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Random Thoughts About Whatever Comes to Mind

Talking Tea with Ken Cohen

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of "talking tea" with Ken Cohen, Philadelphia tea connoisseur, voice talent, and lawyer. I got to know Ken when he narrated the audiobook of my study "The Japanese Tea Ceremony and the Shoguns."

Ken is incredibly knowledgable about tea, and it was quite flattering to be asked to participate in the inaugural podcast of his new series about tea from a consumer's and connoisseur's point of view. There's a link to his podcast in the LINKS column to the right of this post.

Participating in the podcast was fun - Ken's as good an interviewer as he is an audiobook narrator - but I never feel I've said exactly what I mean when asked to discuss a topic about which I feel strongly, as I do about tea. Suffice it to say that, for me, tea can be either cozy or ceremonial, depending on mood, time of day, and mindset.

My earliest memories of drinking hot tea are associated with my mother caring for me when I was ill with measles at the age of seven, just before Christmas. I remember hot tea and toast on a tray, and ever since that's been my fallback when the flu or other nasty symptom-ridden ailment strikes. Tea is also my preferred breakfast beverage, and as for afternoon tea, I suppose that speaks for itself, given the teashops we've haunted in the U.K. and the U.S.A., the tea-related books I've written, and our cupboards full of tea collectibles. It was somewhat later that I came to appreciate the ceremonial uses of tea as an aid to mindfulness.

Over time, Ken is going to address many aspects of tea culture on his podcast. If you like tea, as I do, you'll enjoy the perspective brought to the topic by him and his guests.
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