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Mission Statement

“As we stand there is no organization in the world that embraces Global Tea. With the growth of specialty tea in the US, GTI ideally suited to play that role.” — Manik Jayakumar, Chief Executive, QTrade Teas & Herbs Teas 


Long a global leader in innovations at the nexus of food, health and the environment, UC Davis has launched the Global Tea Initiative to bring the university’s premier research in agriculture, health, science, humanities and social science to bear on the study of tea. 

This project is driven by the long history and cultural importance of tea beginning in Asia and spreading to almost every continent in the world; the dearth of tea-related scholarship in most disciplines; our campus’s wide-ranging expertise in the humanities and social sciences which we bring to bear on tea in Asia, Africa and the Americas; and our complementary campus strengths and research traditions in nutrition and agricultural sciences.

The Global Tea Initiative for the Study of Tea Culture and Science is a teaching, research and outreach effort meant to involve the whole campus, fostering and leading collaboration across the sciences, humanities and social sciences to explore ways tea influences everything from ceramics to gender roles to health practices all over the world. 


GTI's mission is to promote the understanding of tea through evidence-based knowledge with a global perspective–promoting tea research from anywhere in the world, in any discipline, with any methodology.  We actively foster knowledge through colloquia and symposia, lectures, and workshops which address the needs of the campus, industry, and general public. Teaching across the disciplines, we have also begun to write a new Global Tea Culture and Science curriculum for undergraduates and graduate UC Davis students. 

GTI constantly pushes the boundaries of tea knowledge to share with the wider world. Through interdisciplinary and collaborative work, GTI asks new types of questions to find new types of answers. Though Camellia sinensis is our primary focus, GTI recognizes that all things consumed as "tea" also merit study.