I don’t know how you react when looking at a tea industry magazine but I know how I feel: frustrated. Why? To answer that, one must understand what is really a magazine and what is not one.
“Magazines, periodicals, glossies, or serials are publications that are printed with ink on paper, and generally published on a regular schedule and containing a variety of content. They are generally financed by advertising, by a purchase price, by pre-paid magazine subscriptions, or all three” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magazine)
Know that we all agree on what a magazine is or isn’t, I can keep on telling you why I am bothered by these publications.
The ads do not disturb me at all, after all if I get them for free, someone has to pay for it.
What is more “annoying” is the content as sometimes:
it is free ads under disguise while they mainly speak about their products,
it is mixed quite often with coffee/spice/other drinks news,
the topics are sometimes too industry oriented and focusing on some obscure tools/techniques…
What would I want to see in such a magazine?
I don’t think tea reviews as nowadays with Internet and so many people doing that, it is not really worth it and could be easily skipped.
Articles focusing on explaining the industry in its complexity and organisation (all along the value chain) could be really interesting and could provide useful insights on how things work for the tea-lovers and also what works or doesn’t.
Another important point would be articles on countries and their specifics, be it in the way they see or produce tea.
Reports on new and actual trends would also be interesting and could foster some debate.
I know that what I describes makes this hypothetical magazine something between a generalist or for the general public magazine and a trade journal (one focusing only on the industry as its target), something that would make it difficult for it to find its target.
I know I am a bit partial here but I think it could be useful to allow all of us to better understand tea.
A lot of other things could be added and since this is just my opinion, I open the debate here on what you would like to see in a tea industry magazine but one focusing on you and me.