OTTI Think Tank 1: You say OTTI, I say JTTI?


"Official Tea Tasting Initiative" Teas shared & discussed.

Re: OTTI Think Tank 1: You say OTTI, I say JTTI?

Postby bearsbearsbears » Feb 23rd, '11, 17:20

MarshalN wrote:My point is not that it's expensive, but rather, if you're going to make new categories, the "paid" and "free" categories are much more useful than category by country, which I think is pretty much meaningless. Like Entropy said, it's just categorization for the sake of it, which is sort of pointless.


+1

[EDIT: I realized my comments are not really on topic]
Last edited by bearsbearsbears on Feb 23rd, '11, 18:20, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: OTTI Think Tank 1: You say OTTI, I say JTTI?

Postby Chip » Feb 23rd, '11, 18:06

MarshalN wrote:My point is not that it's expensive, but rather, if you're going to make new categories, the "paid" and "free" categories are much more useful than category by country, which I think is pretty much meaningless. Like Entropy said, it's just categorization for the sake of it, which is sort of pointless.

Oh, paid and free. You had previously said paid and unpaid which left me scratching my head. :mrgreen:

However, there will not be free OTTI rounds, nor have there been (Yes, I have hosted numerous free tastings as well, so I also speak from experience). I feel participants are more likely to actually do the tastings if they paid their way. This weeds out the "freeloaders" and "hoarders" who would sign up for anything for free, but might toss the tea in a cupboard to be passed onto their heirs. :idea:

Pointless, not if it makes the organization easier. It may make it easier for those newer to tea as well.

EDIT: Oh, actually there are free OTTI, this is reserved for contributors, a way of saying thank you!
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Re: OTTI Think Tank 1: You say OTTI, I say JTTI?

Postby Chip » Feb 23rd, '11, 18:25

bearsbearsbears wrote:Also, the "if you don't like it, don't participate" argument dodges the fact that picking and choosing vendors that get exposure and PR as a result of the tastings does affect the neutrality of the forum: it provides more content about particular vendors teas to anyone searching for information on teachat. Even if I don't want to participate in OTTI, as a forum user I don't like what I see as an inherently biasing slant in content.

I originally thought OTTI might be a good idea because I understand the utility of group buys and have participated in many--privately. But giving it more thought, I disagree that Teachat should distribute (and now sell) tea "officially".

The better option here is to stress to vendors that they ought to provide samples for purchase. English-language pu'er drinkers have done a great job of "training" our vendors to supply samples, and I don't see why people who drink indian/japanese/taiwanese/korean/african/martian teas can't do the same. When your wallet speaks, the vendors listen.

I have a topic asking for vendor participation, and I am constantly expanding in this area. However, there are always those vendors who see the value and those who do not. Those who want to participate, and those who do not, etc. This is my experience on the matter. Some will, and some will not, period.

One argument for the buying the gyokuro for the OTTI's is that it takes this element out of the equation. However, where practical, donated tea certainly keeps the pricing down for participants.

I can understand the argument against a for profit tasting initiative, but this is not. Bottom line, everything costs money. We can have tastings at low cost, or none at all.

I for one believe tastings are a vital part of a forum's existance and it is a concept I hope to continually expand upon. 9 successful OTTI tastings and counting ...

BTW, I have considered special events with vendors offering samples, etc. But then again, there is a level of picking and choosing, after all there seem to be 1000's of internet vendors these days.

Hope you join us in an OTTI soon.
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Re: OTTI Think Tank 1: You say OTTI, I say JTTI?

Postby bearsbearsbears » Feb 23rd, '11, 19:10

Chip wrote:I can understand the argument against a for profit tasting initiative, but this is not. Bottom line, everything costs money. We can have tastings at low cost, or none at all.


The companies picked profit from exposure, even if you keep the buy in "at cost". By doing an OTTI you're guaranteeing a flood of posts about the chosen vendors' teas (17 pages for the 90s sheng OTTI, e.g.). My comments (which I edited away) dealt specifically with the impact such tastings have on forum content, not with any exchange of money or payment in trade you may or may not be receiving from tea companies and artisans for the OTTI & deals you run.

Chip wrote:I for one believe tastings are a vital part of a forum's existance and it is a concept I hope to continually expand upon. 9 successful OTTI tastings and counting ...


