Mosi Tea, a portable tea brewer plus thermos, launched on Kickstarter recently with the lofty goal of raising $15,000. As of this writing, Mosi has blown past that and raised more than $325,000. My first reaction upon discovering this was… why?
To be fair, from the promotional video, Mosi Tea looks like a nice product. It’s a clear, double-walled insulated thermos with a food-grade silicone infuser built in. Pour your loose leaf tea in the infuser, add hot water, and flip it upside down to steep. Once it’s done, pop on the lid and enjoy your fresh tea. Yum.
Early backers can shell out $32 and get their Mosi Tea shipped to them in December of this year.
Or — and this is the part where I have a hard time understanding Mosi’s success — someone could just head over to Amazon and order a different tea infuser + thermos right now for around $25 and have it arrive in two days (if they have Prime shipping).
Perhaps it’s Mosi’s silicone — as opposed to steel — infuser, or the BPA-free Tritan plastic which feels like glass, or maybe the folks at Mosi are just really popular and have a lot of friends willing to fork over $32 a pop for a tea tumbler. Mosi’s founder wrote on the products Kickstarter page, “Although there are tea infusers out there, they had their limitations and just didn’t feel or work right. So, I decided to make my own.” He doesn’t say what exactly those limitations are, but evidently, enough people out there agree with him and are willing to pay for something different.
To be clear, I’m not begrudging Mosi, it’s just that crowdfunded hardware projects have a spotty record at best (See: Rite-Press, Cinder, etc.). There is a big jump between building a prototype that works and manufacturing at scale. But, given that Mosi still has 16 days to go on its campaign, the company has been infused with enough cash to make an (hopefully) honest go of it.