News, Updates & Announcements

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Feb 20th, 2012

New Pages For Tea Brands: Search And Browse Teas Easily

Screenshot of new brand pageA screenshot of the new brand page, showing Harney and Sons.

We have launched a major redesign of the pages for each brand of tea on our website in order to make RateTea easier to explore. This redesign affects 300 pages on our site, and was launched Wednesday, February 15th, 2011, with some small follow-up changes and tweaks continued through today.

The new brand page contains many of the same features as before, but no longer has a full listing of the company's teas. Instead, you are pointed to the browse teas feature, a more powerful tool which can not only list a companies teas, but allow filtering by different properties like the teas' style, region, or whether the teas are loose-leaf, organic, or fair-trade certified.

What you will find:

Screenshot of browse teas feature
The Browse Teas feature carries such benefits of filtering pure teas from flavored teas, filtering by region or specific styles of tea, or limiting one's search to loose-leaf teas or organic teas.

The advantages of using RateTea to find teas:

While some tea companies list their teas by region and by type (what we call style), relatively few tea companies have their whole catalogue of tea cross-indexed and searchable by both style and region, and, to our knowledge, no company has as exhaustive a list of styles of tea and regions of tea as we do. Furthermore, different tea companies use different classification schemes, so if you are used to how one company categorizes their teas, you may find it hard to find similar teas on another company's website.

By using RateTea to look up teas, you can also gain the advantage of comparison shopping, quickly locating different companies selling similar teas, as well as learning more about the teas sold by the tea companies you already buy from. We hope that our new brand page will draw attention to these features and benefits, and make them easier to access and use.

Stay tuned for continuous improvements to the site in the future. And please let us know about how these features work for you, as well as if there are any features you would like us to add.

Jan 17th, 2012

Users Can Now Directly Add New Teas

Teacup icon with a plus symbol in front of it
Users can now add teas directly.
When we first launched, we did not allow users to directly add new teas to our database. This was inconvenient, as if you wanted to review a tea that was not listed, you had to wait for a site admin to add the tea, and we were often slow at responding to these suggestions. To address this issue, we have now made it so that our users can add teas directly to our database, and rate and review teas directly after adding them. This feature is only available to registered users, so if you wish to add teas, you will need to sign up for a free account if you have not already done so. To add new teas:
Before you start adding teas, however, it is important to understand why we did not add this feature initially. We put a great deal of care into how teas on our site are classified. Each tea is listed by brand, style (the type of tea, how it is produced), and region of production. The style describes not just broad categories like black tea or green tea, but often, specific sub-varieties, such as sencha or Tie Guan Yin. Furthermore, we separate style from region; for example, teas in the style of Keemun are historically produced in Anhui, China, but are now produced in other provinces and even outside of China.

We ask that when you add new teas, you do your best to correctly classify them, and that you first search carefully to make sure that your tea is not already listed. Do not worry if you don't know everything about how to classify a tea; we have help documentation on the page to add a tea, and you can add comments if you are unsure about anything, and we will check each submission and fix any errors.

If you work for a tea company:

Screenshot of tool to add teas
We have a tool to help tea companies list their teas more accurately and efficiently. Contact us if you wish to use it.
If you work for a tea company, our terms of use specify that you may not rate or review your company's teas. We would still like for you to add your teas, but we ask you not to use the tool intended for regular users, as we have a different tool so you can do this more easily.

Listing your teas will benefit your company with free visibility even if no one reviews your teas. We link directly from our page on each tea, to the product page for that tea on your website. Teas that you add will be listed under the various categories of your brand, and the styles and regions in which the tea is classified, and your tea will also be returned in searches. If you would like to list the teas sold by your company, please contact us and we will get your account set up to do so.

Dec 19th, 2011

RateTea.net Acquires RateTea.com And Is Now RateTea

RateTea Logo with .net crossed out and replaced with .com
We are pleased to announce that on December 16th, 2011, Merit Exchange LLC, the company that runs RateTea, acquired the domain RateTea.com. As of today, the site is now officially named RateTea, and the website has been switched over to the new domain RateTea.com. Although our fans have been referring to our site as RateTea for some time, this announcement marks the official transition.

We hope that this small change can be symbolic of the growth and improvements RateTea has been seeing.

Why did you not start as RateTea.com? Who owned RateTea.com before?

J-Tea Logo
The domain RateTea.com was first owned by Josh Chamberlain, the owner of J-Tea International, a small tea company based in Eugene, Oregon, selling Taiwanese teas sourced directly from small farms. When RateTea was launched in 2009, as RateTea.net, this domain was unavailable, and the .net was purchased as a second-best choice.

Although we ended up registering the domain name after it expired, we want to recognize Josh Chamberlain for his integrity, with his generous offer of selling us the domain below the cost he incurred at purchasing it. We also want to recognize that he was actually earlier than us when it came to the idea of an interactive tea rating website, although we were the first to actually carry through with the idea.

Please update your links:

We will retain ownership of the old domain, RateTea.net, indefinitely. All links to the old site will remain valid, and will redirect to the corresponding pages on the new domain. However, we ask that from here on, you please link to and refer to RateTea.com as the domain of choice.

Thank you, and happy holidays!