Martin Bohacik, born in Slovakia, was once the product manager of the British advertising company. After moving to Portugal, he started his own tea “marathon”. As editor-in-chief, Martin, with the help of writers, illustrators, photographers and other personnel, officially released a paper tea magazine named “Eighty Degree” in November 2018, and became famous at once. The response was enthusiastic in the “tea circle” in Europe. I also bought several copies after hearing the news. Martin acknowledged that the magazine seems to have successfully filled a gap in the tea world in Europe and even the world. Over the years, this magazine is still hot. At the beginning of 2023, the ninth issue of the magazine will be released soon. International popular tea readings are very ideal media for the promotion of Chinese tea and tea culture. I can’t help but wonder, there are so many interesting and knowledgeable tea reading materials in the Chinese market, whether they should take the initiative to “positioning” themselves internationally, translate or publish more tea readings in English or other languages?
Now is the era of new media, and paper media always reminds people of depression. However, according to my observation, there are very few magazines focusing on tea in the English reading market of magazines. “Eighty Degree” has been successfully released for eight consecutive issues, and has received quite good response, filling the gap perfectly. Martin also said that the publication of the first issue of the magazine was surprisingly smooth, and the sales volume had been increasing for five years. This magazine has now been sold in more than 100 stores in about 30 countries, including several cities in China. The magazine seemed to fill a gap in the tea world, and the good feedback from readers encouraged Martin to continue. The sales market of tea books is large enough, Martin does not believe that there is a competitive relationship with other tea magazines, on the contrary, more and more tea magazines should be encouraged to appear, and everyone should roast the heat of “tea” together. There are many Chinese tea books, magazines, books and periodicals in China. However, in addition to the English tea scientific journals, other translated tea books are very scarce, and there is still a lot of potential to be developed.
There is no support from a large team or a large company behind the magazine. Martin works full-time as the editor in chief to maintain the normal operation of the magazine. He contacts writers or tea related practitioners to write articles, while illustrators, photographers and other part-time staff make the magazine vivid and complete. In the future, Martin hopes to develop a larger team, with long-term members, and he can have more time to go to tea mountains around the world to experience tea culture personally. In 2019, Martin visited tea gardens in Yunnan Province and visited Kunming and Xishuangbanna to explore the colorful Yunnan tea culture. In fact, his relationship with China began earlier. At the age of 15, Martin started his Chinese dream with a film “Hero”. He began to study Chinese when he was a college student in London. He went to Beijing twice for nine months to live and study. Now he can still use Chinese fluently, and he has always maintained his fascination with Chinese characters.
Martin initially advocated that magazines must be entities, close to the production of a book, and read while tasting tea, which is easier for readers to digest knowledge and information. The magazine should have a sense of design as a whole, because the target readers are ordinary readers. The article should be educational, simple and understandable, not too professional, and not too deep in philosophy. The magazine maintains an open attitude towards advertising and welcomes tea companies and institutions from China. In fact, readers really like tea and tea brands with characteristics, ideas and stories. It is better to broaden their horizons and learn knowledge in the process of understanding. I believes that international popular tea magazines are of course the ideal media for the promotion of Chinese tea and tea culture, but in Martin’s impression, it seems that Chinese tea brands are very satisfied with the development in China, and have no strong desire to go international. Now, more intermediaries are looking for good tea in China. European tea consumers would not tend to buy tea on Amazon or Alibaba and other popular online shopping platforms. Most of them prefer to seek the quality assurance of professional tea websites and tea brands, or international tea brands and tea gardens direct sales with storage and sales points in Europe. If it is consumer-oriented, it seems not difficult to find a way for the development of Chinese tea brands in the world.