This forum has been successful without tastings and serves the 95% of users who don't participate in an OTTI quite well without their participation in OTTI tastings. I disagree with you there. I see the value of swapping tea samples with other people, but I don't see why this has to be labeled "official" and result in 17+ pages of content on only a handful of teas.

But, this doesn't directly address the issue posed here, which is the naming of the tastings (hence, why I edited out the comments you responded to).

I think if you're going to have tastings, I don't see how having the teas separated geographically makes sense. It's not like you plan to run one each of JTTI, ITTI, CTTI, KTTI simultaneously. If you do, you should charge for your time, and maybe consider running a business around the concept. :lol:
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Re: OTTI Think Tank 1: You say OTTI, I say JTTI?

Postby Chip » Feb 23rd, '11, 23:38

OFFICIAL INVITE TO MEMBERS OF TEACHAT! CONTACT YOUR FAVORITE VENDORS TO CONTACT ME REGARDING PARTICIPATION IN OTTIs. THEY MAY IN TURN CONTACT ME AT teachatmoderator@yahoo.com.

I have posted this invite previously, and as I mentioned above, I posted a topic inviting vendors to participate.

Any vendor who has contacted me, I have invited them to participate.

However as I mentioned, today there are 1000's of online vendors. It is simply impossible to contact all of them. But this will not stop us from conducting OTTIs. Why would we not have tastings just because we can not include every vendor?

OTTIs will continue as long as there is interest in tasting tea on the forum. So, the question is not whether or not we should have OTTIs or whether they should or should not be called "official." That has long been decided by Adagio who wants tastings, by members who want tastings, and by yours truly who is excited to share in tastings and feel it is a vital part of the life of a forum.

I fail to see where the grand conspiracy is in this.

Other forums have tastings, and some of these are independent forums who are deriving revenue and benefits from contributing vendors. TeaChat nor I receive any revenue nor benefit from these OTTIs.

Occasionally a vendor will send a tea for me to sample, this seems reasonable, or a small sample along with OTTI teas. But I do not receive shipments of free tea as a form of payment or "bribery."

I fail to see where the grand conspiracy is in this.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yes, OTTIs generate discussion on a tea forum. Yep. No argument there. 17 pages, great!

I fail to see where the grand conspiracy is in all this.

I will continue to offer OTTIs to members, Adagio has asked for this, and members have asked for it. And I have long done unofficial tastings before either.

I fail to see where the grand conspiracy is in this.

This OTTI think tank topic has oft been off topic. No problem, I have endeavored to respond as best I can. But TBH, I am done.

Thank you all for your comments.
:mrgreen:
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Re: OTTI Think Tank 1: You say OTTI, I say JTTI?

Postby wyardley » Feb 24th, '11, 00:12

Chip wrote:Occasionally a vendor will send a tea for me to sample, this seems reasonable, or a small sample along with OTTI teas. But I do not receive shipments of free tea as a form of payment or "bribery."

I fail to see where the grand conspiracy is in this.

Chip -- I think you're taking this way more personally than the way it was intended (and I didn't intend to start a giant discussion, though I think that everyone has been pretty civil so far). I'm not suggesting that you're doing anything immoral or unethical, are part of some conspiracy or are trying to reap vast profits from the forum. Neither am I questioning your altruism. And I don't think anyone else was suggesting any of these things. Even if any surplus goes to cash, I'm sure it doesn't even begin to cover the amount of time it takes to pack and mail out samples.

My objections were more semantic than anything else.

Based on the subject of this thread ("OTTI Think Tank"), it seemed like input was being requested, and input has been given. I don't see how most of the discussion was off-topic, since it's the thread to discuss the OTTI, and that's exactly what we're doing.
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Re: OTTI Think Tank 1: You say OTTI, I say JTTI?

Postby MarshalN » Feb 24th, '11, 00:22

Chip, I think many of us have, repeatedly, said that we are not doubting your integrity here, but merely with the way things are labeled and whether there really is a need for paid samples (and whether such paid samples should be an "official" teachat thing).

I don't think anyone ever even got close to the word conspiracy.
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Re: OTTI Think Tank 1: You say OTTI, I say JTTI?

