To rate or not to rate?

I’m new here, (hi!) and I’m wondering whether I should be giving numerical ratings or not?

23 Replies
SimplyJenW said

I think numbering systems are very subjective. We all have our ways of rating, and usually they are not the same across the board. Some rate harshly, some rate generously. Some are experts on a particular tea, while some don’t really know what constitutes a good version. I do put a numerical rating on ones that I feel fairly certain of the quality, and others I refrain from rating because I am a total newbie to that type, or it is just a tea that does not appeal at all and is out of the range that I normally drink. I tend to take the rating into consideration, but if I am really interested in the tea, I would rather read what you have to say about it, as well as have some idea of the frequency that you drink it (I will put more stock in your review if you have written about that tea more than once.)

I say go with it, if you are comfortable. It has been an evolving process for most of us.


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Thanks for the advice, that was really helpful. It seems fair to only numerically rate the teas that you feel most knowledgeable on. The world of tea is overwhelming when you’re just first sticking your toes into the water. I’m just a bit apprehensive to speak my thoughts yet, and I have a problem of being overly critical of myself and what I put out there, so just writing reviews is a huge step for me. But you’ve got to start somewhere.

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I’d say go ahead and rate.

Also, remember that you can adjust a rating later after you have tried that tea more and either get a better grip on that one or have learned more about its type.

My only suggestion would be to rate consistently, however you choose to rate: by pure “yum” factor, by your judge of quality, a mix of both, whatever works for you. That way, if someone is following you then they can get to know what an 82 or 75 or a 3 means on YOUR scale.

Because everyone rates their own way, and everyone’s tastebuds are their own, you’ll never avoid the fact that you may rate something 90 and the next person 9. Or vice versa.

So go ahead and rate. Everyone’s tastes grow and shift over the months and years, so you won’t be alone in that.

Cofftea said

Agreed. Consistency is key. Also remember if you change the rating, it’s changed for your entire perspective on the tea. Each tasting note does not get it’s own individual score. Another one of my pet peeves, but I digress.

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Thanks for the feedback and encouragement.
I was wondering if I should rate a tea the first time I try it or if I should wait until I have more experience with that tea. I love the fact that I can go back and adjust my rating. I was trying to decide what tea companies and other tea lovers would most appreciate, and if it were my company or if I was wanting to find out opinions of a certain tea, I’d like people rating their first impressions because I think those are just as important as your opinion after you’ve had the tea several times.

Uniquity said

I rate most teas the first time I try them and historically adjust the rating (often down) on repeat trys. I fall in love with a tea easily but a lasting relationship is hard to maintain. I used to log every cup I made, but I now only log extra special cups or new teas. I think most systems change eventually and hopefully you will find the one that works for you. I think of my Steepster log as more for myself than others, so I tend to emphasize my experience as opposed to ‘impartial’ facts about the tea.

“I fall in love with a tea easily but a lasting relationship is hard to maintain.” That rings true for me a lot of the time. But then sometimes a tea will end up sort of growing on me after several cups.
I started this initially just for myself, to organize and keep track of all the different teas I’m constantly trying, but I’ve realized how helpful and educational other people’s opinions can be, so I want to try to contribute to the community as well.

Cofftea said

First impressions only come once. Don’t miss out on that. If you feel the need to adjust your rating later, so be it. But I think first impressions are extremely important.

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Hello ashley and welcome to tea addicts anonymous we are here to support and further your addiction. As you can already tell there are a plethora of contrasting opinions about, well just about everything. So I’d say go with your gut, make steepster useful for you, no one will criticize you, and if they do plenty of people will rally to support.

The wonderful thing about ratings is the more people that post them the more accurate they become.

Ha. If there were meetings I’d be there.
Seattle, that’s where I’m headed to once I recover from my recent surgeries. Never been, but I have a few friends there that have convinced me it’s the place to be.

Well best wishes on a speedy recovery and an uneventful move. I’m going to have to concur, Seattle is the place to be, while it may rain on a consistent basis I like to look at it as perfect tea weather.

Seattle has an amazing tea community, when you get settled in I can send you a list of the best places to go. If your going to be here in Oct you’ll be in time for a fabulous tea festival.

Thank you. I got hit with kidney stones for the second time in four years but this time a lot of complications from such arose. Then some doctors about killed me and now I’m recovering from a lot more than just kidney stones. Sigh.
That would be much appreciated, and oh goodness, I hope I’m in time for the festival. I am definitely going to love this place.

Cofftea said

RE: “Hello ashley and welcome to tea addicts anonymous we are here to support and further your addiction.” …so true! LOL.

Prayers for a speedy recovery (there’s gotta be a tea for kidney stones…). I’m so jealous. Seattle IS a wonderful city. I’ve been trying to move there for the past 5 years but nothing has panned out yet.

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Dinosara said

One thing I found helpful was actually writing down my rating scale and what it means to me. After seeing a few people do it in their bios, I decided to put mine there too. It serves a dual purpose: it lets people reading my review and looking at my rating understand what that rating means, and it reminds me of what my ratings mean (because I honestly forget after a while).

That’s a really good idea. I’ll have to put some thought into what exactly I base my ratings on.

Cofftea said

Would definitely ditto this idea as well.

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Dorothy said

If you’re not comfortable rating teas (or don’t like the rating scale), just let your tea review speak for itself. :)

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Cofftea said

It’s up to you. Yes, ratings are subjective, but I still find the rating and the reason behind it as listed in the tasting note very useful. If you’re looking for a perspective to rate from, try doing what I do and rate objectively (this tea is vs. I like or do not like this tea). No matter what the rational used in rating (subjective vs. objective) or if I agree with it or not, I find myself needing a rating. I’ve often commented “Well, what number would you give it?” to a tasting note that does not have one… it’s just something that bugs me lol. In fact, a good friend of mine here a while a go decided, because of her opinion that the ratings are so subjective, she chose to stop rating. I loved her tasting notes, but after a few I could not get over the fact that they weren’t rated and eventually I unfollowed her. I still think she’s a great person and love reading her opinions, but it was just something I couldn’t get over.

I’m the same way!! if someone fails to rate, it just bugs me. Not sure why…
It also niggles at my tea-rating conscience when I see ratings that aren’t consistent, partially because I know that I am guilty of the same, unintentionally!

Cofftea said

To each his own, but I’m glad someone else is bugged by this and I’m not the only one lol. :)

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I almost always rate my teas, unless I feel that the circumstances were unfair. (bad water, oversteeeped, water too hot/cold etc)
Being more consistent is a goal of mine as well, because I find my mood changes my perception quite a bit. If I have the wrong tea for a particular moment, it can make or break it for me.

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Best wishes in recovering quickly! I’m sorry to hear about your Kidney stones, Iwatched my Mum go through that and I would not wish that on anyone

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