Book 0: Dear Reader

Dear Reader,

I apologize that this book may, for some, be difficult to read. It is not that the erudite use of esoteric diction is required for the pedagogical exposition of Chinese Tea Ceremony. Nor is it an attempt to winnow down the potential readership to those predisposed to enjoy such verbosity. The language used throughout this book is a shield that I hide behind; a shield against trivializing the art that I love and the cultural practices I’ve adopted; the language of this book is a surrender to the contemporary need to write defensively, lest an author be accused of co-opting or appropriating that which is not theirs.

Since discovering the world of Chinese Tea in 2007, I have spent an increasing and compounding amount of time and focus studying, tasting, and experimenting with those more knowledgeable than me in China, India, Korea, and Japan and on my own. I founded the Tea Institute at Penn State (now defunct) in 2010 and was the Executive Director until 2013. Since then, I have practiced alone or with a few remnant students that have become close friends. In the future, I hope to start a new organization to promote the study and preservation of tea, tea ceremony, and tea culture; perhaps the publication of this book will be the impetus for the creation of a new organization.

Jason Cohen
From Quarantine in NYC