UC Davis Tea Colloquium Covers Body, Mind and Spirit

The University of California, Davis will host the Global Tea Initiative’s 4th Annual Colloquium with the theme Body, Mind and Spirit: Issues Surrounding Tea and Health on Jan. 24, 2019 at the UC Davis Conference Center. Scholars will offer a set of interdisciplinary presentations covering the health, psychology, and spirituality surrounding tea. Admission is free. The purpose of the event is to draw attention to the importance of tea, tea research and the understanding of tea, said Katharine Burnett, Director of the East Asian Studies Program and Faculty Director of the Global Tea Initiative. The event will be of interest to not only the academic world, but also to the tea industry and the general public at large, added Burnett. Since its inception, the event has garnered the attention of the international tea community and continues to draw increasing interest from regional, national and international audiences each year. The colloquium’s theme focuses on a holistic approach to tea’s role in health. “We want to think more holistically, broadly and provocatively to help people better understand the depth and the great dimensions that are available in the study and understanding of this interesting little leaf,” said Burnett. UC Davis is excited to offer this an engaging opportunity for all attendees to think about tea’s function in different areas of health. “It’s fascinating that as the most consumed, prepared beverage in the world, it has been rather under the radar… there has not been any single institute to focus on tea in this way,” said Burnett. “What we’re trying to promote is a greater understanding of tea, and evidence-based knowledge about tea, rather than the wonderful myths and anecdotes that are out there. We want to give real facts based on research and evidence.” The event will be divided into two main segments. The morning segment, beginning at 10 a.m., contains the Tea Careers Networking Event, which is meant to align tea industry partners and sponsors with UC Davis students to discuss internship and job opportunities. After a panel discussion, students will have the opportunity to speak directly with tea industry partners and sponsors. Eight speakers will talk during the afternoon segment, which begins at 1 p.m.
Buddha garden Kitamura Tea Uji (Photo courtesy of UC Davis)
Two will cover health in the body. The first of which, Ryo Iwamoto, founder and CEO of TeaRoom Inc., who was just appointed Tea Ambassador by the Japanese government, will give a talk on spirituality and modernity. Then, Dr. Ping Chung Leung, Director of the School of Traditional Chinese Medicine at the University of Hong Kong, will cover the history of tea and its processing, as well as tea as an aspect of traditional Chinese medicine. The next speakers will talk about the tea industry. Rona Tison, Executive Vice President of Corporate Relations and PR at ITO EN will speak about Healthful Matcha: Its Demand, Perception and Growth in the Marketplace. Following her talk, Dr. Yvonne Wan, the Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Pathology and Lab Medicine at UC Davis, will share her new research on gut microbiota, tea and health. Next up will be Justin Trout, Co-Founder and COO of Health-Ade, who will be speaking about the industry perceptions of health as it pertains to kombucha. Then, the colloquium will turn to tea and health and the mind. Weronica Ek, PhD., a researcher in the Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology at Upsala University in Sweden focuses on brain cancer and women. Her tea talk is called “Tea Consumption Leads to Epigenetic Changes in Women.” Wing-Chi IP, the Owner and Director of LockCha Teahouse in Hong Kong, as well as a teaware and tea packaging designer, calligrapher and tea master in resident, will share his perspective and knowledge regarding tea and health. The final speaker of the day, Gengo Akiba, a Zen Buddhist monk with the Oakland Zen Center will speak about tea and spiritual health. Question and answer sessions will follow each talk and the day will finish off with a light reception. Attendees can register for the event at: https://globaltea.ucdavis.edu/events/2019-global-tea-intiative-colloquium