RateTea: Rate and Review Teas

by cazort

RateTea is a social and community website where anyone can rate and review teas.

RateTea is a website which I developed and founded in 2009, on which anyone can rate and review teas. The website originally started as a side project, when I realized that there were no sites like it. It is modelled after and inspired by RateBeer, where I am an active user.

The site has since grown into a massive site with a database of thousands of teas, and informational articles about many different types of tea. I hope you find it useful!

This page explores my personal story behind the site, how the site is structured, and how this relates to the tea industry as a whole.

Are you a tea drinker?

The Story of RateTea: How and Why I Founded the Site

Inspired by RateBeer, RateTea began as a project that I used to catalogue my own teas.

I have been an active member of RateBeer for years.  I credit RateBeer with helping me to become more interested in craft beer, and with sparking me to pay more attention to how food and drink tastes in general.

One morning, while drinking a cup of tea in Newark, Delaware, I had the thought that it would be really fun and useful to rate teas on the internet, the same way I rated beers.  I searched and searched, but I could not find any site that had such a feature.  Since I was experienced as a web programmer (at the time working on a project called Merit Exchange), I decided to take on the task of creating one myself.

And so RateTea was born!  The site grew from a small side-project into a large, extensive site with several administrators working on it.  It now takes a little less time to maintain but has continued to grow and thrive.

Why is There a Need for a Tea Review Website?

Some thoughts on the tea industry, and the tea culture in the United States

The tea industry in the United States is a rapidly growing, emerging industry.  Although there have always been a few die-hard enthusiasts for high-quality loose-leaf tea, tea has often taken a back burner to coffee in the culture of food and drink in the US.  But in recent years, this has begun to change.

It can be hard to know where to start if you want to get more into tea.  The supermarkets are full of boxes of tea bags, some of which are better than others.  But loose-leaf tea can be harder to find.

The best place to buy loose-leaf tea, for most Americans, is online.  But it can be hard to know which companies to trust.  I hope RateTea can guide people to make informed purchases both by providing reviews of individual teas from specific companies, but also by helping them to learn more about tea so that they are better able to discern high-quality tea from low-quality.

What Can You Find on RateTea?

Reviews, Reference Info, Tea Companies, Types of Tea, Health Info, etc.

RateTea is a really extensive site.  Although the site is oriented towards tea reviews, even if you're not particularly interested in writing reviews, you will probably still find the site useful and interesting as a general tea-related reference.  Some of the highlights of the site include:

  • Articles on each type of tea, called "styles of tea" on the site to distinguish between the style of a tea, and the region in which it is grown.
  • Pages on each tea producing region, down to the level of individual Chinese provinces and counties, Japanese prefectures, and districts of India.
  • Listings of all the mainstream brands and tea companies available in the U.S. and several other countries, including the UK and Canada, and hundreds of smaller and specialty tea companies as well.
  • A database that can be searched by brand, style, and region.
  • Articles about the health effects of tea, tea production, the tea industry, and sustainability issues relating to tea, all with an eye towards how you can inform your own purchasing and tea drinking.

I hope you find the site useful!

Screenshots of Different Sections of RateTea

The tea page on RateTea
The tea page on RateTea
Pages on different types or varieties of green tea
Pages on different types or varieties...
Top Tea Reviewers on RateTea
Top Tea Reviewers on RateTea
Tea Producing Regions
Tea Producing Regions

Latest Tea Reviews on RateTea

This peculiar combination came from a Days Inn in Hays, KS, and tasted really nice on their water, so I brought a bag home to try as well. Rituals Teas in general see...
This tea is really good! It has a nice bready aroma and a delicate but full bodied flavor with chocolatey hints. The only reason I'm not giving it an even higher score...
There is not much flavor here, but there are no unpleasant flavors or aromas either. I have certainly had stronger gunpowder teas, but this one is very easy to drink, ...

Connect with RateTea on Facebook

Like this page to receive selective, high-quality tea-related updates in your feed.

RateTea also has a facebook page!  You can like this page to receive updates on tea in your Facebook page.  I am selective about what I share in the feed, so you can be assured that liking this page will result in highly informational posts in your feed.

Did you know of RateTea before visiting this page?

More Tea Pages on Wizzley

Reasons I prefer loose-leaf tea to tea bags, including price, quality, and sustainability. See cost-per-cup comparisons if you are not convinced!
A comparison of tea and coffee, on the grounds of caffeine content, health effects, cost, acidity, and other benefits. I admit my bias, as I'm a tea lover.
A comparison of Teavana vs. Adagio Teas, comparing price, value, quality, company ethics, and the relative strengths and weaknesses of both companies.
Updated: 04/24/2015, cazort
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cazort on 06/14/2016

Thank you! Sustainability and social issues are both very important to me! (I'm hesitant to use the word "justice" because people often don't agree on what it means, and sometimes "social justice" can have a bit of a negative connotation...but I get what you mean!) =)

Jason Ellis on 11/08/2015

You created ratetea.com?! Very cool. I found your tumblr page because I'm the co-founder of a yaupon tea company and I found a tumblr blog you wrote about yaupon... now I've fallen down the rabbit hole. You have a lot of interesting content on the web in various formats. I really love the sustainability & social justice bent of many of your writings.

cazort on 01/02/2013

Thank you! I also am hugely a fan of organic tea, and also traditionally-processed tea (which is organically grown, even if not certified). I just got a package of organic teas from Arbor Teas and I'm excited to try them! I also get really excited about tea!

katiem2 on 01/02/2013

I'm a huge fan of tea, organic tea is my tea of choice with my fast favorites being green and oolong teas. I look forward to joining in on the reviews at ratetea, I get very excited about tea. :)K

Sheri_Oz on 12/19/2012

I always knew about wine-tasting and wine-making as very serious endeavours. Then I heard about whiskey, then beer and now tea. Love your idea of the tea rating website.

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