fourth and Fifth Editions) and Production and Processing Technology for High Quality Tea, and a tea-related patent. His numerous leadership awards include Outstanding Science and Technology Correspondent on Chinese Rural Technology from the United Nations Development Program and China International Economic and Technical Exchange Center (2007), and the Golden Cow Award (2010). 

The Potential Positive Cardiovascular Effects of Tea
Speaker: Dr. Carl Keen, UC Davis Mars Family Endowed Chair in Developmental Nutrition and Professor, Nutrition and Internal Medicine, UC Davis

This presentation provides an overview of recent literature concerning the potential positive human health effects of tea, with an emphasis on its effects on the vascular system. Research gaps and needs will be discussed.

Dr. Carl Keen has been a member of the nutrition faculty at the University of California, Davis since 1981. He served as Chairman of the Department of Nutrition from 1993 to 2006. He is a member of the American Society for Nutritional Sciences (ASNS), the American Society of Clinical Nutrition (ASCN), the Teratology Society, the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine (SEBM), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He has published over 600 research papers. His awards include the American Institute of Nutrition Bio-Serv Award (1985), the American Institute of Nutrition Research Award (1995), the American Teratology Warkany Research Award (2004), and the American Society of Nutrition McCormick Science Institute Research Award (2014). In 2006, he was appointed as the first holder of the UC Davis Mars Family Endowed Chair in Developmental Nutrition.

Making Tea, Making Japan

Speaker: Dr. Kristin Surak, Professor, Political Science, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

Why did an activity as mundane as tea preparation become one of the potent symbols of Japan? Drawing on her award-winning book Making Tea, Making Japan: Cultural Nationalism in Practice, Kristin Surak will peer behind the rustic walls of the tea room to explore the relationship between culture and nation in tea practices past and present.

Dr. Kristin Surak is a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, and an Associate Professor of Japanese Politics at SOAS, University of London.  Her book, Making Tea, Making Japan: Cultural Nationalism in Practice, received the Outstanding Book Award from the American Sociological Association’s Section on Asia. Her work has appeared in numerous academic and intellectual journals, including the European Journal of Sociology, International Migration Review, Merkur, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Lettre International, and the New Left Review, and has been translated into Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Swedish, and German.