I knew a person who possessed [fine taste] in so great a perfection, that, after having tasted ten different kinds of tea, he would distinguish, without seeing the colour of it, the particular sort which was offered him; and not only so, but any two sorts of them that were mixed together in an equal proportion; nay, he has carried the experiment so far, as, upon tasting the composition of three different sorts, to name the parcels from whence the three several ingredients were taken. A man of fine taste in writing will discern, after the same manner, not only the general beauties and imperfections of an author, but discover the several ways of thinking and expressing himself, which diversify him from all other authors, with the several foreign infusions of thought and language, and the particular authors from whom they were borrowed.

(The Works of Joseph Addison, Vol 2, p. 135)

Welcome to the course webpage for the First Year Seminar “How Tea Conquered the World”!

Have the Chinese always drunk tea? Is the Japanese tea ceremony really centuries old? What happens when tea becomes a commodity, and is drunk around the world? And what about the adverts telling you how healthy tea is?

These are some of the questions we will be asking as we examine the relation between tea and history. We will read texts, watch videos and taste tea, to connect with the story of tea, and to trace the role of tea in the lives of many different people across the world and throughout history. And at the end of the course, you will be ready to tackle any other topic you put your mind to, with the skills you learned in this seminar: thinking and writing analytically.



  • Digital Learning Assistants schedule November 29, 2018 In case you need some more assistance putting the final finishing touches to your website for the portfolio: here is the schedule for the DLAs. Remember that they all have the basic skills to help you with your assignments, even if that is not included specifically in their “areas” on the schedule.
  • Room for Nov. 29: Seegers Union 111 November 28, 2018 We will be in Seegers Union 111 for the Japanese tea demonstration.
  • Another event (if you’re still looking for an event-response event) November 26, 2018 If you are still looking for another event to write a brief “event response”, here is a helpful note from the Political Science Department: “This Monday, November 26, the political science department is very pleased to welcome Muhlenberg alumnus, Dr. Chris Baylor, who will deliver remarks on The Origins of Party Transformation at 7pm in the Miller Forum. His research ...
  • Reminder to sign up for an appointment with Emily! November 14, 2018 https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Ebb1tTREL3x_lMTX8BSHhFqg6zhEgm75TGNHHiBk5ks/edit?usp=sharing Sign up here!! If you can’t make one of these times, let me know and we will work something out!
  • Dr. Zhou Tian talks about film and music November 7, 2018 If you are interested in music and film, this talk will be of interest to you. Can be used for “Event Response” assignment! Dr. Zhou Tian, Grammy-nominated composer and associate professor, Michigan State University presents a talk on the intersection of music and film. Monday, November 12, 3:15 p.m, Center for the Arts (CA) 149 Zhou Tian poster
  • Slight change in Canvas Calendar: “to-dos” are now “events” or “assignments” November 3, 2018 Canvas has changed its code, and I am no longer able to create “to dos” for students in my courses. The Canvas Calendar seemed to be useful to alert you to new uploads and as reminders for assignments, so I will work around this by creating “events” or “assignments”. That way, something will still appear ...
  • Tea tasting on October 16 October 20, 2018 Pictures from tea tasting on Oct. 16
  • Drop-in tutorial Thursday (10/18) cancelled October 17, 2018 On Thursday afternoon (10/18) I am scheduled to attend a workshop. This means I won’t be able to hold my regular drop-in tutorial. I will be available on Friday before 2pm. Please e-mail me to confirm and make an appointment. Apologies for the late notice.
  • Event this Friday: option for “event response” assignment September 26, 2018 Election Series – Charlie v. Goliath: Film screening with post film discussion Friday 2:00 p.m., Seegers Union Red Door Sponsored by Political Science; More Info: matthews@muhlenberg.edu Flyer: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Aolnz-jCgyoV370LRZGvcFoxgc63IxBt You can write
  • Tue 9/25 class: no garden, regular class September 25, 2018 Due to the wet weather, we will not go to the garden today, but on Thursday. Instead, I have prepared some materials to work with in class. Come as usual, armed with pen(cil) and paper and your brain cells turned on.

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