Octagon wrote: ↑
Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:02 am
Chadrinkincat wrote: ↑
Sun Apr 18, 2021 9:34 pm
It would be interesting for someone here to do a write up on ML’s teas compared to other vendors in a blind tasting.
Yes, I think in general we are way too focused on brands and the faces of these brands. A lot of people approach buying tea in wierd way, they want to find brands to be fans of and other brands to hate. The actual teas and their quality sort of get lost along the way. More blind tastings would, I think, help here.
It's a good point. But then that was the dream of Steepster, to an extent, that lots of individual reviews could build up to a community database others could rely on. Switching theme to blind tastings changes things a little, but plenty of the issues with the other process still apply, subjective impression, varying baseline background, limited scope covered, etc. Maybe something like the My Tea Pal app can recreate a new form of a similar thing, which may or may not be a useful thing.
To me the Yunnan Sourcing Fans Facebook group is an interesting example of this pattern that is mentioned. On the one hand it's great that people can gather and support each other with advice and recommendations, and discussion, and on the other it's a little dodgy having only one vendor be in-bounds for potential discussion, since essentially every topic can lead towards considering an external option. It's such a short step towards accepting that most YS teas are great and most other vendors just don't measure up, and the rest of the "us and them" context.
As an outcome of publishing this post I talked to a friend about this Mei Leaf issue and instead of saying value for their teas isn't great he said "their teas are great." Then it turned out that he based that on visiting them 4 or 5 years ago, probably before he had much exposure to teas on a quality level he is more familiar with now, probably when he drank completely different types. That's when I tried their teas too, and thought they were so-so, decent tea but not good value. From there it's hard to sort out what that means. We might've been trying different teas, as on-site versions versus what made it into packages for export. Maybe we just tried different tea types, and if you had swapped the sets back then both our opinions would've shifted. Us trying the teas using different water sources could skew results. If you visit a shop and they use more appropriate water the teas might seem superior to what you normally drink, when maybe they're not.
Back to where this started, if someone really could blind taste 3 or 4 of those Ya Shi versions I wrote about that would tell one limited scope but interesting story.