Prosperitea: A Game of Artisanal Tea Blending

Created by Al Gonzalez

A simple and elegant card game about blending, selling, and trading loose leaf tea. From the studio that brought you Cantankerous Cats!

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Friendly Fridays: Invocation Array, Suncatcher, and 500 Backers!
4 months ago – Sat, Mar 27, 2021 at 06:13:41 PM

Greetings, Teariffic Hoomins!

For the new folks: Welcome to Friendly Friday! This is a segment I started on my social pages this year to help repay and pay forward the kindness and support that has been shown to me in the past and during this Kickstarter campaign. I will cover creative projects that run the gamut from games to art and even occasionally science!

On this week's "Friendly Friday," I've got some music and some comic art coming at you. Both are from long time friends and collaborators in my creative worlds!

Invocation Array (Music by Adrianne Grady)

Part Synth, Part Metal, Part Dark Fantasy. Invocation Array is a very unique blend of sounds reminiscent of my favorite Scandanavian bands. <3

I've had a few friends finish some albums during the pandemic and this one has stood out the most for me. I met Adrianne [right in the photo] many years ago when I first moved back to Los Angeles, but I didn't know about their musical talents until recently when they were talking about working with their bandmate on some video game commissions. When I got my winter stimulus money, I decided to spend some of it on supporting this project and a few others. And hoo-boy was I impressed.

Lots of bands can talk about great music and that is certainly the case here. But the thing that floored me was how much texture and ridiculously clean production was on every second of the album I picked up: "Arctiinae." If you love a big sound with sweeping lyrics and killer riffs, this will keep your foot tapping for a long time. They are only asking $10 for the album, but it's easily worth twice that. Which is what I gave them. The fact that this is mostly a two person operation is incredible.


Suncatcher (Comic Book by José Pimienta)

Jose is one of the artists on Prosperitea AND Cantankerous Cats! They are an old college friend of mine and I have always enjoyed their interesting comics.

 I will let José's words set up the scene:

"Beatriz loves music. More than her school — more than her friends — and definitely more than her homework. After Beatriz discovers that her grandfather’s soul is trapped in his guitar, she becomes determined to get him out. But the only way to free him is to play the perfect song — his perfect song, a song that he never actually wrote down."

Suncatcher is a wonderful story about music, writer's block, and the struggle with the sometimes toxic nature of familial responsibility and generational expectations. In a very real way, Suncatcher is the struggle of our generation as Mexican Americans learning how to balance our own needs and desires as people with the societal demands of blood family. It's a heck of a journey for $25 and the latest Random House edition sports a few changes and refinements since my dog-eared Kickstarter edition was hand delivered to me. You can pick it up by clocking on the image or one of the links below


500 Backers! Next Week on Friendly Friday!

To close things out I also want to point out a MAJOR milestone we just hit: 500 Backers!!

This is an incredible feat for a project of our size and scope. I am just about next to myself with joy and will likely never be able to say "thank you" enough.  With this much support, hitting that next big stretch goals are looking very possible, and with your help we can start making this first run of the game EXTRA special with the limited run box and metal (recyclable) coins.

Next week, I'm aiming to bring you a goofy one shot RPG of wizarding fun AND some environmentally minded art that runs right in line with our eco-friendly goals for Prosperitea. For now, I just want to say thank you again and I hope you will steal away a moment to check out some of the work from these talented artists.


Aven Gonzalez

Master Barista of Prosperitea

Prosperitea Review Roundup: Part 1
4 months ago – Fri, Mar 26, 2021 at 06:39:16 PM

Greetings, Teariffic Hoomins!

In today's update, I'm taking a break to start publicly thanking everyone in the board game communitea that has taken the time and effort to create buzz about Prosperitea.  Making review content is HARD WORK. It requires a lot of energy and time even for the simplest of formats. And the board game community in it's current size and state got here in no small part because of the type of folks I am thanking here.

