Whether you’re looking for a guide to running a tea business or publications that will appeal to your customers, there’s a tea periodical for you. From consumer favorites to industry staples and tea-only publications to magazines that “cross cups,” you'll find the current tea periodicals to watch for below. If you're also interested in coffee, be sure to read the Guide to Coffee Periodicals.
Fresh Cup – A monthly, industry-geared publication that is primarily focused on coffee, but also has features on tea and tea ware.
Each December, Fresh Cup publishes an annual “Tea Almanac” devoted entirely to tea. Throughout the year, tea features cover issues like old growth tea trees and the art of blending with in-depth text and multiple color images.
(Full Disclosure - I have been published in Fresh Cup.)
The overall tone is informative, and it’s often spiced up with exotic and distant wanderlust or an editorialized firsthand experience of a more local tea locale.
Imbibe – A monthly, consumer-oriented publication that covers a wide range of beverages. Although cocktails, coffee, beer and wine take the lion’s share of the page count, tea is featured semi-regularly.
Imbibe’s tea articles are typically recipes, in-depth features on a particular tea type or origin (such as pu-erh production) or guides to a style of tea (such as iced teas for summer). Entertaining features often include firsthand experience and humor, while recipes and how-to guides are authoritative and informed.
The feel of the publication is chic and trendsetting. In print and in its blog and videos, Imbibe contains tips from top experts, engaging guides to specific beverages (such as Riesling wines), clip-worthy recipes and gorgeous images.
Samovar – A small-format magazine/catalog hybrid about the tea lifestyle and Samovar Tea Lounge’s product offerings. This publication takes a cue from the content-driven “magalogs” that companies like Zappos and Patagonia are known for, and may be in the process of sparking a new trend in the tea catalog world.
The focus of Samovar is the emerging, cross-cultural “tea lifestyle” in the U.S. and beyond. Highlights of issue one include evocative tea descriptions, colorful photography and an interview with a Buddhist monk. It appeals to those interested in tea, alternative lifestyles and “foodie” culture.
(Full Disclosure – I wrote and edited the first issue of Samovar.)
STiR Tea & Coffee Industry Bi-Monthly - A bi-monthly coffee and tea trade publication generally more focused on trends occurring at tea and coffee origins than on distribution, packaging and retail trends. It is geared toward tea and coffee shops, importers, exporters, packers, distributors and producers. Formerly known as Tea & Coffee Asia.
(Full Disclosure - I currently write articles for STiR.)
Tea A Magazine – A quarterly magazine that appeals to consumers and industry readers alike. This magazine features a number of recipes and teaware collections sprinkled with travel stories, editorial musings and more.
Tea A Magazine tends to appeal to a more “old-school” tea drinker who is interested in American tea history, an abundance of recipes and explorations of quaint or charming tearooms. The tone is casual, personal and even chatty at times, and it is not uncommon for Tea A Magazine to include tea-inspired poetry. However, travel stories from famed tea educator Jane Pettigrew, Tea’s many recipes recipes, and photographs from the editor’s tea ware collection round out the magazines lighthearted approach with more concrete content.
The Tea & Coffee Trade Journal – A monthly industry magazine with a leaning toward coffee, but a strong inclusion of tea.
International news blurbs, technical coverage and advice make up the bulk of the magazine. Tea features often cover topics like private labeling, marketing channels and the tea industry’s trajectory. Whereas most tea publications are typically aimed at the specialty tea industry, The Tea & Coffee Trade Journal is inclusive of mainstream grocery store brands, large-scale foodservice suppliers and mass producers of tea.
The tea coverage in this publication appeals to larger businesses, particularly those in the production, importation, sourcing and blending fields. The tone is straightforward and “facts-first,” with a healthy dose of statistics and historical context.
(Full Disclosure – My work has been published in The Tea & Coffee Trade Journal.)
The Leaf - A Taiwan-based e-magazine dedicated to introducing the wealth of information about tea in Chinese to English-speaking audiences.
The core focus of The Leaf is on the tea lifestyle, including the Tao of tea, traditional tea culture and contemporary tea culture. It also includes in-depth information on Chinese and Taiwanese tea processing, tea's history, artisan teaware, gong fu brewing and the like, all written by authorities in the field.
World Tea News – An online, weekly industry publication with features on a range of industry trends and tea news items from around the world.
Hot topics for feature articles include new product launches and guides for running smaller tea businesses. Shorter news items are usually focused on openings, closings, mergers and the like.
World Tea News is a division of the World Tea Expo.
(Full Disclosure – I was senior contributing editor of World Tea News.)