Ellyn select said

Staying Active on Steepster...General Motivation?

Hello All:

I have interacted with many of you sporadically in the last few years. I truly adore this community and what it brings to my life. However, with steepster (and other things that I actively enjoy, actually) I sometimes drift away…

It is not that I stop drinking tea…in truth my collection is larger then ever…

What is your motivation for staying active in the community? Or any activity?

My goal is to log my tea (and interact with steepsterites..) 20 days out of the next 30…


68 Replies
Kaylee said

Heh. I have the opposite problem. I usually just have Steepster open in a separate window and check it whenever I’m feeling bored/distracted/tea-focused.

Ellyn select said

Kaylee: I am like that when I am my “into something” phase…but then I just seem to slowly…fade…

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I say just participate in tea boxes and swaps! I’m in the TEAlephone right now, and it’s just super fun to see how the tea transforms and things :)

I was super involved with steepster earlier this year, to about a month ago, but then I started an internship and that kinda took over my life :/ Pretty much my internet self was gone since I didn’t have the time at all. But I do try to check up on all my social networking sites just a couple times a week (not like the couple times the hour way long ago!) just so I can talk to people and things :)

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I just gained a new follower today!! I bought a new hot water kettle today, and I wanted to share it with this community. Yay!! I can drink tea again. Like you, I drift, I like how you put that! I love Steepster.

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Sil select said

i made friends with a solid group of folks here that i interact with through swaps, FB where we talk about not tea and tea and tasting notes :)

OMGsrsly said

I second this! :D

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Cwyn said

I have only been here a couple of months, but often wish for more active discussions. I drink teas daily that are not always puerh. But I know online forums in general are a wax and wane activity for most people.

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I agree with what others have been saying, and I just wanted to add that I love finding out about/trying out new tea companies. Of course there are the more established and beloved companies around here, but when a new one crops up, I like to be part of the Steepster embrace (like when Yezi Tea popped up).

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Dinosara said

I feel you. My interest in talking about tea has waned a bit, and for me that has come with finding the teas that I love and drinking the same ones over and over again. Sometimes I want to try new companies like I used to, but I’m afraid of getting overwhelmed by samples again so I’m trying not to do so until I work my cupboard down some more. Having new teas to review definitely keeps me on here writing tasting notes.

My waning on Steepster (and tea spending) is also most definitely directly correlated with my waxing on Ravelry (and yarn spending). But I don’t want to fall too out of the loop here (I already sometimes feel like an outsider, which is silly), so I try to be more active.

Dinosara said

Just realized that I haven’t updated my followers list in forever. It was weird going through all these names that aren’t active anymore, but I followed a ton of people that I never realized I wasn’t following!

Ellyn select said

I looked at that list on my account as well – and was surprised at some of the “heavy hitters” that are no longer involved!

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I think what keeps me interested is not only the tea, but reading the personal tidbits about the people I have come to know a little on here. I actually check Steepster now before Facebook.

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I’m shy even on the Internet… A few months after I first joined (and participating in some discussion and posting a few tasting notes) I became a lurker for maybe a half a year….and then I became a little more active. I didn’t feel experienced enough to write tasting notes, esp. for non-flavored teas. I’m still sporadic when it comes to posting notes (I’m a little sick at the moment and can’t properly taste or smell anything boooooooooooo!). What keeps me on Steepster now:

1) Learning about tea. Writing tasting notes helps me to be more conscious of what I’m drinking and to discern the nuance of “flavors”.
2) Reading everyone’s tasting notes. Not just for education but also because they’re interesting and/or funny!
3) The topics and discussions in the forum.
4) Not going to beat around the bush….free tea samples! The companies who offer them are very generous and I’m always happy to write notes for them (the latter truly helps me be more active).
5) Swaps and traveling boxes! Fun fun fun!!

i feel awkward writing notes too when I see what the pros can do (And time has not made me more of an expert). I have my short little “I like this tea, it tastes nutty and sweet. The end” and then some of the people I follow have long detailed poetic descriptions of flavors I don’t even know exist. lol! But oh well. If people don’t like my notes, they don’t have to follow me. I put them there more for my benefit than for everyone else’s. :)

Honestly I think some of the long and poetic ones are overdone.

that may be – but they certainly get the most attention. People “like” my notes, but the poetic ones get 20+ comments :p

probably best for me that I don’t get all the comments, Im not social enough to handle that kind of attention, LOL

Cheri select said

I’m not very good at picking out a lot of the flavors. In fact, I just wrote up a note that said, “There’s something else I’m tasting here, but I have no idea what it is. I like it, though.” Sometimes, though, I know exactly what that flavor is that I’m tasting and I love that, too. Shrug.