My desire here is simply to repay the kindness and support that has been shown for our project by friends and stranger alike.

Before You Play - (Monique and Naveen)

Monique and Naveen created a fantastic overview for Prosperitea last October. Their channel focuses on two player run downs of a wide variety of games. Their casual, chill energy makes learning games approachable and I was very excited to be connected with them through Jason!

You can support their content by checking them out on their Patreon or Youtube channels at these links:

"BEFORE YOU PLAY" PATREON (you can see all of their socials there!)


Geek Native (Andrew Girdwood)

Not all review content is video production and we have a few good write-ups from various communities to showcase! We were connected with Geek Native through Alternity Marketing (one of the faces behind our Kickstarter project!)

Andrew asked me to spill the tea on all things sustainable and indie, so if you want a deeper dive into the nuts and bolts of how our campaign got here, you can check out the interview by clicking on the image above! You can find more of Andrew's work at the Geek Native website or support the work of Geek Native directly via Patreon!


Love 2 Hate Games (Lance and Sam)

This young channel reached out to us after I made a post on a board game reviewers facebook group. Their focus is checking out gateway games that can successfully bridge the gap between gamers and non-gamers. I scoped out a couple of their videos and quickly saw a great, easygoing approach with content that is geared towards expanding the audience for board games!

You can check out more of their work on their YouTube channel or their Instagram account! If you have a groups of gaming neophytes, this teariffic duo will help guide you to some games that can introduce those friends while still keeping your gaming brain humming.


That's all for this edition of Review Roundup! Part two will feature another collection of three reviews from the wild. I hope you've enjoyed this peek at some of the faces behind the content that makes your favorite indie games possible. Outside of properly thanking content creators, I really hope to introduce you to a few new voices in the game space to round out your game research diet!

And with that, I will be retiring early for the evening. Might take some time to finish some music, finish watching Hilda, or streaming guitar to my friends. I just know it's been a crazy week of juggling the day job, this kickstarter, and my contract work and I am tuckered out (for the best of reasons!). Your continued support is humbling and brings a lot of joy to me and my tiny, fierce team. And it's also past time I introduce those folks to you...but that will happen in a future post!

Clearing out the workshop to make room for all of those wooden boxes!


Aven Gonzalez

Master Barista of Prosperitea

Alpha Hoomin of Cantankerous Cats

Prosperitea Live Plays on Twitch!
4 months ago – Tue, Mar 23, 2021 at 06:27:01 PM

Greetings, Beauteaful People!

Today I'd like to tell you about two live play streams we are co-hosting with some friends in the gaming communitea! If you want to see the game in action, drop by one of the following channels to chill, chat, and ask any questions you may have about the project! (And I may play some music. I am a bard, after all!)

If you aren't familiar with twitch, that is okay! You don't need an account to watch us! Just click on either of the banners when the show starts and join as a guest. We have a joyful cast of tea and game lovers for TWO evenings of fun with Tabletopia! All times are in PACIFIC time!

TONIGHT @ 8:00pm: "Game Over Video Chat" on "Life, Action, Roleplay!"

Click to join us on TUESDAY, March 23 @ 8:00PM!

This evening I will co-host a play session with Ryan Omega of "Life, Action, Roleplay!" Ryan is a long time friend who has carved a great niche on twitch for showcasing underrepresented talent and projects in the role playing space. I've been on a few of his shows myself and it is ALWAYS a great time.

We will be joined by a few of the channel regulars to sip tea, play dress up, and share some shenanigans. We will also be joined by Jo Paloma, the channel's technical director, to finally give him a break so he can enjoy some games. :)

WEDNESDAY @ 7:00PM: "Tabletop Tonight" with Ruel Gaviola

Click to join us on WEDNESDAY, March 24 @ 7:00PM!

Tomorrow evening, we have another session of joy and co-opetition planned with our friend Ruel Gaviola! Ruel has carved a great place for himself in the game space as a joyful presence. His streams and shows are always about good vibes, chill energy, and just being a positive force in the gaming space.

