In order for OTTI to continue ...


"Official Tea Tasting Initiative" Teas shared & discussed.

Re: In order for OTTI to continue ...

Postby SilentChaos » Sep 19th, '12, 12:34

:roll: *just jingling by two cents worth. Is there a particular reason that there must be a rating system aside from the reviews themselves? If yes, would something short and sweet like an index of personal preference for the tea type in question to accompany the score help? .......like my jealousy index of 10 out of 5 for the tenryu I did not get to drink. :cry:
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Re: In order for OTTI to continue ...

Postby Chip » Sep 19th, '12, 12:38

... I did want to say this however, some like to throw the "censorship" word around pretty freely ... that I am trying to censor members. I have been Moderator of TeaChat long enough to know where that line is.

I am posting this topic so we can discuss this issue openly ... sans censor. 8) And part of this discussion is talking about the realities of OTTI so everyone who wants to be aware, can be aware. Transparent if you will ...

Like I said earlier, it would be one thing if I simply went out and purchased the teas at retail without any indication of what I am doing with them. Of course the tastings would cost much more.

But also, I am trying to be very open and honest with vendors as part of a program to help develop relationships with vendors.

TBH, there is a degree of aiding the tea industry, tastings are mutually beneficial. This is a fundamental in my OTTI philosophy.
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Re: In order for OTTI to continue ...

Postby RoseWood » Sep 19th, '12, 22:27

Edited[url][/url]
Last edited by RoseWood on Sep 24th, '12, 20:27, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: In order for OTTI to continue ...

Postby RoseWood » Sep 19th, '12, 22:46

edited
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Re: In order for OTTI to continue ...

Postby FlyedPiper » Sep 20th, '12, 00:35

I don't think the rating system is bad in and of itself, although as you said, Chip, some degree of tact is in order... ie "not really my thing" as opposed to "worst excuse for a dirty dishwater yancha (or whatever) I've ever tried".

I think companies would still want to participate... seeing as how we are a fairly large community here and many sales would be generated. I'm currently waiting on a $45 order to mountain teas myself :mrgreen: .

I think a more forgiving scale might be good, as I gave one tea a 2.5 out of 5 where as I might have gave it a 6.5 or 7 out of 10 on a 1 to 10 scale... it looks and feels less harsh, and is more accurate.

I also agree the reviews should be ranked on a cost vs quality scale and that even if it's a style of tea you don't care for that should be put aside for the review or the reviewer should decline to review that particular tea due to a bias.

I personally find that sharing teas (both in my personal circle- friends that come over and the Kzoo tea meetup :wink: and with my friends here on TeaChat) to be the most gratifying aspect to drinking tea. It would be a shame to see the wonderful opportunity to try different teas with the OTTI to go belly up because of tea snobbery.

Just my $0.02
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Re: In order for OTTI to continue ...

Postby Xell » Sep 20th, '12, 00:56

Just share a bit of what i thought, especially since participated from "the other side" of OTTI :)

Chip mentioned about comparing teas in totally different price range. And i think this is quite important point that is missing in most reviews. I don't think everyone can afford best of the best without considering price at all. Basically now feels like if someone wants to participate with their teas, they better send only best offering available.

And second part what i also think is important is sharing a little about your tea experience background. For example when two people try same sencha, but one was long time japanese tea drinker and one was mostly oolong drinker their reviews will certainly be really different. Without mentioning background they can become quite confusing. And if mention, then people with same preference can understand more .
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Re: In order for OTTI to continue ...

Postby Stentor » Sep 20th, '12, 07:28

Xell wrote:And second part what i also think is important is sharing a little about your tea experience background. For example when two people try same sencha, but one was long time japanese tea drinker and one was mostly oolong drinker their reviews will certainly be really different. Without mentioning background they can become quite confusing. And if mention, then people with same preference can understand more .


Very good point.

Also, I know that OTTIs are generally open for everyone and anyone and that's great for new members. However, I think that in order to be able to participate in an OTTI, you should have been an active member before and specifically, I think you should have discussed teas on several occasions before, be it on TeaDays or the "What X are you currently drinking?" threads.

I don't think that people with 1 post should be allowed to participate in an OTTI (or a teaware SO for that matter).

