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Tipster said

Some interesting tea rating logs I was able to uncover...

Draw your own conclusions, but look at the disparity between the highest rated teas (all from the same company) and the lowest rated teas.

These are the ones I COULD find (and not very easily, I might add.

Jason, I believe it is time to lift the curtain on who is rating what teas, whether they write a tasting note or not. I know some people are going to think this is much ado about nothing, but it is important to those of us who want to remain honest and transparent and not game the system.

Interesting tea logs:

http://steepster.com/HollywoodTea/teas?sort=rating

http://steepster.com/AmericanTeaRoom/teas?sort=rating

http://steepster.com/Fit2aTee/teas?sort=rating

http://steepster.com/tealicious/teas?sort=rating

17 Replies
Tipster said

Incidentally, all of the lower rated teas in these logs were once at or near the top of the list of highest rated teas, in places that are now held by American Tea Room teas.

Meghann M said

I noticed that too, about the lower rated teas. Imagine that. I forgot you could look at tea ratings. Thanks for pointing this out.

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Jillian said

*snort * Because that’s not suspicious at all.

It make tea companies look so scummy when they pull crap like this. It pretty much guarantees that I’ll avoid them like the plague – for one thing if they try cheating the system here, how do I know they won’t cheat their customers aswell?

Pathetic.

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Beckara said

Interestingly enough, it seems that the teas they’re rating lowly are teas that have otherwise high ratings. It’s frustrating because I do select teas and companies on here based on other people’s opinions. Mind you, I do pay more attention to comments and written reviews than just the ratings (as, you know, what someone dislikes about a tea might be exactly what I’m looking for as a matter of taste) still. I feel like I have to be more careful, and that’s just not cool.

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AJ said

This disgusts me.

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Dorothy said

I want to find this news upsetting but it doesn’t surprise me at all. This is why writing a tea review is so helpful. You gain an insight into why they rated that tea a certain number. Because how else could a Milk Oolong get a 34?! This is a sad day indeed when a) Milk Oolong tastes so awful it deserves a 34. b) Someone can’t handle how incredibly awesome Milk Oolong is and lowered the score omg!

Without a review you have no idea and just looking at the numbers you start to wonder. The first thing I thought was, are they trying to fool the system? Secondly, I thought that they tried the low scored teas and didn’t like them. Lastly I entertained the idea that rabid tea fans (yeah, haha), want to have their company push ahead.

The temptation to make more money, by inflating your tea scores is difficult to resist. Users find this detestable but some companies see no wrong. They don’t want to rate their tea any less than a 100, because that would suggest that maybe they are not selling a good product.
This has been mentioned before in the other threads where companies were accused of boosting their own ratings. So I thought I’d bring that up here too. Its hard to say when you see these ratings, what the intentions were. (Thanks for not writing anything to give us an idea!)

By the way, thanks Tipster for this thread. You totally should have named this TeaLeaks (SteepsterLeaks?) though. ;) I just noticed that you have not rated any teas. So I am going to assume you had to post this information under a different name to not receive any backlash. hugs Thanks again for bringing these questionable Steepster ratings to light. :D

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Unbelievable & Disgusting

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Mel said

That’s pretty obvious who’s doing it. And they can be sure I won’t do business with them! Very cunning and egotistical of them. I appreciate the info, and will use it when I buy tea next time.

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Jaime said

What I don’t understand is how you can rate a tea, but never log that you drank it. How is that even possible?

Dorothy said

You know when you go to add a tasting note? Its the same process except you only rate tea and save the note. You don’t actually have to write anything.

edit: My bad, here is how you do it. Its the same as above, but when you go to edit that rating (as a note, so you can write more), delete it! You can still rate the tea on the tea rating section and it will show up as logged 0 times.

Jaime said

Well, see, I tried that method on a tea I’ve never had, just to see if I could come up with those results: a rating but having logged the tea 0 times. I couldn’t get it to say anything but “logged 1 times”. Perhaps I’m not nefarious enough to figure it out…

And, yes, I deleted that note/log/rating, so I didn’t skew the poor tea I was experimenting with.

ETA: Ah, now I get it. Delete it after you’ve rated…now that’s really trying to be sneaky.

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Dorothy said

Oh, and here are the two most recent threads with companies inflating their ratings. One of them being American Tea Room, which was linked to in this post:

http://steepster.com/discuss/1195-should-tea-companies-rate-their-own-teas

http://steepster.com/discuss/1070-fake-ratings

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Jason admin said

FYI, I am going to lock this until I have a chance to respond/investigate further. I’ll be responding shortly.

UPDATE: see the next page for my response.

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