Exploring cultures through the sensory experience of tea
Category: academics Video duration: Exploring cultures through the sensory experience of tea
Geography of Tea invites students to explore different world cultures through the sensory experience of tea. The course applies the physical and human geography of tea, including economics, production, and current events, coupled with tea tasting exercises. The class brings students together from a diversity of majors, to broaden their horizons while sharing a beverage.
A typical tea tasting for us takes about 45 minutes in the class. And something that's always a fun thing on day one for tasting is that they actually have to slurp the tea. You know, most of the time you think about it as you quietly drink the tea and you enjoy it, that's not how it works when you're tasting tea. There's a big difference. And so that's really the exercise for the whole semester is to try and dive in a little bit deeper and appreciate the nuances in the cup. Yes, it tastes like tea, but go deeper. And they'll have a big log of 40 teas at the end of the semester that they've gone through. Today we had a black tea from the Nilgiri Hills in India. It had a bit of woody notes, but also, like grape in an interesting way. It was really like, hardy and full-bodied, like you would drink for, you know, a breakfast tea. My favorite part of this class is actually learning about the different regions of tea and how they affect the cup. So like, the soil, the geography, the altitude of the tea, as well as the processing, like if it's been steamed or not. I didn't expect there to actually be so many people from different majors. And so it's nice to see people who are like, geography majors, or chemistry majors, or different types of engineering and like see their perspectives on things, because people think differently depending on what they've learned and their past experiences, and where they're from. I think that's the thing that I love most about this course is how broad of an audience it's brought in. And right now I have 22 different students in the class and I have 18 different majors, out of those 22 students. You get so many different students from so many different places all together, just sharing a cup of tea in the morning, and trying to figure out what they, what they smell and what they taste. And it's just been a great experience.