Adding reviews for Darjeeling teas

When adding tasting notes for a Darjeeling tea, should one add their review to an existing tea if it’s of a different year (including the year in their review) or add a new itteration of the tea? My preference is the former – one entry for each tea with the reviewer indicating the vintage in his or her tasting notes. This may require making minor changes to the name/description of existing teas.

Is there already a standard for this? If so, please fill me in as I have 72 varieties arriving tomorrow! If there isn’t an existing standard, what say ye all about the matter?

13 Replies
ifjuly said

As someone who just added something insane like nearly 70 teas for the Teabox darjeeling sampler (hee), I’ve been thinking a lot about this.

There’s pros and cons to every approach because of the weird mercurial nature of darjeeling estate teas each year/season, but for simplicity’s sake I’d personally prefer it if darjeelings from a shop were “general” (estate and flush headings, but not year to year vintage) and people mentioned the year they’re drinking in their note if they’d like. Just because otherwise the number of teas under a darjeeling shop’s heading quickly balloons to unruly numbers that can be overwhelming to wade through. But that’s just me.

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I agree keeping them together could skew the overall rating, but still favor one “page” per tea regardless of vintage, with vintage noted in the reviewers notes. I’ll try to help you add those 72 Darjeelings from Teabox if you haven’t already done so.

ifjuly said

I added them all today, but they’re not showing up under “Teabox” (nothing is, weirdly) yet and they don’t come up in when you search. Hrm…but I think if you go to my cupboard and look at most recently added they’re all there. Strange.

And yeah I can see how having a general heading year to year might skew the ratings hypothetically but on the other hand, if anything it’s more useful to have ratings across many years for a single estate because, well, the nature of vintages is transient/ephemeral to begin with, and so instead you wind up with a general “spans many years” sense of an estate’s profile numerically (with specifics from year to year in the actual written reviews, so those vintage quality details are not lost either). Again, hypothetically (I gave up rating teas personally because it’s too confusing, but still appreciate the aggregated sense of things for sure).

yyz said

Don’t worry about them not showing yet. It can take a while for them to add to the newly added page. Especially if a whole bunch of new teas are added. I have had it take 1-2 days to show at times.

I saw your note about adding pix. I just added one for the FF Margaret’s Hope. Let me know if you like it or if I should stick with a single image of just the dry leaves. I’ll also look tomorrow to see if I can find the others you added. Make it will correct itself over night.

It looks like they are all showing up now when you select Teabox as the company. Good job – that must have taken forever! I’m a bit OCD myself and want to do the 4-in-1 picture for all of them, but for the sake of time, will probably start with a single one of just the leaves.

ifjuly said

sunshine5150, you are awesome for putting some lovely pics up! Dunno how you did it. And adding anything at all to any or some or whatever would be a great help whenever. For some reason when I try the URL won’t load an actual picture in the preview box.

Cheers my fellow darjeeling pal!

I’m just saving the photos to my computer and uploading them from there. I’ve got about a third of them done. I’ll keep picking at it as time permits. My order from Teabox arrived today – yay! I’m overwhelmed, to be honest – I don’t know where to start!

ifjuly said

wow, that sounds like a ton of work! tip of the hat to you and many thanks.

and YAY for your box arriving so fast too! high five, teabox twin. :D

I just finished adding the pictures. It’s really not much more work (if any) than linking to the URL.

Based on the feedback we’ve received here, I may go back in and remove the “Date Picked” from the description to encourage non-duplication from other years. I’ll add a note asking reviewers to include the vintage in their review. Sound good?

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Dr Jim said

When the seller specifically sells the tea as being from a particular harvest (e.g. Thunderbolt tea), I honor this distinction by including the specific year in my steepster review. But I wouldn’t add a year just because I know the tea was harvested in a particular year. I haven’t seen very many teas sold with the year identified.

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Excelsior said

Unless the tea is a Darjeeling blend, Mariage identifies the year and flush of their Single Estate teas. As the taste of the Darjeeling changes significantly with the different flushes, it also changes based on the year and that year’s climate condition. For example, Jungpana. For FF 2011, it was an exceptional tea. I was not impressed with the FF 2012 Jungpana and the FF 2013 Jungpana resembled more of Summer flush tea than a Spring flush tea. Comparing other Dajreelings like the Namring of FF 2012, which I consider as the benchmark of Darjeeling teas, the 2013 FF Darjeeling lost much of the complexity, extremely light in taste, and not in the same league as the 2012 tea. Same can be said for Castleton, Moondakotee, Bloomfield, Namring Upper, Sivitar, Margaret’s Hope, Happy Valley, Arya, Chamling, Nurbong, as well as the aforementioned Jungpana and Namring.

So if the teas were at least similar in taste, I would be in favor of grouping the tea together, but based extreme nature of the changes, I would classify all the Dajeelings specifically with the estate, flush, year, grade, and if available, the DJ number, separately.

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I usually add the year because teas from a given year can vary a lot depending on the climate in that particular area. Maybe this is a question you should be asking Steepster owners to see what their intention is?

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