Cold Tea Collective strives to hold space for the Asian diaspora to connect with themselves and the world around them. We do this through storytelling. Our staff writers and contributors make sure the diasporic voices, experiences, and stories are heard–for us and by us.
The Cold Tea Collective team has grown and changed over the years, but one thing has remained constant–everybody’s devotion to sharing stories about the Asian diaspora that matter.
Our stories matter, but we can’t do it without a dedicated team. We are proud to be home to nearly thirty volunteer staff members. Our writers, editors, contributors, and creatives are scattered throughout North America and even South Korea.
As a new Cold Tea Collective team member myself, I’ve met so many talented creators. From brief interactions to long conversations, a common topic of discussion is “why did you join Cold Tea Collective?” Often, we share how we first came across the publication and end with our creative and professional hopes for the future. Yet, amongst all the chatter, there’s a mutual desire to share stories that matter to the diaspora community. Learning about my peer’s journey with Cold Tea Collective is inspiring to say the least.
Meet several talented team members and hear what they have to say about their contributions to Cold Tea Collective. Find out what motivates our team, their achievements, and their aspirations for the future of Cold Tea Collective.
You can support Cold Tea Collective and emerging Asian creatives by donating to our First Funders campaign. Our aim is to raise $15,000 by the end of May. Your contribution will help us continue to do meaningful work in amplifying and empowering our community. Your donation will fund more frequent publishing of articles and newsletters, new podcast series and video series to tell the stories of our generation, community-building events, and career development opportunities for emerging Asian journalists and other media professionals.
Jacqueline Sia, Editor and Social Media Editor
I joined Cold Tea Collective because I wanted a safe place where I could talk about being an Asian American without feeling like I was a minority or having to explain my background.
Growing up, I never thought I was different from others, but as I got older and understood the U.S.’s political and social landscape better, I realized just how small I was. Being part of Cold Tea Collective has helped me feel like I could lend my voice to a crowd so that we could collectively be bigger, stand taller, and speak louder. Plus, working as an editor also scratched a creative itch that I’ve always had.
I am so proud and happy to have worked with Alicia on the articles about how Asian Americans need to vote and have their voices heard. I felt these articles reflected a lot of millennials’ mindsets when it came to the elections. Another memorable series I worked on were the ones about fashion and sustainability. Those pieces really made me rethink how I approach my closet and household goods. Sustainability and climate change are challenges that we ALL face, and I think constantly exposing that to our audience is really going to help in the long run.
Cold Tea Collective’s uniqueness is that we don’t only speak to timely, breaking news topics. Instead, we also find a balance in sharing important lifestyle topics that affect our everyday lives.
More recently, Cold Tea Collective has expanded our voices to cover Southeast and South Asian stories, and I think that’s key. Whether it’s hearing personal stories or interviews with Asian celebrities, I believe it is essential to amplify and show (rather than tell) that Asians are not a monolith.
Looking towards the future, I hope Cold Tea Collective grows into more mediums more consistently besides written content. We have a lot of opportunities to grow in more media mediums – and I look forward to being part of that in some way.
Samson Chan, Managing Editor
I’ve always enjoyed and appreciated storytelling, especially in promoting and celebrating Asian Canadian stories. And when I met Natasha and learned about Cold Tea Collective, I felt compelled to contribute behind the scenes with a platform that represented what I support.
For me, it is extremely rewarding to assemble an all-star editorial team to share powerful stories when the Asian diaspora community needs them the most. They are all volunteers from all walks of life (culturally, personally, and geographically) who genuinely want to make a difference in the community. I am so proud of the team and what they’ve done for Cold Tea Collective.
Cold Tea Collective pushes the boundaries of storytelling by simply not being afraid to tell authentic stories but, more importantly, constructively with concrete goals and calls to action. It’s easy to be that external voice producing superficial headlines and content with little substance. It’s much more difficult to tap into the internal voice of the Asian diaspora in a way that can empower everybody to self-reflect and take control of their own narratives.
Our publication lives and breathes constructive journalism. It’s natural, impactful, and personal. We tell stories, not news or gossip. And moving forward, I hope Cold Tea Collective can expand our scope and reach to influence and represent the Asian diaspora even more and positively. We want to be the platform where Asian creatives can be rewarded for being authentic and creative at the same time to provide a better and more impactful storytelling experience to our audience.
I joined Cold Tea Collective for a couple of reasons:
- I wanted to explore my identity of being Asian Canadian and contribute to this community that I identified with and shared similar visions and values.
- When Asian hate was raging, I saw it conflicting with Black Lives Matter, which didn’t feel right. And so, I wanted to see how the “canon” of Asian American stories that we tell about ourselves and how they relate to our communities with others could be expanded in thoughtful and meaningful ways.
- As a person in academia, I wanted to be able to keep in touch and share my writing and work more accessibly.
- A friend was here, and he seemed to be enjoying it.
Reflecting on the pieces I’ve worked on so far, I enjoyed interviewing the author and writing the article on the Ghost Forests: Exploring grief and home in transnational families. I really worked hard on that piece because I wanted to do the experience justice. After all, it was such an important story for me to tell.
Also, the first piece I wrote was to cover a NAAAP event. I learnt so much about Asian American history in this talk, and I was proud to have contributed to this effort of informing the wider public of so many important events that should have been (but never were) inscribed into the public memory.
