Friday, May 11, 2012

Tea Time for the Coffee Maven

Each year my university looks forward to a two-day conference at which we share what we have been doing in scholarship and teaching. One of my presentations this year was entitled "Tea Time for the Coffee Maven," echoing the title of a 1970 Cat Stevens album. It was only my second public presentation on the geography of tea, and I wanted the title to convey that I am just beginning to learn about the subject.

I was originally planning to give a lecture, but organizers from the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Scholarship (CARS) asked me to present my work as a poster, and offered to cover the cost of a tea tasting as part of the conference's closing reception. My poster is available as a PowerPoint file (which includes details of the seven Teavana teas I served), but one slide in particular seems appropriate for this blog. As I thought about the geographies of these two beverages, I realized that I was forming lists of the commonalities and distinctions that might best be described using a Venn diagram. The result, I think, is a reasonable starting point for discussing these two globally important beverages.


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