You may also recognize Jacqueline Chao from our tutorial video!  Jacquie runs the YouTube channel "Show Me How to Win," which focuses on winning strategies for popular games! Jacquie is another designer/video production talent and she brings all of that experience to the table with her channel.

Finally we have Julie Medina from "Tabletop and Tea Time!" I am VERY excited to meet Julie as her channel is all about drinking tea while playing games. Which happens to be in the wheelhouse of both Mentha Designs games so far!

If you can't join us tonight, twitch will archive the brodcasts for a short window on each channel and I will post those links after each broadcast. Thank you all for your support and I hope to see you for our live play events!

Stay Safe, Take Care of Each Other, Play All the Games,


Aven Gonzalez

Master Barista of Prosperitea

Sustainability in Games: Prosperitea's Environmental Goal [Repost from 2020]
4 months ago – Tue, Mar 23, 2021 at 01:32:43 AM

Greetings, Tea Folk!

In today's update, I am going to take some time to dig into the eco-friendly goals of Prosperitea. This is a repost from our 2020 campaign with a few minor updates using new data about bioplastics and our new, more sustainable components! We have learned even more about what is possible since starting this journey in 2021 and I am personally excited by what we've learned from our manufacturer. And now, the original post:


Prosperitea's environmental goals it really start with a motif of questions that keeps coming up when I work on games: "Why don't you make the box bigger?" "Why don't you have plastic minis? People love those!" "You NEED to shrink wrap or you can't do retail." "Why don't you put MORE stuff in the game?!" "Plastic is cheaper. Why don't you use plastic?"

While the artistry in minis and other plastic components can be jaw-dropping, the plastic they are made of is not recyclable and will never break down safely even if they are made from bioplastics. I love an amazing sculpt just as much as the next artist, but I have to acknowledge the problem with the chosen medium. Plastic is poison. And we need to find a better way forward. (minis from Rising Sun and Zombiecide by CMON)

My answer to that type of question is always the same: "There is too much waste in the game industry and I don't want to contribute to it." All of my designs do their best to minimize the potential impact on the environment by using the simplest, most efficient components possible and that generally boils down to paper and ink.

This is where your minis and dice wind up after you throw them out or lose them: The Pacific Garbage Patch. Click on the photo to learn more from "The Ocean Cleanup" project in the Netherlands.

I grew up surfing in the waters near Venice Beach and Santa Monica, CA. I have also spent an inordinate amount of time hiking and adventuring in the outdoors. All too often, I've had to dodge straws, cups, cigarettes, water bottles, and so much more. And unlike a lot of folks, I've never gotten used to it.

I compromised with shrink wrap, baggies, and spot UV when we made Cantankerous Cats. Now that we've proven that to be a successful project, we vowed to NEVER include any plastic components or shrink wrap in future games. We asked our 

Prosperitea is on track to be 100% recyclable and made from 95% recycled content! The only new materials will be the inks and coatings used on the paper.

This time we are doubling down to eliminate ALL plastic waste. It was a feat people in the game space kept telling me was impossibly expensive. But all it took was a few e-mails, a bit of research, and talking to our friends at AdMagic to figure it out. Turns out it's pretty easy to make an eco-friendly game at a small scale. You just have to be mindful and ask for it. And it isn't costing us that much more to do it.

1. Recyclable components

All components are 100% recyclable because everything has 2-3 ingredients: Paper/Cardboard. Glue. Ink. This is pretty straightforward. By keeping things simple, we get to keep our environmental footprint small, our costs low, and showcase all of the beautiful art in the highest fidelity.

2. Zero Plastics Promise

Prosperitea uses absolutely ZERO plastic components or laminates. Not even shrink wrap!

The game box will be held shut with a paper band around the box and simple paper stickers. Simple, effective, and recyclable.

