8th Annual GTI Colloquium: Tea and Value
January 19, 2023 (All day, in person event!)
About this Event:
GTI’s upcoming colloquium, Tea and Value, asks: What do we value in tea, and how do we value it? What goes into judging tea for plucking, processing, and blending? How does the industry price tea? Is there value in tea as a medicine? (Dr. Sandra D. Adams, Tea Extracts and their Value as Antivirals) What about in the field: when might pests be a good thing? (Dr. Eric Scott, Making the best of pests: the value of bug-bitten tea and barriers to its spread). What about tea in history? How did it fare in the Japanese economy, US tariff practices, and US consumer choices in the 19th century? (Dr. Robert Hellyer, Tea in Modern American and Japanese History—Locating Economic, Cultural & Social ‘Value’). And no less, how do social groups find value in tea for wellness and to affirm advocacy for fair political and economic practices? (Dr. Stephanie Y. Evans, Black Tea History: Roots of Wellness in the African Diaspora).
This Year's Speakers
Sandra D. Adams, Ph.D. Professor, Biology, Montclair State University
Tea Extracts and their Value as Antivirals
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a green tea polyphenol possesses antioxidant, antibacterial, anticancer, and antiviral properties. The chemical modification of EGCG to palmitate-EGCG and EGCG-stearate increased its lipid solubility and stability. Black tea extracts, rich in theaflavin polyphenols, have been shown to have antioxidant, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antiviral activities. Tea polyphenols have demonstrated antiviral properties against several viruses, including Herpes simplex virus I and II. Herpes simplex virus infections are considered significant health concerns in the United States and worldwide. The infection cycle of herpes simplex viruses begins when the virion first attaches to, then fuses with a host cell. Green and black tea extracts were found to block early stages of the herpes simplex virus infection cycle. Tea extracts have value as potential therapeutic agents to reduce the spread of herpes simplex infections.
Dr. Stephanie Y. Evans, Professor, Institute for Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Affiliate Faculty, Africana Studies and Center for the Study of Stress, Trauma, and Resilience, Georgia State University
Black Tea History: Roots of Wellness in the African Diaspora
Black women around the world have written about tea as a tool for health and wellness. This work surveys over 300 memoirs to map a history of traditions from herbal senna and sassafras to pekoe in Kenya and Virginia. Dr. Evans, a professor of Black women's intellectual history, maps stories of infusions through Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. "Black Tea History" argues for the value of teaching and institutionalizing lessons about historical wellness--especially in high-stress professions like higher education. Historical narratives offer lessons for creating internal and external green space. Life writing helps readers identify how tea can support mental, physical, spiritual, and social strategies proven to help
manage stress. This work also emphasizes the need for critical analysis of historical wellness in order to not perpetuate harmful myths embedded in past tea traditions and to affirm advocacy for fair political and economic practices.
Robert Hellyer, Professor, History, Wake Forest University
Tea in Modern American and Japanese History—Locating Economic, Cultural & Social ‘Value’
From the 1870s extending until the start of WWII, Japan centered its tea export industry on the United States, then a predominately green-tea-consuming country. With that bilateral trade as its main backdrop, this presentation will consider tea’s value to the US government as a source of tariff revenue as well as its economic and social value to especially Midwesterners, who were the largest consumers of green tea. In addition, it will examine how in the late nineteenth century, increased tea production and thus exports to the United States expanded employment opportunities across social classes in a Japan then coalescing as a modern nation-state. Moreover, it will detail the ways in which a change in American
preferences—from green to black tea in the 1920s—set in motion Japan’s full adoption of sencha green tea as the most widely-consumed tea, valued in particular for its health benefits.
Eric Scott, Ph.D., Scientific Programmer & Educator, University of Arizona
Making the best of pests: the value of bug-bitten tea and barriers to its spread
The strategy of encouraging leafhopper attacks on tea fields and the resulting tea known as Eastern Beauty oolong (东方美人茶 dongfang meiren cha) has been around since the 1930s but has remained a specialty of a few counties in Taiwan for much of its history. However, the leafhoppers responsible are widespread and found in many tea-growing regions around the world. Why has bug-bitten tea seen such success inside of Taiwan and such minimal spread outside? Leafhopper attack is only one piece of the puzzle—chemical compounds produced in response to leafhopper attack are transformed during tea processing into the characteristic aroma of Eastern Beauty oolong. It's also a risky strategy—balancing yield loss and quality improvement from leafhoppers is often a matter of experience with few guidelines. Research on the interactions between tea cultivars, leafhoppers, and processing in their impacts on tea quality and yield has the potential to expand the catalog of bug-bitten teas to include new locations, new cultivars, and new processing methods. Climate change will also impact tea, leafhoppers, and their interactions, and must be taken into consideration as well.
Marcus Wulf, Chair
Managing Director & Partner, HTH Hamburger Teehandel GmbH Im- & Export, Germany
Member, GTI Tea Advisory Committee
Robby Badruddin, Panelist
Managing Director, KBP Chakra West Java, Indonesia
Bachan Gyawali, Panelist
Founder and Owner, Chiyabari Tea Garden Pvt. Ltd., Nepal
Joyce Maina, Panelist
International Tea Expert & Consultant, Cambridge Tea Consultancy, England