Postby bearsbearsbears » Feb 24th, '11, 00:37

Nobody accused you of any conspiracy, and my mention of a business was intended as a joke, because organizing multiple simultaneous tastings would take hours upon hours of your time for very little return.

Clearly not everybody agrees with what you're saying or proposing in terms of the nature, frequency, cost, and organization of these tastings, as is obvious in the feedback given in this thread. If you choose to ignore it, so be it.
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Re: OTTI Think Tank 1: You say OTTI, I say JTTI?

Postby solitude » Feb 24th, '11, 04:23

Chip, there will be always arguments agianst, so best think to do will be to try a few round of JTTI, paid or however you call it, and then we will see how does it go.
BTW, I still dont get the point why is this idea not good, who dont like it, should not participate.
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Re: OTTI Think Tank 1: You say OTTI, I say JTTI?

Postby puerhking » Feb 24th, '11, 13:06

Seems like the only people concerned about this don't participate in the OTTI's. Given the amount of work Chip does on them, I think he should call them whatever he likes.
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Re: OTTI Think Tank 1: You say OTTI, I say JTTI?

Postby debunix » Feb 24th, '11, 13:33

The name doesn't matter to me. I enjoy the opportunity to participate in tastings because I get to try some new teas I might otherwise never discover on my own, and can save time and money avoiding some that I really don't care for.....although some of the ones I discover do turn out to cost me a fair bit of time and money to keep stocked ever after!

I am ok with some paid tastings for higher cost teas. The label (fancyTeasOTTI or paidOTTI or Un-OTTI or TCgroup-buy etc) is less important than the teas and the timing.

There is no perfect way to pick which teas and which vendors, and if a vendor is unhappy about being left out of a paid or unpaid selection, they can always volunteer for the next round.
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Re: OTTI Think Tank 1: You say OTTI, I say JTTI?

Postby MarshalN » Feb 24th, '11, 14:06

puerhking wrote:Seems like the only people concerned about this don't participate in the OTTI's. Given the amount of work Chip does on them, I think he should call them whatever he likes.


Not to be snarky, but since spots have been limited, I'd much rather have people who don't otherwise get a chance to try some of these things (the two puerh OTTIs, for example, or the white tea or the oolong ones) instead of someone like me hogging a spot that can be more beneficial for others. Since I don't drink sencha, there's no point in those either, but I have already expressed an interest in the gyokuro one.

So, and I'm just speaking for myself here, just because I don't participate directly doesn't mean I don't take an interest as a forum member.
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Re: OTTI Think Tank 1: You say OTTI, I say JTTI?

Postby debunix » Feb 24th, '11, 23:22

I'm still trying to decide whether to try to join a premium gyokuro tasting. I have enjoyed some gyokuros, but mostly prefer less umami and the lightness of the asamushi to fukamushi senchas: would super premium gyokuros convert me or be wasted on my sadly limited palate?
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Re: OTTI Think Tank 1: You say OTTI, I say JTTI?

Postby Chip » Feb 25th, '11, 00:57

Thank you all for your comments! :mrgreen:

debunix wrote:I'm still trying to decide whether to try to join a premium gyokuro tasting. I have enjoyed some gyokuros, but mostly prefer less umami and the lightness of the asamushi to fukamushi senchas: would super premium gyokuros convert me or be wasted on my sadly limited palate?

I think you would like this level much more so than a 30 USD per 100 gram gyokuro. This is a rare treat. However I cannot speak too much on the flavor profiles since I have only had 1 gyokuro in this price point, though it will be included in the first gyokuro OTTI.

Each level I move up or down in the gyokuro price scale is remarkably different. In my experience, there is proportional value added for each increment increase in price up to and including this price point. This is not so for many types of teas.
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Re: OTTI Think Tank 1: You say OTTI, I say JTTI?

Postby Chip » Mar 23rd, '11, 14:34

BTW, the whole tragedy in Japan has delayed the Gyokuro OTTI series. Hopefully we will be back on track again in another week or so ... hopefully.

I think what I will do is post vendor/product suggestion topics under the appropriate Forums. For this Gyokuro OTTI series, I will post under Green Tea. I have always been very open to suggestions on vendors and specific selections. This will be a bit more proactive in this regard. :mrgreen:

So, look for this topic under Green Tea shortly. Thanks.
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