3. Sustainable Shipping with EcoEnclose!

Our project will be using sustainable shipping materials from EcoEnclose to package all rewards. These WILL be a touch more costly than traditional shipping envelopes, but we won't be passing that extra cost to our backers.

4. Efficient Packaging

Finally, we've promised to keep the packaging efficient. Prosperitea has a lot of components, but they fit into a tiny box! As a designer, I have had an untold amount of pressure to make the boxes for my games bigger to help "convince people that they are worth $20-25." I happen to believe most people are smarter than that.

Staying efficient helps reduce the cost of our game because we can fit more games in a smaller amount of space. This reduces shipping costs, which saves us AND retailers money, which lets me continue to make great games at affordable prices for the most amount of people. And it does all of this while reducing our environmental footprint. Everybody wins!

Let's Change the Industry!

Our project is small, but our goals are big. Personally, I want to start a movement to call on game manufacturers to be more mindful about the waste we are putting into the world, but I can't do it alone. If we can make Prosperitea a success, some of my peers will follow suit and make some of the same promises I am making to you. Then as they find success, more people can follow.

Long term: I want to build a sustainable games initiative with information, graphics, and resources free for other designers to use. Because we only have one planet. And if we don't act to take care of it now, it may not be here for the youngest of us to enjoy. And we don't need plastic and excess to have an amazingly fun time at the table with our friends and family.


Al Gonzalez

Master Barista of Prosperitea

Alpha Hoomin of Cantankerous Cats

Two-Player Mode! New Stretch Goals! Eco-Friendly News!
4 months ago – Sun, Mar 21, 2021 at 12:55:49 PM

Greetings, Tea Folk!

We hit 16k while I was filming this so we are doing Soy Based Inks! In this video I touch on Two Player Mode and the two new stretch goals: Soy Inks and 100% Recycled Materials!

Check the TL;DW below for the less rambly version:

Two-Player Mode

Prosperitea has always had a two-player mode, but it's been more of a hotfix than a full-fledged game. We changed a couple of things to make it POSSIBLE to play with two, but not desirable. If we hit $17k, Jason and I will fix that! The short list of features goes something like this:

  • "Ghost" third player with strict "AI" rules.
  • Ability to trade with and interact with this third player.
  • Possible for Ghost player to win if it is used too much by the Human players.

This should create a similar sense of balance found in the 3-6 player game. The rule book may or may not be done in time for sending the game to press, but it will be done in time to be released for fulfillment and packed in with your Kickstarter order as a separate rule book.

Sustainable Stretch Goals!

We've been waiting on AdMagic to scour their network for some final bits of our sustainable goals puzzle and we received the great news this week. That good news is we can have Soy Based Inks and 100% Recycled Materials in Prosperitea!! This will result in TWO new stretch goals, one of which is already unlocked as of this writing!

Soy Based Inks!

The first big win is that with $16k hit, we can use soy-based inks in our game! This is a massive win as soy-based inks are more sustainable than the standard petroleum based inks used in your average home and commercial printers. While soy based inks aren't 100% eco-friendly, they are about as close as one can get in the printing business as pigments and toners are still mineral based. But that is a topic for a future post where I geek out on printing/art tech. For now, know that this gets us as close to 100% biodegradable as it can get with current available technology!

100% Recycled Materials

Next big thing is that is is perfectly possible to have 100% recycled materials in our game! This is huge as it means NO VIRGIN MATERIALS will be used to craft our game except for the ink used to print and the coatings on the cards.

If we hit $19,000, we will have a 100% closed loop game. No virgin materials and 100% curbside recyclable in all major cities. That is HUGE for a game project. And very exciting for my crunchy hippie heart.

To close things up, thank you again for bringing us this far. The road to $19k is very much possible and I would love to get there so we can start changing the face of gaming with your help. Stay Safe, take care of each other, and play lots of games!


Aven Gonzalez

Master Barista of Prosperitea