New to steepster - any suggestions?
My husband has been trying to get me involved with other tea drinkers for years. For this reason, I am excited to become involved.
In order to use this website to its’ full potential, are there any suggestions or tips? Any and all are welcome.
Get involved! LOL respond to threads, ask questions, follow a few people and read reviews… Depends a lot on what you’re looking for here. There are a great bunch of people here who are wonderfully helpful and knowledgeable. :)
There are couple of ways to get started, depending on how you want to use the site.
If you already have some favorite teas, try searching for them and logging a couple of reviews. Don’t worry about giving a rating or setting up your own personal rating system, and don’t worry about making sure you’re review is “good enough” or “long enough” or “accurate enough.” Everyone does it differently here, which is part of the fun. Some people like to log every tea they drink, as they’re drinking it, so that they get a sense of what their favorites or must-haves are. Some people write long reviews and stories about their day, so they’ll only log those teas about which they have something they really want to share. Some people write very complete technical reviews of their teas, both to serve as guides for others who want to replicate their experience, and as notes for themselves. Finally, some people don’t even leave notes, and just rate teas according to their own personal scale for their own reference.
If you find a tea you know well, take a look at who else has logged that tea. If you liked reading their notes, or you learned something from them, you can “like” the note (the little heart) or leave a comment. Or you can just navigate to their user profile to see what else they liked. That will give you an idea of teas you might want to try in the future. (You can add these teas to your shopping list). If you really like they way someone thinks or tastes or writes and you want to “stay tuned” to their future notes, just follow them by hitting the big button at the top of their profile. Their future notes will end up in your dashboard.
I’m sure many others will have good suggestions for how to jump right into the site.
A couple of other ideas:
- Check out the Places tab and see if there are any tea-shops near you that you want to check out. See what others have had to say about them.
- Go to the EXPLORE tab, and see what notes people are logging right now. You might meet a new friend there, too! Just like, comment, or follow, and you’ll soon meet like-minded people.
- Look at the first few pages of “Discussion” (this tab!) and see if there are any conversations going on you want to join. If you’re interested in reading the conversation, but you don’t have anything to say right now, you can always subscribe to the topic to stay in the loop. New replies will show up as notices in your e-mail in box.
- Want to Swap Teas? Take a look at the giant tea swap thread!
Finally, read through the Steepster Discussion Guidelines and FAQ. It’s a good starting place for lots of basic questions (like: What’s this? How do I…? Why would I…? Who can..?)
Hope you have some fun around here, and welcome!
Participating in the tea swaps are an awesome way to discover new tea companies and meeting other tea drinkers. Also check the forums for sales and tea companies giving out freebies!
I would also say browse reviews, see people who are reviewing the same teas you have and “follow” them! It’s a great start to finding people who share your taste buds and I try to comment on quite a few reviews every day just for fun :)
I started looking at the highest rated tea’s, then picked a couple and began reading reviews and found people who I enjoyed reading. (Make sure the people you follow are still writing on Steepster…look for a current date). Then I looked in their cupboard to see what tea’s they had and got some idea from that and any bio listed what they were like and chose to follow them. Sometimes I picked a college student or an area of the World or Country or a talent or profession to keep things well rounded.
My main criteria was the writing and love for tea. If you find a great person on Steepster, take a look at who they follow too. I’ll tell you this, the community of people here is A1 top notch!
Welcome to you both! (I just followed you!)
All good suggestions!
Also, I suggest making as much room as possible in your pantry, because you’re going to end up with a lot of tea and tea wares in the coming months. You will probably accumulate more than you will ever be able to reasonably drink. But that’s okay, because you’re in good company ;)
bonnie is top notch with her great palate. i guess i may be a pu-erh kind of guy. we are all open to help. i joined in july and there are great people on here and i feel blessed to know them. a great site!
Thank you all for your insightful comments and replies. I will take the advice and use steepster to its’ full potential. Very excited to be able to collaborate with fellow tea drinkers.
Basically what Spoonvonstup said above, especially the bit about not worrying too much about how you post.
Sometimes a new person starts out with a lot of insecurity about how to write their posts. What standards to conform to and what the ‘accepted’ vocabulary for description is, and worrying about why they seem to be having a very different experience from others with a given tea. All you need to know on that front is the following,
You can’t do it wrong. Nobody can tell you that you are wrong. They can’t taste with your tongue, smell with your nose or in any other way replicate your experience anymore than you can replicate theirs. If you think something tastes like pineapple, then it tastes like pineapple. Fact. Even if nobody else thinks it does. Half the fun can actually be in seeing how different people can have completely different experiences with the same leaf.
There are no standards. Your posts are your subjective opinion. Write them the way that YOU like them.
Same goes with the rating scale. Use it the way YOU prefer to interpret it. Some people don’t actually use it at all, some people use all of it, and some people feel uncomfortable using the lower half of the scale because they think it’s unfairly skewing the rating down on a tea just because they didn’t like it. (This is a pet peeve of mine, actually. There is nothing wrong with using the lower half of the scale. There is nothing wrong with being honest and saying, ‘I didn’t like this’. To me, it seems like using only half the scale still skews the rating just as much and just as unfairly, only in the opposite direction. The rating is supposed to be representing what the users in general think about about a tea, and it can’t show that if half the users drinking it aren’t being honest enough to let it reflect this. Besides, this skewing thing is already accounted for anyway by the fact that the rating of a tea is NOT based on a straight average. So personally I would recommend using the scale in its entire length or not using it at all. I find it easier to put faith into other people’s posts when I know they’re perfectly willing to throw out a single measly point on something they didn’t like, rather than someone who never rates anything below 80. Having a healthy dose of critical approach to what you put in your mouth is never ever a bad thing. But that’s just what I think, and your milage may vary. Use the scale in the way that feels best for you, not the way that others dictate.)