Tea Perceived: From a 9th-Century Shipwreck to a 19th-Century Snuff Bottle
Lecture by Victor Mair
Given at the Global Tea Initiative for Tea Culture and Science 2nd Annual Colloquium, held at University of California – Davis on January 17, 2017
The growth of tea as a beverage in China began under the influence of Buddhism during the medieval period and then was legitimized among the population at large through the efforts of Lu Yu (733-804), the “Sage of Tea.” The spread of tea drinking may be traced and appreciated through the implements associated with it, both within China and beyond. A study of teaware and other tea-related objects reveals the tastes and values of the various societies in which tea drinking became popular. Thus tea culture, although globally connected, is not monolithic in terms of its local manifestations.