Tea Lovers: Need some help brainstorming...

I was looking into entering some of our teas into the World Tea Championships next May, and well, I starting thinking it would be cool to have a sort of tea drinker’s choice competition like the World Tea Championships. I’m a bit impetuous sometimes, so I went out and registered the domain worldteacup.com and I’m working on getting the site set up now. I have a basic idea how I would like to run it, but I would love your input.

Here’s what I have so far: I would like to invite tea blenders (who craft original teas) to submit their teas to us. We will repackage them in one ounce sample pouches with an identifying code, what type of tea it is and brewing instructions on it. (In other words, the samples would give no indication of brand on them). We will then invite tea drinkers to sign up to judge the samples within certain categories. Potential judges would have to be willing to pay a small shipping charge for each category they choose to judge, but they would get to keep all of the teas they receive, and possibly get some coupon codes from the participating tea merchants. We would provide forms for the judges to fill out on each tea (or maybe a way for them to submit their ratings online). We would post all of the results on the website removing the blind factor after the teas are judged, and award a best in category and overall best.

Need your thoughts on the whole idea, implementation, category ideas, anything else you can think of.

19 Replies
Jason admin said

That sounds like a sweet idea. Let us know if we (Steepster) can help at all. Maybe if you don’t have the reviews on your site, we could host them here. We could create a World Tea Cup company that has all of the custom blends and the judges could submit their reviews through Steepster (the tasting notes are flexible enough that they could include whatever aspects you want them to judge). Then once the results are in we could break out the blends into their corresponding companies so others can see where they actually come from and try them for themselves. Just thinking off the top of my head here…

That’s definitely a thought. Would love to work with Steepster any way we can. Maybe you guys can help me figure out how to build the website (LOL). I was thinking Drupal, but I’ve only worked with Joomla and Wordpress so far. So that could be interesting.

If we let our judges submit their scores here, is there a way to restrict it just to the judges involved? How hard would it be to do that?

Jason admin said

I’ll have to look into that…

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Categories I’m thinking about:

Breakfast Blends,
Fruity Teas,
Chocolate Teas,
Mint Teas,
Classic Iced Teas,
Flavored Green Teas,
Flavored Oolongs,
Flavored White Teas,
Flavored Black Teas,
Dessert Teas.

I think if we could get maybe ten entries for each category, it might totally be worth the $4.95 in shipping costs to each judge to receive and rate the teas in a given category.

Cofftea said

Flavored matcha and savory teas!

Cofftea said

I think chocolate teas should be in w/ the dessert tea category.

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Jason admin said

You could also do things like…

Most unusual combination (but still drinkable)
Flavored Rooibos

That’s the one I forgot that I was thinking of earlier: Novelty. Rooibos or otherwise.

I see now that that was two suggestions, not one. LOL. Yeah. I wonder if we need a separate category for Rooibos and tisanes?

Cofftea said

Yes to separate rooibos/tisane category

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Nobody else has any thoughts on this?

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Cofftea said

Could the reviews be placed in additional places like teareviewblog.com or a person’s own blog? I’m a reviewer on TRV.

I don’t see why not.

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I was thinking maybe we should limit the categories to 12, and do one each month. Thoughts?

Angrboda said

I think that might be best. Otherwise it might get a bit overwhelming for your judges.

Suzi said

Sounds like fun!
(Sorry, didn’t see this thread before today.)

I like the idea of doing it frequently, not just once a year – but would it be too difficult to have a new contest every single month? Between collecting samples, repackaging, getting everything out to the judges, getting the samples drunk up and reviews typed up – it just seems like it would be a very hectic schedule! Maybe every other month would be better?

Well, I think we would have to have some lead time. Like, we should have the teas ready to ship out a couple of months ahead of time, and have the reviews turned in the month before the results. My biggest head-scratch on this will be how I get other tea companies to participate. I know it will be suspicious to them if we are orchestrating the thing, but really, I just want to compete.

Cofftea said

“Like, we should have the teas ready to ship out a couple of months ahead of time”… I’d think you’d want to have the teas packaged as close to the shipping date possible so the tea is at its freshest when it’s reviewed.

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