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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Re: In order for OTTI to continue ...

Postby MacGuffin » Apr 16th, '14, 22:37

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

Surely a vendor would take the very brief amount of time necessary to peruse TeaChat for the purpose of determining who's going to be evaluating their product. And that's not even to say that everyone here knows a lot about tea--we all started somewhere and found our way to various forums and blogs (e.g. I met Chip on the old O-Cha forum) and I daresay we're all still learning. But I find it hard to believe that assuming ignorance, not caring, or digging one's own grave constitutes a working business model (except, perhaps, in the Bizarro World or for "As Seen on TV" products). It just seems highly improbable.
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Re: In order for OTTI to continue ...

Postby sherubtse » Apr 17th, '14, 07:18

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


It's hard to understand the behaviour of vendors at times. Some are great ... and some leave me scratching my head.

Latest example: Several days ago I changed passwords on some of my accounts. I noted that the "My Account" section of one vendor's site was completely non-encrypted. An e-mail was immediately sent suggesting they look into this asap. No response -- no thank you for pointing out a serious error in their site, and no change to the encryption. :shock:

Some vendors really forget about customer service, and will lose my business as a result.

Best wishes,
sherubtse
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Re: In order for OTTI to continue ...

Postby JRS22 » Apr 17th, '14, 08:59

How can you tell that it's unencrypted? I prefer to use paypal for just about any vendor of any size.
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Re: In order for OTTI to continue ...

Postby sherubtse » Apr 17th, '14, 10:18

JRS22 wrote:How can you tell that it's unencrypted? I prefer to use paypal for just about any vendor of any size.


Check the address bar on the top of the browser which gives the URL of the site. Different browers show full encryption slightly differently. I use Chrome, which shows a green closed padlock and "https://" for a fully-encrypted page.

Yes, I use Paypal for payment as well, but an unencrypted account login leaves all kinds of other personal info exposed. And, quite frankly, there is no good reason for such sloppiness on sites.

Best wishes,
sherubtse
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Re: In order for OTTI to continue ...

Postby IzzieBot » Apr 25th, '14, 11:27

I don't know if general suggestions are being taken here, but, I'll throw in my one concern - I hate paypal.

With a mad burning passion, and I know that it's simple and heavily used but I would love alternative payment methods, like google wallet or Venmo.
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Re: In order for OTTI to continue ...

Postby sherubtse » Apr 26th, '14, 06:54

sherubtse wrote:Latest example: Several days ago I changed passwords on some of my accounts. I noted that the "My Account" section of one vendor's site was completely non-encrypted. An e-mail was immediately sent suggesting they look into this asap. No response -- no thank you for pointing out a serious error in their site, and no change to the encryption. :shock:


Eventually I did get a response, and have exchanged e-mails on the topic with the vendor in question. They have changed the login page now to make it fully secure. Great to see that they were (eventually) responsive to my concerns, and willing to do what it takes to secure the personal info of their customers. :mrgreen:

Best wishes,
sherubtse
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