Steepster is an online tea community where people can keep a tea journal (or ‘tealog’) and share ratings, reviews and tasting notes for the teas they’re drinking. By following others on the site, Steepster members can see what they’re friends are drinking and in the process, discover new teas through people they trust.
- Launched in March 2009 by Disrupto, a team of three friends working in New York City.
- Steepster is the largest community-edited database of teas on the Web, currently with 109323 ratings and 161711 tasting notes for 36828 teas from 4306 companies.
- Steepster Select is monthly subscription service for premium loose-leaf teas.
- Steepster users have used the site’s features to organize tea swaps, and there is currently a Traveling Tea Box making its way across numerous countries, U.S. states and Canadian provinces.
- At the end of 2009, Steepster ran the Ultimate Holiday Tea Gift Contest, giving away over $850 worth of teas and teaware to one lucky winner drawn from over 1000 entries.
We Come From the Internets
Jack Cheng has worked as a freelance web designer and advertising copywriter. He also writes essays about design and technology on his personal site, jackcheng.com.
Jason Roos has worked as a product manager for Web applications at an Internet company. He also tries (unsuccessfully) to keep his dog Dexter Bebop from chewing through various electronics.
Mike Potter has worked as a freelance developer and former Director of Innovation and Product Development at an Internet company. He can also ride a unicycle (although, he prefers walking).
A Brief History of Steepster
June 2008Having given up coffee, Jack gets more interested in tea. He looks for an easy way to keep track of the teas he's drinking but can't find it. He thinks about building one himself. Prev Next
December 2008Jack and Mike meet for the first time at Amai Tea and Bake House (now closed, sadly) to talk about the projects they're working on. They have good tea and conversation. Prev Next
January 2009Jack and Mike meet again, this time at Subtle Tea. Mike brings Jason along and the three of them decide then and there to put their complementary skills together and build out Steepster. Prev Next
January–March 2009The team works out of their apartments and from various tea cafes around New York, including Radiance Tea & Books, Tea Spot and Sanctuary T. The first version of Steepster launches in March. Prev Next
- The Web and new technology is going to accelerate the pace of modern life at an exponential rate.
- Tea, along with its simplicity, rituals and inherent slowness provides a much-needed contrast to the speed of life.
- By tracking something, writing it down and telling other people about it, you gain a greater understanding of your own habits and tastes.
- The best way to help beginners learn about tea is to connect them with experts. It's about the people, even moreso than the product.
- A tea drinker is a tea drinker, no matter what kind of tea they drink.
- A coffee drinker is an aspiring tea drinker ;)
- Recommendations from people you trust beat anonymous reviews any day.
- Understanding another person's background and tastes is an important part of deciding if their recommendation is right for you.
- Go for win-win-win. By connecting tea drinkers with each other and with tea companies,
- Don’t always follow directions. Experiment and figure out what works for you. This applies to both preparing tea and building software.
What People are Saying
"It is a great place to discover new teas, and share your passion of tea."It's All About the Leaf, December 2009
“...a true form of social media. Through keeping a tea-log, it makes it easier for the tea drinker to keep track of what they're enjoying and their feelings about each particular tea... It's a fantastic way to figure out your next tea purchase... a great tool for the tea novice to take with them as they embark on their tea journey... an excellent way to fuse this time-honored drink, community, and ever changing technology in our society."TeaMuse, September 2009
"Steepster is a virtual tea house of sorts with tea reviews, information, and even tea blogs...you can browse teas, read reviews of teas, and learn more information about various types of tea including caffeine content and optimum steeping temperature and times."Lifehacker, August 2009
"...once you get your head around the idea that someone built a social network around tea, it's quite well-executed."Download Squad, August 2009
"...a whole new adventure to many users that will enjoy from discovering something new and stimulating while they get knowledge about different teas and people."Killer Startups, August 2009
"I thought I had found my ultimate tea update crazy-place in Twitter...That was, until I discovered Steepster."Tea in Tech, March 2009