Dr Jim said

I have the same problem identifying flavors, but can usually say something like fruity or herbal so people will have an idea of what the tea is like. I love grassy green teas but don’t like veggies, so a very simple description can actually be a lot of help.

If it’s their style, it’s their style. I try to be as concise as possible, both for myself as a writer and in case someone only wants the gist. But if my mood or current situation is apropos to the tea and vice verse, I’ll do a little journalling (usually if it contributes to the tasting note). Even so, when I see other notes, I think, “Wow, mine are short…too short??” A tea has to make a reallllly good impression on me if I’m going to be poetic and write a long(-er) review about it.

Cheri, Dr Jim I’m not very good at it either, although I like to think I’m getting there. Could it be amount of experience? Or will my ability to distinguish subtle tastes be limited always? Japanese senchas seem to taste the same no matter how many I try xP I think that saying that one likes a tea is just fine. What I’m trying to do is taste a tea like a professional taster (kind of ambitious of me).

Oh, I had not seen this post! Just read everyone’s comments, very interesting. I don’t think ANYONE should be intimidated by someone else’s notes. I’ve been drinking tea for years, and still can’t identify that many notes. Sometimes I find them, sometimes I don’t. I never overthink it. I just write as I feel it.

I try not to criticize anyone’s writing here. I understand that certain styles are less pleasing than others, but might be what someone else is looking for. If it’s not my style, I just don’t follow that person or read their notes, that’s all. But I never judge their ways.

I am totally guilty of writing long poetic notes from time to time cause i am surrounded with nature and beauty and it influences my everyday life. Having said that, I also write short notes, just depends of the mood and the tea I’m drinking.

Lol, here I am writing too much again! Sorry, just wanted to add my two cent to begin with :-)

Bottom line, I’m active here cause I like tea and I like the people. I have wonderful tea friends :-)

I’ve seen mean criticism of journal-like tasting notes in the forum in the past, maybe up to two threads started for that sole purpose (no one seems to want to be mean in this thread <3). I didn’t like the negative attitude so I adopted this stance: If you want to write it, write it; if you want to read it, read it. Besides, we learn a little about each other in the notes and the comments and that’s what partially strengthens our community.

Dr Jim said

It’s not like anyone is forcing you to read the notes. I often find the chatty ones interesting, and if I don’t, I just skip them. I suspect that the people with the longer notes have deeper friendships in the community and are just sharing.

Lynxiebrat said

I tend to treat a lot of my tasting notes kind of like journal entries…and if anyone nags at me about it :PPPPP!!! Not that have had anyone nag at me about it…though I wonder when I see that my followed list is shorter then I remember. I usually don’t taste many subtle nuances either, but that is what I like about flavored teas, most of those tend to be obvious flavors if not ‘in your face’. I think everybody should write tasting notes on the tea that they have, regardless of their experience. Regardless the tea as well. While I do hope that my tea notes are enjoyed by those who read them, for whatever reason that they read them…they also serve as a record to me of what teas, flavors, etc that I enjoy.

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I completely understand the “drifting” thing. I have a small handful of interests, with the occasional new one popping up in my rotation, that I obsess over one at a time. It’s hard to stay active in everything at once when my mind is so one-track. I usually don’t completely vanish, I just have periods of super activity and mild activity. Real life sometimes gets in the way too, such as my current state of moving and related stresses. Most of my tea stuff is packed up and I have little money for new tea, so that makes for a motivation killer! Especially since I just found out that Ill be moving into temporary housing while we search for a house – so my stuff is going to be packed away longer than I expected :(

Lynxiebrat said

Oh that sucks Shelley Lorraine:( is there a way that you could grab a small amount (Like put in mini baggies.)that would tied you over till you get settled in permanent housing? When it looked like that I had a few more months of having to travel back and forth between my parents house, I packed 4 teas in a large ziplock bag, 2 black teas and 1 herbal and 1 rooibos. Plus there is still some bagged tea that I don’t mind drinking from time to time.

Oh man, I’ve been so overwhelmed and unbelievable bacd luck with the moving thing that I haven’t even been able to think about tea! a million things when wrong with the move. Im in an apartment by myself (we are trying to sell and buy a house and I had to get to colorado for school and leave my husband at our old house). The apartment advertised being remodeled and I was show a remodeled unit but they gave me an old nasty one. NONE of the appliances worked, I’m not joking, the dishwasher, the clothes dryer (i was real excited about a unit with a washer and dryer), the shower, and tons of spiders. . . most recently, my husband came down to bring me some more things and his car broke down on the way back and two of our dogs were kenneled at home for 18 hours till he could get back home (believe it or not neither one of them had had accident!). The list goes way beyond all this with the bad luck and tea has been the last thing on my mind. good thing since there really is literally no money, esp since my husband needs the rental car. Ugh, i yearn for better times when I can think about the instead :/

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