Moreover, Cold Tea Collective has brought to the surface many different stories that question the “obvious” notions of belonging, nationhood, and ethnicity. We complicate simplistic notions of understanding Asianness within America to show that the Asian American experience is not singular.
Cold Tea Collective also focuses on the quality of these stories and tends to think more deeply about the fundamental implications of certain topics. It also keeps it light and fun at times–an interesting mixed bag. I am also proud that the publication doesn’t have any rage-inducing content or encourage doomscrolling.
I hope Cold Tea Collective continues producing content with the depth and quality that it has been pursuing, and it continues to expand and work on many different projects. Personally, I would like to see more literary content, haha.
Evan May, Staff Writer
Beyond the creative opportunity to share my own stories, what drew me into joining Cold Tea Collective is the opportunity to attend events, conduct interviews, and uplift Asian voices. It’s something I never thought I’d be able to do in a professional capacity.
I’m proud of Cold Tea Collective for fostering a community of rich storytelling, sharing underrepresented stories, and striving to dismantle the theory of the Asian monolithic experience.
I really respect Cold Tea Collective’s devotion to redefining what it means to be “Asian.” There are so many unique cultures that get grouped together, thus creating the monolith, but when looking at each one, what makes them so beautiful is their diversity from one another.
Plus, I think what makes Cold Tea Collective unique and different from other digital media outlets is two-pronged–from how the content is presented to the staff that make up Cold Tea Collective! I think there is a palpable authenticity that radiates through each and every piece, due largely in part to the focus on “for us, by us.” I would also love to see Cold Tea Collective create all types of media, especially video content–I live for it.
Alicia Cheung, Staff Writer
I followed and subscribed to Cold Tea Collective for about a year before joining the team as a Staff Writer. I finally decided to join the team because I was searching for a creative outlet to tell stories and share experiences about the Asian diaspora in North America during the pandemic. As someone passionate about storytelling, building community and initiating conversations around different topics and issues, Cold Tea Collective’s content really resonated with me and my own personal experiences.
I recently interviewed Domee Shi about her film, Turning Red, and it was my favourite piece that I’ve worked on. This film was relatable on so many levels, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to speak with a fellow Chinese Canadian creator from Toronto who is make big moves in her industry.
Speaking of big moves, Cold Tea Collective has pushed the boundaries of storytelling for the Asian diaspora by digging deep for the truth in every story. In addition, the publication explores different intersections of the Asian diaspora and fosters an inclusive community where everyone is invited and can feel a sense of belonging.
Our stories uplift, empower and inspire readers, and we’re constantly looking to diversify our perspectives. These stories are what makes Cold Tea Collective unique and different; we focus on unique and personal stories, experiences, and perspectives–ones that can’t be replicated, recycled and retold.
I look forward to how we will continue to push boundaries through storytelling, empower the next generation of Asian voices, and build this amazing community. I hope more people will support the work we do.
Ashley Chong, Deputy Editor
I got involved with Cold Tea Collective because I wanted to be involved with Asian North Americans. I also wanted to try out journalism, a different type of storytelling than creative writing.
Looking back, the pieces that stand out to me were the ones published in the aftermath of tragedy (the Atlanta shooting and George Floyd’s murder). These are hard, yet delicate and complex topics, but our writers and editors engaged with them with care and dedication and a sense of responsibility to create spaces for important discussions.
Our priority isn’t to be trendy or clickbait; stories and our community are at the core of what we do. So how can we support, challenge, celebrate, and cultivate our community? That’s why it’s important that there’s support for us to continue to be dedicated to showcasing our community’s diversity.
We strive to grow and expand the voices of the Asian diaspora. Just as the Asian North American diaspora is vast, diverse, and plentiful, we think it’s important to showcase and celebrate that in the same manner.
Cecilia Huang, Staff writer
When I came across Cold Tea Collective and its stories for the first time, I felt like my voice mattered, and I had the power to influence change–I felt like I was a part of a community.
Having been a part of the team for three years now, I’m so proud of everything I’ve worked on at Cold Tea Collective! I’ve had the opportunity to work on different stories (namely my monthly feature advice column, Dear Kiki) , interview amazing individuals from all industries and learn from the talented team of editors and staff writers. I do not have a journalism background, so I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to learn and challenge myself continuously.
Cold Tea Collective truly embraces all types of diversity. We don’t generalize, and we take great care in honouring each story and voice. You also get a sense of honesty and rawness from these stories, like talking to a good friend who cares deeply about you but will also tell you like it is.
Additionally, we don’t follow trends or follow in other people’s footsteps to get in the spotlight. Although Cold Tea Collective might be smaller than other media organizations, there is a sense of fearlessness when tackling relevant issues and sharing heart-wrenching stories.
I look forward to continuing to tell meaningful, honest, powerful stories and growing the team and community by including more diverse voices. I hope that our publication can bring future generations of Asian North Americans and Asians worldwide together through our similarities, differences, and individuality.
Cold Tea Collective is made up of a team of insightful and thoughtful volunteers who want to amplify the voices of the Asian community and diaspora. Please help us reach our First Funders campaign goal to raise $15,000, so we can continue to foster talent and support upcoming creators. You can also support Cold Tea Collective by purchasing the COMMUNITY MADE Tote.
We want to continue to publish in-depth, original content and keep it accessible to all readers. Our voices, experiences, and stories matter–and we hope you think so, too.
Feature image by Julian Fok.
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