In order for OTTI to continue ...


"Official Tea Tasting Initiative" Teas shared & discussed.

Re: In order for OTTI to continue ...

Postby MarshalN » Sep 24th, '12, 20:56

If a vendor sends in a tea that a number of people consider subpar, how exactly do you propose they should criticize it in a "tactful" manner, Chip?

What if that person then goes out and buys another sample of the same tea, and then proceed to trash it?

The point is, if the vendor, knowing what this is, sends in a tea that is nevertheless inferior, then why are people not allowed to criticize it for its awfulness?

I do agree that if you compare A with B, where B costs way more (and is better) then it's not really fair. Although, that does put the tea in perspective, and anyone with half a brain should be able to figure that out. Maybe rules about "if you compare OTTI teas with others, please list the unit price for the other tea you're comparing again" will be fair. I fail to see how avoiding negative criticism is helpful in any way, shape, or form.

Alternatively, just have people pay a bit more money and buy the samples instead of having them being near free. Some OTTIs in the past have done that anyway.
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Re: In order for OTTI to continue ...

Postby Chip » Sep 25th, '12, 09:14

I am listening ... thank you for the comments and suggestions.
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Re: In order for OTTI to continue ...

Postby Aeovis » Apr 9th, '14, 02:37

MarshalN wrote:If a vendor sends in a tea that a number of people consider subpar, how exactly do you propose they should criticize it in a "tactful" manner, Chip?

What if that person then goes out and buys another sample of the same tea, and then proceed to trash it?

The point is, if the vendor, knowing what this is, sends in a tea that is nevertheless inferior, then why are people not allowed to criticize it for its awfulness?

I do agree that if you compare A with B, where B costs way more (and is better) then it's not really fair. Although, that does put the tea in perspective, and anyone with half a brain should be able to figure that out. Maybe rules about "if you compare OTTI teas with others, please list the unit price for the other tea you're comparing again" will be fair. I fail to see how avoiding negative criticism is helpful in any way, shape, or form.

Alternatively, just have people pay a bit more money and buy the samples instead of having them being near free. Some OTTIs in the past have done that anyway.


I've been looking over the OTTI and NOTTI threads and, depending on the range I'd gladly pay the extra to participate in an OTTI.

That said, I think the relationships the OTTIs build with vendors, when treated with tact and civility, would be just as valuable as the experience of trying the tea.

"Constructive criticism" does not mean "no criticism". It means presenting the points you did like with the points you didn't in a way that illustrates its overall value, as well as building the idea that your review is meant to inform ways to improve what you're reviewing. With tea, it is true that it is a very finished product, they can't exactly go back and change it. This doesn't mean that, as tea growers/processors, they can't apply critiques to small changes in how they handle the next crop. Not to mention that factors that you disliked may be factors someone reading would enjoy-- such as the smokiness of a Lapsang or the more vegetal taste of a Japanese green. If you illustrate the taste, and THEN your feelings about it, it is much more civil while providing information to those it would interest.

Basically: Anything drinkable is bound to have positive points. Share the positive along with the negative, and be polite.

I think I can do that; from what I've read browsing the site, the majority of users probably could, too.
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Re: In order for OTTI to continue ...

Postby Aeovis » Apr 9th, '14, 03:14

..I did not realize how old the last posts were.

So, looking around at the dates on things, is OTTI no more?
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Re: In order for OTTI to continue ...

Postby MacGuffin » Apr 12th, '14, 09:17

MarshalN wrote:The point is, if the vendor, knowing what this is, sends in a tea that is nevertheless inferior, then why are people not allowed to criticize it for its awfulness?

I'm not sure I understand. Idiosyncrasies of personal tastes aside, why would a vendor (who, one assumes, is familiar with the quality of his wares) knowingly submit a sub-par product to the scrutiny of tasters who know at least a little something of quality tea? And BTW, I do think one can criticize awfulness and resist the urge to belabor the point.
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Re: In order for OTTI to continue ...

Postby Hannah » Apr 14th, '14, 18:15

Vendors might assume that people here would not know quality tea from inferior.. Or just not care.. Digging their own grave..
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