I admit to not being a regular reviewer of websites, however like many people, I do enjoy a good cup of properly-prepared tea. When I was approached to write this review, I accepted, but not before taking ample time to explore the site and ensure that I felt qualified to write on its merits. I was pleased after conducting thorough research, to find that said merits are many.
Centuries ago, Japanese teamaster Sen no Rikyu established simplicity as the central element of the tea ceremony. The proprietors of RateTea.com have obviously been taking notes. An online portal where tea aficionados can not only learn about teas, but rate and review them, RateTea.com remains simple to navigate while offering up a wealth of information in an interactive format. The enthusiasm for sharing enjoyment of tea and all its merits is evident on every page, from the continuously updated information on tea styles and varieties (with most of the nearly six thousand teas referenced on the site originating from China, India, and Japan) to the tips on proper brewing and ability for site visitors to track which teas they liked most and compare these brews with others.
The feature that most impressed me, apart from the more than 1500 recorded tea ratings, is that the site’s tea classification parameters are among the most extensive I’ve encountered in comparing it with similar sites. Region, style and brand metrics are available for each tea, as well as whether or not each entry is caffeinated (with additional classification for brews from which caffeine has been removed versus naturally caffeine-free herbal varieties), and whether the teas are sold as bags, sachets, or loose leaves.
After spending several days exploring the website, I can say that RateTea.com appears to serve visitors quite the encyclopedia of knowledge alongside fair, honest reviews that address the pros and cons of each product tested while taking into consideration characteristics like brew color, aroma, cost, and of course, taste. Judging by how easily navigable this site proved to be, I believe Sen no Rikyu would be a regular visitor to RateTea.com. So should anyone with an appreciation for tea.