And please don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that OTTIs should only be available to a small elite group of active long time members (and I probably wouldn't count myself toward that group). I'm just trying to say that in order for the OTTI to be successful, the quality of the discussion should be in the focus.
There should be sufficient reason to believe that a member applying for an OTTI spot
a) appears to be somewhat experienced with brewing tea (This doesn't necessarily have to be the kind of tea that's being tasted. Tasting is also about trying new stuff.) and
b) has talked about the teas they have had in the past.
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Re: In order for OTTI to continue ...

Postby hopeofdawn » Sep 20th, '12, 11:13

Stentor wrote:Also, I know that OTTIs are generally open for everyone and anyone and that's great for new members. However, I think that in order to be able to participate in an OTTI, you should have been an active member before and specifically, I think you should have discussed teas on several occasions before, be it on TeaDays or the "What X are you currently drinking?" threads.

I don't think that people with 1 post should be allowed to participate in an OTTI (or a teaware SO for that matter).


I would actually disagree--I participate in some threads, but very rarely the daily drinking ones, or the tea-discussion ones. Mostly because I'm often drinking the same thing on consecutive mornings, which I can't imagine is that terribly interesting to read, and also because *I* don't find those threads interesting, myself. I also think the OTTI is a great way to expand new members' horizons, which would be eliminated if you put the 'so many posts before you participate' barrier up. I think brewing guidelines that are already given are sufficient to start someone with unfamiliar teas, though a note from the reviewer about their personal preferences going in--for instance, I don't drink a lot of Japanese greens/astringent greens as a rule, so my reviews of the recent sencha OTTI were probably a bit more critical than those who love and seek them out--just so other people know where they're coming from.
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Re: In order for OTTI to continue ...

Postby AaronF » Sep 20th, '12, 21:57

I agree with hopeofdawn. A lack of previous posts doesn't mean they won't have palates sophisticated enough for your consideration, and a plethora of previous posts doesn't mean they will. The merits of the tasters should be evident in their post.
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Re: In order for OTTI to continue ...

Postby Xell » Sep 20th, '12, 23:39

Point was not in restricting, just to provide background to understand reviews better. Not like if a member has many posts he will for sure write reviews or participate in discussion at all. So imo even one introduction post should be enough :)
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Re: In order for OTTI to continue ...

Postby Stentor » Sep 21st, '12, 04:37

I just think it helps to have a little something to go on before trusting somebody to give back to this community by participating in an OTTI properly.

I'm not saying a certain number of posts automatically make you great at brewing/tasting tea or that you even need to be great at brewing/tasting tea for that matter. Like I said, I don't want to restrict this to an eilte group at all.
It's more of a personality thing.
To me, it is proper to introduce yourself before eating off of somebody else's table. That's all I mean.
And as a host, it's a good idea to know a person a little before inviting them to a family dinner.

I think we don't disagree too much on this. Someone should give their background as far as tea is concerned. The only little additional thing I'm asking is that someone has made some sort of effort to become part of the community that is TeaChat. This can be done with an introduction and saying what teas you like to drink, are currently drinking etc.
This should not be a large obstacle to overcome.
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Re: In order for OTTI to continue ...

Postby dzrogers » Sep 21st, '12, 09:07

You want the OTTIs to be limited to active TeaChat members. I, honestly, thought they were already. Makes perfect sense to me, and it doesn't seem very restrictive at all.
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Re: In order for OTTI to continue ...

Postby AaronF » Sep 21st, '12, 20:43

In that case we are in agreement. I apologize if I misunderstood.
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Re: In order for OTTI to continue ...

Postby SilentChaos » Sep 21st, '12, 21:54

Hear hear.
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Re: In order for OTTI to continue ...

Postby edkrueger » Sep 21st, '12, 22:06

I have been going to the doctors a lot recently. They seems to ask for pain level on a scale from 1 to 10. In the abstract, this is, I think, a pretty stupid question. What the average? What is the distribution?

In my personal rankings, I have been ranking from 1-10 with the idea that if I rated all similar tea it would average a 5 and have a standard distribution of around 2.

But, I realized that percentile ranking might make a lot more sense: forget about means and distributions and just write what percent of similar teas you think are worse than the current tea.
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