Our Story: Cold Tea Collective

Starting Cold Tea Collective

Cold Tea Collective’s story started in 2016 when I was fired. Fired from a job because I wasn’t performing; I wasn’t performing because I was depressed; and I was depressed because I wasn’t doing work in line with my values–I saw it coming. 

Shortly before all that happened, I ran on eight hours of sleep across three days after a major work event. When I finally sat down and decompressed, I received a random Facebook message from a girl I went to high school with. The message was a photo of a letter I wrote in my senior acting class, with the words Carpe Diem at the top. The letter was to my future self about my vision for what I wanted my life to look like. I wanted to be a television broadcaster. 

Trying to recall what had happened in the 10-plus years between high school graduation and rereading the letter, I realized that I wanted the same thing, to be a broadcaster but I had told myself I couldn’t achieve it. Subconsciously, I probably convinced myself that because I didn’t see people who looked and talked like me, let alone talking about the things I wanted to talk about, my high school dream was unachievable.  

Revisiting my high school letter at a pivotal moment in my career changed everything. The letter spurred me into action. I decided to do something about my old dreams and became a producer and host for a community television station. One of the gigs I covered was an Asian film festival. At this event, I finally saw myself for the first time on screen through stories of people who look like me; It was the first time I had felt seen, heard, and understood. 

At that moment, I realized I had to do something to help amplify the stories and lived experiences of people like me. Determined, I started Cold Tea Collective to share content that would empower the Asian community through telling stories for us, by us.

Who we are now

Six years later, Cold Tea Collective’s story has grown and so has our team. There are more than 25 people in content and operational roles from across Canada, the US, and even South Korea. In happy news, since we first launched, the Asian diaspora media scene has grown. Yet, I firmly believe that Cold Tea Collective still plays a crucial role in telling our stories.

Beyond sharing news and representation wins, Cold Tea Collective focuses on creating a space for this generation and the next of the Asian diaspora to better understand and connect with themselves and the world around them.  These important stories pull back the curtain on lesser-known and diverse lived experiences of the young Asian diaspora in North America. As a platform, Cold Tea Collective hopes to amplify, inspire, and empower readers through our content by exploring what it truly means to be Asian American and Asian Canadian today.

Several notable organizations recognized Cold Tea Collective for its impact in the last year alone. For instance, PR Newswire recognized us as one of the “Top Notch Asian American News Sites to Follow,” we were a nominee for the British Columbia Multiculturalism and Anti-racism Awards, and a finalist in the BC Business Women of the Year Awards: Community Builder. We’ve also received support and training from Google, Meta, and Indiegraf. 

We know we can do more with these recognitions and want to further our reach and impact. 

The future of Cold Tea Collective depends on our community

The next phase of Cold Tea Collective’s story will be to transition from a volunteer-driven organization to a sustainable independent news organization that provides paid career development opportunities for emerging Asian journalists and other media professionals.

To do this, we need your help

We’re working to become a community-powered publication that runs on reader support. To kick this off, we are asking for your support for our first-ever large fundraising campaign. Your contribution will help support Cold Tea Collective’s operations, team members, and continue to do meaningful work in amplifying, inspiring and empowering our community.  

We want our current and future team members to know that they have the support of a growing audience and publication by supporting them financially and creating employment opportunities. We want to uplift the next generation of professional storytellers and creators. 

With your help and support, we will also invest in resources to publish content like articles and newsletters more frequently, air a new podcast series, and share videos to tell the stories of our generation. We also hope to host community events to connect with and learn from one another more often. 

Cold Tea Collective's Story Event

Speaking more personally, if I had the opportunity to work for a publication like Cold Tea Collective when I was younger, I might have gotten into (and stayed) in media sooner. Instead of ifs and buts, I want to create a space for aspiring creatives for this and the next generation. 

Making Asian diaspora media accessible

We believe that our stories matter–and we hope you do too. 

We don’t want to put our stories behind a paywall, so we need your help to create accessible, in-depth, original content. 

Can you help us serve you better? Join The Collective today. You can support us with a monthly contribution to help ensure stories for us and by us are here to stay. 

With much gratitude and appreciation,

Natasha Jung
Founder, Executive Editor, Executive Producer
Cold Tea Collective


Making Asian American media

We believe that our stories matter – and we hope you do too. Support us with a monthly contribution to help ensure stories for us and by us are here to stay.

accessible

The future of Cold Tea Collective depends on you.

People chatting at the Making It documentary screening.
Cold Tea Collective's Story Natasha

We’re working to become a community-powered publication that runs on reader support. Keep stories by us for us possible.

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