Our tea project featured in Science


Science 29 May 2015Vol. 348 no. 6238 pp. 953954

Our tea project is featured in the May 29th Science magazine in a news article on climate effects on tea quality written by Christina Larson. The news brief is also covered in the May 29th Science podcast where Christina Larson is interviewed on tea and climate. Writer Larson accompanied investigator Selena Ahmed in the field in Xishuangbanna of Yunnan Province this past March during the spring tea harvest and spoke with tea farmers. She also interviewed other members of our tea including investigators Sean Cash, Colin Orians, and Wenyan Han.

Here are links to the Science feature and podcast followed by Christina Larson’s summary.

News feature: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/348/6238/953.summary?sid=1a2584f7-f3da-491c-ae18-033522065b06

Podcast: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/348/6238/1044.2.full

Summary: The complex mix of phytochemicals responsible for the taste of tea may be far more sensitive to climate than the yields of commodity crops. An ideal place to study the relationship is China’s Yunnan province, known for an oxidized and fermented black tea called pu’er, one of the country’s most prized and already being touched by climate change. Earlier this year, scientists embarked on a 4-year project that examines the linkages among climate, tea quality, and farmer livelihoods. What they find could have implications for scores of other crops, from coffee to chocolate to cherries, whose taste and value also depend on local climates.

Here is a PDF of the complete story Science-2015 Tea and climate-2

Talking Tea and Climate at the World Tea Expo

Selena Ahmed is talking tea, climate and sustainability at the World Tea Expo this week accompanied by a guided sensory experiment with tea from different seasons she collected from study sites in Yunnan.

Talk Title: Promoting Sustainability and Climate Mitigation in the Global Tea System

Speaker: Selena Ahmed, Assistant Professor of Sustainable Food Systems, Montana State University

What is the impact of climate change on tea quality and how can tea industry agents mitigate this risk? We will explore these topics from a sustainability framework and guided tea tasting. Tangible business practices will be recommended that can be adopted towards enhanced sustainability of the global tea system.

Here is a link to learn more about the sessions and tea vendors at the 2015 World Tea Expo: http://www.worldteaexpo.com

Experience Everything Tea! 

Guest Blog on India Tea + Climate Project Site

Co-PI Selena Ahmed was recently interviewed by Dr. Ellie Biggs who is leading a project on climate effects on tea systems in India that is sponsored by the UK-India Education Research Initiative

Here is the link to guest blog on the India tea and climate project:


Our China-focused tea + climate project looks forward to collaborating with this India-focused tea + climate project. In June, Selena will visit the University of Southampton to give a talk on ongoing collaborative tea quality research in China. On June 16, Ellie and Selena will co-host a session on tea and climate from their teams’  varied perspectives as part of the TEAM UP 2015 meeting that is part of the Ethical Tea Partnership meeting

To learn more about the TEAM UP 2015, please visit:


Tea and the Taste of Climate Change Seminars in Asia

Co-PI Selena Ahmed is collecting tea for the project’s dry season sampling. As part of her field trip to Asia, she presented two seminars including at the Institute of Chinese Medicine at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (3/12/15) and the Tea Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (TRI CAAS) in Hangzhou (3/13/15).

Upcoming Tea and Climate Seminars by Selena Ahmed:

– Amherst College, April 14th

– Penn State University, April 16th