Tea Journey became the third most funded of 1,098 periodicals in Kickstarter history last week.
The Canada-based digital magazine for tea enthusiasts exceeded its campaign goal of $CDN125,000 ($US100,000) by $3,000 just before the June 1 deadline. Since April, the publication has garnered donations from 564 charter subscribers in 35 countries.
Annual subscriptions sell for $24.95 but donations averaged more than $150 because of $95,000 in rewards provided by 53 founding sponsors. Sponsors rewarded donors who paid as much as $1,000 for rare teas. During the closing days of the campaign, donors from 17 countries contributed more than $25,000.
The digital and print-on-demand magazine will use the funds to complete building smartphone apps for iOS and Android and produce its inaugural issue in June. Google Analytics showed the www.teajourney.pub website attracted visitors from 85 countries. Tea Journey has a newsletter database of 10,000 and 825 paid subscribers. The US is home to the largest number of subscribers, followed by Canada and the UK, with Australia and India rounding out the top five locations.
An @urbanmommies #MyTeaJourney #TwitterParty earned nearly 300,000 Twitter direct messasges (DMs) and 5 million impressions from retweets resulting in the largest single-day signups.
“I have a strong feeling that there are many interested in getting to the next level with tea, but they don’t have a good way to get there specifically with knowledge… it’s tough to find inspiration and encouragement. That can only come from a wider community of other enthusiasts at or beyond your own knowledge,” said donor Ron Studd.
“Tea Journey’s inclusion of historians, scientists and expertise outside of the merchant-sphere marks an important development in the type of perspectives that interested tea drinkers have access to,” said donor Andrew McNeill, of Seven Cups Fine Chinese Teas.
“More than a publication about tea, Tea Journey offers a route to digging into old traditions while acknowledging that the appreciation of tea is ever evolving, never static,” writes Robert Wemischner, tea author and pastry chef. “Tea Journey will present new and perhaps unorthodox ways to use tea in the culinary realm, a place where readers are encouraged to choose their favorite tea and create something wonderful using its flavor,” he said.
The publication is a finalist in the 2016 World Tea Awards competition for Best Tea Publication and was designated a “Project we Love” by Kickstarter, which will now collect 5% of the total raised and send Tea Journey a check for the rest.