Tough Tea Crowd?

For general/other topics related to tea.

Tough Tea Crowd? 5 votes, 1 per question.

Question 1, yes
Question 1, no
Question 2, yes
Question 2, no
Question 3, yes
Question 3, no
Question 4, yes
Question 4, no
Question 5, yes
Question 5, no
Total votes: 61

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Jul 29th 12 4:42 pm
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Tough Tea Crowd?

by Chip » Jul 29th 12 4:42 pm

A multi faceted question ... while I have been pondering these things for years, recently looking at the Adagio site and noticing a 95% "like" rating for a $6 tea made me want to ask a few questions.

Keep in mind, these questions are not pointed in anyone's direction, but my general experience in the areas below and noticing major differences caused me to introspect my own activity as well.

1) In general, are TCers tougher in reviews of vendors and teas?

2) In general, are you tougher in reviews of vendors and teas on TeaChat?

3) In general, are reviews on vendor sites somewhat ... dubious, padded, rigged, notorious, etc. "Softer?"

4) In general, if you ever review on a vendor's related site, are your reviews "softer?"

5) In general, what about other sites offering reviews, etc. For instance Steepster? Tough Tea Crowds?

... I think I will address ebay feedback in another topic. 8)

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Jul 29th 12 5:09 pm
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Re: Tough Tea Crowd?

by AdamMY » Jul 29th 12 5:09 pm

One thing that needs to be kept in mind, if someone has only drank generic teabags their entire life, then all of a sudden have a loose leaf tea that most of us that have constantly been seeking out better and better teas might just seem passable. But if it's their first tea they have ever had that that is better than the generic teabags they are used to drinking, they might give it an outstandingly high score.

What would be interesting is if they continued to explore and try more and more teas. Is if they would score the same/ similar tea as high several years later.

I know from personal experience, that when I was newer to teas and just getting into yancha I ordered a bunch of Samples form Jing Tea Shop, and I remembered liking them quite a bit. But I kept on exploring other yancha, and I went back to Jing Tea Shop and the yancha I got several years later didn't really seem special at all.

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Jul 29th 12 5:45 pm
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Re: Tough Tea Crowd?

by TIM » Jul 29th 12 5:45 pm

I think most of us are more honest and tough here, because other site IMO have only causal tea drinker without any good experiences in deeper meaning of tea. Just my honest 'harder' thought. ~ Toki

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Re: Tough Tea Crowd?

by Chip » Jul 29th 12 7:07 pm

Though still early, predictable voting so far ... except perhaps question 5.

Question 1, definitely YES.

Question 2, yes with a caveat ... to a degree. If at first I do not succeed with a tea, I try try again. I will never give a negative review based upon a single tasting.

If available I will see what others are saying, look for some pointers, and try to improve my results. I may contact the vendor for assistance, and their response (or lack thereof) will speak volumes to me.

I do try to focus more on positives, however. Rarely will I post a negative review, but when I do ... I can be quite emphatic.

Question 3, definitely yes. I have read posters here and on other forums state that a negative review was not posted and in the end, the admin would not post it even after discussion. So, reviews on sites may serve a purpose for newer tea drinkers, but I hardly ever look anymore.

Question 4, yes. I may reward a vendor for a good tea offering with a positive review. I have not posted negative reviews on vendor sites (ebay is another matter and will be posted in another topic). First of all, why bother if it will not be posted anyway, and I do not want to burn bridges with vendors who generally have good teas but may offer a stinker ... instead I may contact the vendor and have a discussion.

In addition, I would rather build up a generally good vendor by focusing on the positives versus tear down a not so good vendor by focusing on the negatives.

Question 5, I tend to agree with the current trend in voting. Reviews on other (non vendor related) sites tend to be somewhat softer in comparison to TeaChat.

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Jul 29th 12 8:28 pm
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Re: Tough Tea Crowd?

by debunix » Jul 29th 12 8:28 pm

I really only answered the first question: I think TC members are more into tea as tea, and fewer are just at that "Wow! this is so much better than Lipton teabags!" stage. So I think our reviews are tougher than reviews by people who are at that stage, who I suspect are the majority of tea reviewers on most other tea-related sites--simply because tea is becoming more popular, but still most of what the average person sees at the supermarket is still in bags, and on average lower quality and highly flavored vs the specialty vendor teas that are the focus of most posts on TeaChat.

My own reviews have changed a little--I've gotten a bit tougher--but whether I'm reviewing here or on a vendor site, I try to accentuate the positive. If I really didn't like a tea primarily because it's just not my thing--something to darkly roasted for my taste, or too bitter like a typical c-t-c assam, or more briny than I like in a sencha, I try to emphasize that point in discussing the tea and will usually not post that with any numerical rating on steepster, and probably wouldn't put anything on a vendor site. If I disliked the tea for reasons less related to my bitterphobic palate and more to the quality of the tea, I write that up. But these days I'm not encountering many teas that fit that description, so it doesn't often come up.

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Jul 29th 12 10:31 pm
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Re: Tough Tea Crowd?

by wyardley » Jul 29th 12 10:31 pm

In addition to what others have said here, I think that folks who post reviews directly on a vendor's site will probably be a somewhat self-selecting group -- for example, they may be more committed to that specific vendor, or may have less experience with other vendors.