Exploring Chengdu’s Tea Culture

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  • Title: Exploring Chengdu’s Tea Culture: A Qualitative Study of Historical Evolution, Cultural Transformation, and Sustainable Preservation Strategies
  • Author(s): Wang Xiangyue, Yuttapong Tonpradoo
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Food Studies
  • Journal Title: Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal
  • Keywords: Preservation, Sustainable Development, Tea Culture, Traditional Heritage, Transformation
  • Volume: 14
  • Issue: 1
  • Date: March 21, 2024
  • ISSN: 2160-1933 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2160-1941 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2160-1933/CGP/v14i01/61-77
  • Citation: Xiangyue, Wang, and Yuttapong Tonpradoo. 2024. "Exploring Chengdu’s Tea Culture: A Qualitative Study of Historical Evolution, Cultural Transformation, and Sustainable Preservation Strategies." Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal 14 (1): 61-77. doi:10.18848/2160-1933/CGP/v14i01/61-77.
  • Extent: 17 pages

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This qualitative research delves into the transformational journey of tea culture in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China, positioning it as a model for preserving local culture. The study has two objectives: (1) to explore the historical evolution of tea culture in Chengdu and (2) to scrutinize its transition from traditional to contemporary forms. The research, geographically confined to Chengdu, employs a methodological approach comprised of documentary analysis, observations, interviews, and expert-led group discussions. Local knowledge bearers and entrepreneurs involved in tea product development were consulted to provide insights on the dynamic evolution of tea culture—its past, present, and potential future trajectories. The study reveals that Chengdu’s tea culture, which originated during the Qin-Han dynasty, has a rich history spanning thousands of years. Tea-drinking customs prospered during the Tang and Ming dynasties, reaching their zenith in the Qing Dynasty, with the culture enduring to the present day. Today, tea culture serves as a crucial element of China’s cultural identity, possessing significant potential for future development. In light of socioeconomic progress, transformation is necessary to align with the rapid pace of modernity and market needs without compromising its inherent cultural essence. Such an evolution can bolster both micro and macro economies while conserving the integral knowledge of tea culture. This study suggests that sustainable development, facilitated through cultural preservation, can promote local prosperity by generating income and enhancing the quality of life.