How much do other tea reviews influence your review?
I was curious, Steepsters. When you go to write a review for a tea, do you read what other people have to say first? Or do you wait until afterward so that your review is not affected? Or, do you not read other’s review of your tea at all?
Personally, I find that before I write a tasting note or review, it’s helpful to read what other people have to say because they can help me articulate some things in the tea that I may have trouble discerning – like flavor notes or other tea characteristics.
I like to write mine first and then go through the reviews to see if there’s anything that I might have missed. I’d like to say that reviews that I’ve read in the past don’t influence how I rate a tea but I’m sure that they have some bearing. Also, I’m fairly certain that even the NAMES of some teas have changed my perception on how much I enjoy them! Not exactly scientific… but I’m doing my best to rate the in a non-biased way and, hey, it’s super fun :)
I write, then read, and add extra “edit’s” to the bottom.
I tend to read before I purchase, but not before I write. Unless I can’t think of a term I’m looking for.
only thing that may influence my review is a change of terminology, if someone has a better/more descriptive word i may replace one of my adjectives with it. i may also reference other reviews to disagree/agree with one of their opinions.
I check reviews just to learn a bit more about tea terminology types of teas I am less familiar with (black,pu erh, yellow) and to get a sense of possible depth/flatness of a tea. regarding herbals though, I am concerned about rooibos and stevia, both of which are necessary for me to avoid, and in all tea I avoid artificial flavors.
I am in the read when considering purchase camp.
Like most, I drink the tea and review prior reading other reviews OR looking for information about the tea. I like to ‘challenge’ myself to find traits and recognize tea (I’ve lost some times lol). I have read some other reviews and said ’THAT’s the word I was looking for’. But the review is entirely what I found.
However, a review can help me incline to try a new tea vs trying to completely avoid it. Given, I trust the review is unbiased.
I attempt to write before I read as well, but occasionally I will come across some reviews that mention something that I had not thought of before and will add that to my review.
I try very hard not to read about a tea (including company descriptions and/or tasting notes) before I brew it or sip it, so that I can formulate my opinion about it without the influence of other opinions. However, this has occasionally come back to bite me in the butt because I learn that I might have benefited from a different brew time, etc. But for the most part, my method works for me.
After I’ve written my reviews and/or tasting notes, I then peruse the other tasting notes on a tea to see what others have thought of it, and sometimes, I go back and edit my notes, not because I want to change my thoughts on the tea but only to maybe indicate something like “others have given this tea a low rating but I liked it” or something along that line. Just to acknowledge that I am aware of what others thought too.
I will say though, that tea reviews often influence to me want to try teas that I’ve not yet tried!
When I’m drinking the tea I will go and read reviews while I’m sipping, especially when I’m tasting something in the tea but having a hard time figuring out what the flavor note is. Otherwise I tend to read the reviews after I’ve posted my own.
I try not to look at other posts when I’m writing one. When I’ve posted, I’ll generally go have a look and see if anybody looked like they agreed with me and marvel at the way two people can experience the same thing in different ways.
It’s exactly for this reason that I try to avoid looking. I don’t want to put ideas in my own head. If somebody for example writes about having found notes of, say, pineapple, I will invariably sit here and try to find them as well. And if I then DO find them, I can never quite be certain that I really did find them or if I just interpreted something as pineapple because the idea of pineapple was planted in my brain.
If I’m absolutely stumped for something to say, I might sometimes look for some inspiration, but I find that rarely really works.