Should Tea Companies rate their own Teas?

49 Replies
Dan said

I really don’t pay much attention to ratings as I like to read what the taster has to say. Rating a tea at 100 and just saying I love this tea absolutely does nothing for me. I follow a select few here on steepster that have much the same tastes as I have and a few others that I just love reading their notes. I read a lot and really don’t say much most of the time. I don’t mind retailers rating their own tea and I think I am smart enough to notice when a rating is out of line. When you are really sincere about the teas it really comes through in the tasting notes. I buy from companies that I can trust and have given me great service in the past. If I’m not sure about a company, I’ll ask someone here on steepster who I trust. I really love this site and want it to grow and it can only grow with the help of everyone.

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Dorothy said

Wow, just wow. Its times like this when I really feel that tea ratings don’t actually help me at all. The best information is always in the actual tea review of course, but I would like to have some faith in what numbers people pick. Unfortunately I don’t look at the numbers anymore. I just see if they hate it, like it, or really really liked it.

What makes a tea a 100? or a 75 instead of 74 or 76? Why wouldn’t every tea company want to rate their teas a 100! Which again brings me back to why I am starting to totally disregard the ratings. It just doesn’t mean anything. I have no idea what 100 means anymore. Is this the best tea in the world? Is this someone’s favorite type of tea? Does this person have very low or high expectations when it comes to tea?

I really appreciate seeing these topics crop up. It gives me a lot to think about when I use Steepster.

Cofftea said

I agree DMTea… people’s tastes in tea are SO varied that scores based on “hate, like, love” are pretty pointless (in my opinion)… proof is there’ve been several teas w/ low scores I love and others w/ high scores that I don’t. That’s personally why I rate on accuracy of flavor. I can’t tell a person if they’ll like a tea or not- but I can, will, and do, my best to describe what it tastes like so they can try to make a judgement to fit their own tastes just by reading a tasting note (although that doesn’t work 100% either lol).

Marcus said

Rating are tough. This is why he winner of American Idol rarely is the “best” singer.

For a tea example, I could find a 40 year old aged pu-erh that was reserved for the leaders of China, sell it and it most likely wouldn’t crack an 80 on steepster. Some people just don’t like pu-erh.

This is the tough part about rating different varietals against each other. It is heavily biased toward oolongs and other universally liked teas.

Now if steepster could have divisions within it based on the major varietals,I think we would get a more accurate ranking. But I know that is a ton of work for Jason and crew to do.

Jason admin said

That totally makes sense and is why we made Steepster the way it is. At it’s core, Steepster is focused on creating relationships between tea drinkers and helping people understand another user’s tastes on a level more detailed than a random, impersonal rating or review. We encourage people to follow each other to gain this understanding so they know what a review/rating from a person actually means a how it applies to their own tastes.

At the same time, we also try to make it flexible for those who aren’t looking for a totally in depth review experience and are just trying to find something quickly based on general sentiment towards a tea. That’s why we have the ratings and why you can see reviews on the tea page for people you’re not following.

People drink tea for different reasons and they look for tea in different ways, hopefully we’re helpful to both without be inefficient in either case.

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