News, Updates & Announcements

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Dec 3rd, 2010

Comments on Tea Reviews

Screenshot of comment and reply
Comments on the review page
We have added a new feature that allows registered users to comment on tea reviews and reply to other users' comments. You can now use RateTea.net to have conversations about the teas that you and others have reviewed. You must be logged on to comment!

The comments are displayed in full on the page for each individual review, and a notice that there are comments on a review is displayed at the bottom of each review on the tea page. We also made the detailed pages for each review more accessible, with a link at the top of each review on the tea page.

Screenshot of comment box
Comments box
By default, you will receive an email notification whenever someone comments on one of your reviews; you can turn these notifications on and off by logging on and visiting your profile. For convenience, we also allow you to unsubscribe without logging on, from a link in the notification emails.

Try visiting a tea with lots of reviews, such as Bigelow's Constant Comment® to see how this new feature looks and works. And stay tuned for more news; there are a bunch of other exciting features in the works, and we've already made some small tweaks and numerous new additions to our site since the last newsletter.

Sep 18th, 2010

RateTea.net Celebrates First Anniversary

RateTea.net celebrates its first anniversary today! We were launched exactly one year ago today, on September 18th, 2009. Since then we have grown considerably, both in features and in extent. We now have a total of 711 reviews from 143 reviewers, and our database of teas and brands of teas continues to grow.

In our past newsletters we highlighted new interactive features, but many of the biggest improvements over the past year have been to the written content of the site and may have gone unnoticed by most users. We'd like to draw attention to some of them in this newsletter.

Did you know?

• Anxi County, in Fujian province of China is most famous for Tie Guan Yin, or Iron Goddess of Mercy, a type of oolong tea. But there are many other Anxi oolongs; together these oolongs are called se chung oolongs.

Darjeeling black tea is broken into the different flushes, first flush, second flush, autumnal flush, etc., based on when it is harvested.

Chamomile, a popular herbal tea, has a number of medicinal uses and health benefits; there is even some evidence it may be useful for treating diabetes.

These are only a few examples of the new material we have added since our launch! If you have not explored our site in a number of months, you may be surprised by what you find!

New Material & Articles:

One of the goals and purposes of RateTea.net is to provide accurate, impartial information and to help tea enthusiasts learn more about where their tea comes from.

Collage of Four Green Oolongs
Huang Jin Gui is among
the new styles added.
We have added a considerable level of detail to the pages on styles and varieties of tea. We now classify teas in 150 different styles. We have also added Chinese and Japanese characters to most Chinese and Japanese teas, respectively. In a few cases, we have added Thai and Korean names as well. These other languages will allow people to more easily locate and research the more esoteric teas online.

Map of Fujian Province's Location in China
We have added maps
for Chinese provinces.
We have also added detail for regions: we have started to identify the sources of some teas down to the level of individual counties in China, and to prefectures (like states) in Japan; there are now a total of 90 regions and sub-regions listed. We've included some climate information on many of the regions, and are beginning to add discussion of how various regions are affected by climate change and other environmental issues.

The articles section of the website, which we did not have when we launched, now has 19 articles on tea-related topics. Our page on caffeine in tea sets out to dispel some widely-circulating myths about how much caffeine is in various types of tea. We continue to expand our offerings pertaining to sustainability, and we now have both a guide on how to brew tea as well as a page on making multiple infusions from the same set of tea leaves (which includes gong fu brewing).

Let us know what you want:

Are there topics that you would like to see us devote more energy to covering? Do you have something valuable to contribute, such as a new perspective, a new source, a correction, or a new piece of information that could enrich one of our articles? Please contact us so we can continue to improve the informational aspects of the site!

Sep 2nd, 2010

Review Pages & RSS Feeds

Screenshot of Review Page

Review Pages:

We have restructured our site so that each review now has its own individual page (view a random review page). The new page highlights the reviewer, including how long they have been a member and how many teas they have reviewed, and also shows the brand, style, and region of the tea being reviewed. The reviews are still listed on the page for each tea.

The URL's for these pages, just like the pages for each tea, will remain valid as a permalink. This makes it easy for you to share your reviews or link to them from other websites.

RSS Feeds:

We also added RSS Feeds. These feeds allow people to be notified of newly added tea reviews. RSS Feeds are noted by the orange rss icon icon. We have three types of feeds:

How to Subscribe to Feeds:

There are many different tools available to facilitate subscribing to feeds. Google reader, bloglines, and My Yahoo are a few online services that can be used to subscribe to rss feeds; various applications on your local computer are available to read feeds as well. The web browser Mozilla Firefox can subscribe to feeds directly using its live bookmarks feature. People who wish to subscribe to feeds by email may check out the feed my inbox service.
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