Look no further than Kickstarter to find creative minds contributing to every facet of the tea industry in the forms of kombucha, honey tea, a cup and saucer that share a secret compartment and more.
Kickstarter’s mission is to “help bring creative projects to life;” and it is doing so in the digital sphere and beyond as entrepreneurs turn to the platform to share new ideas and raise money to launch or build their businesses.
Here are five to watch now.
Mtn. Culture Food & Beverage Co.
Aspen, Colorado-based Mtn. Culture Food & Beverage Co. formulated its own Hard Kombucha, a mixture of kombucha tea, organic fruits, spices, herbs and local carbonated potato vodka. There are four flavors: Blueberry Lavender, Raspberry Apple with Hibiscus and Earl Grey, Lemon Cayenne with Assam, and Lime Ginger Mint with Assam. Funds raised from its Kickstarter campaign will go toward the rental and assemblage of a commercial kitchen, brewing equipment and the acquisition of liquor licenses. Founders Matt Ferguson and Sam Rappaport aim to be in 30 bars and restaurants between the East Coast and Colorado.
Material Matcha Uji
Two Frenchmen, Etienne Denoual and Morgan Josset moved to Japan and fell in love with Japanese culture. They left their corporate jobs with the goal of preserving Japanese tea culture with their new company, Material Match Uji. Tea farmers in Japan are an aging population and the profession does not appeal to many young people. Etienne and Morgan have taken on the mission of producing high-quality matcha. They also say they want to “re-create the long lost flavors, and to make them available to the world, for the very first time,” on their Kickstarter page. Kickstarter pledges will be put toward securing their first harvest and helping their tea farmer friends.
TeaTrain 100% Natural Iced Fitness Tea
Michael Davies and Emily Fleeshman want to revolutionize the fitness market with their tea blends. After visiting tea plantations in Malaysia, they merged their love of fitness and tea and founded TeaTrain. Headquartered in Wilmslow, U.K., they make two blends: Ready Again Rooibos and Get Going Green. They say theirteas offer an alternative to sports drinks and powders and help people feel energized and aid in exercise recovery. The teas are available online in bagged format. Their goal with their Kickstarter campaign is to develop and launch ready-to-drink versions.
Maruhi Cup & Saucer
Maruhi Cup & Saucer have a cute, clever synergetic design. The set contains a saucer that has a cavity in the middle and a cup with its own separate cavity on the bottom. When the cup is placed on top of the saucer, anything such as a cookie or other surprise is concealed until the tea drinker lifts the cup to drink. It can be used in restaurants or given as a gift. The set is made without toxic substances and comes in four colors: Indigo, Cream, Ramune and Black. It is manufactured by MARUASA Porcelain in Tajimi, Japan, in the Gifu Prefecture, which is known for its high-quality porcelain. Kickstarter campaign funds will be put toward making final prototypes and moving forward with production.
True Honey Teas
True Honey Teas produces single-serve pods and teabags containing tea and honey. Co-founder Chris Savage left his engineering job at Northrup Grumman, and he and his friend, Peter Davis, formed their company to create high-quality single-serve flavorful teas with the goal of promoting honey as a sweetener because it is natural and healthier than sugar. The company is headquartered in Savage’s Northern Virginia townhouse, and the pods are manufactured in Kensington, Maryland. True Honey Teas’ teabags contain 4 grams of loose leaf tea and a tablespoon of granulated honey. For every pack of True Honey Teas that is pledged during its Kickstarter campaign, $2 will be donated to the George Mason University Bee Program for bee conservation efforts.