As shown in Part I, all that steeps isn’t tea, and all that’s tea isn’t tasty. Tea review sites help you sort the chaff from the wheat. And, thanks to the Internet, you can find plenty of ’em. Part I covered text-style reviews, with and without photos. Now, we can sit back with our popcorn and a cuppa tea to view some of the video-style tea reviews.
Some of the same drawbacks exist for video reviews as for text reviews. For one thing, anyone who has ever dunked a teabag in some hot water or plopped a few loose tea leaves in a teapot can set up her/his video camera and wax rhapsodic about the experience. Again, as long as you, the viewer, bear in mind that the reviewers are presenting their personal opinions, no harm, no foul. Also, some of the videos involve more than one person. The two-guys-and-their-tea video reviews are popping up to compete with the lone-guy (or gal)-and-their-tea videos. So, like those team tea review sites, you get more than one opinion, not always in agreement and not always helpful.
Don’t expect the best camera work here. A lot of times, the camera is set up to take in a particular setting where the tea reviewer(s) sit, steep, and sip. There is not a lot of attention paid to such things as how the person looks on camera when he/she has to lean over to get something or to giving you a close-up of the tea. A nice shot of the tea package or at least the tea name is also often lacking. On the other hand, getting a visual of the people doing the review (other than a tiny photo) is kinda cool. I’ve met one of the reviewers from Tea Time Tuesday, which gives even more significance to seeing their videos. (It’s sort of like knowing someone who was an extra in a movie and focusing on them during key scenes instead of on the scene itself. Hubby was an extra in a movie once, so I watch for him in “his” movie.)
Another neat thing with some of these videos is the music they use, which tends away from the loud and crazy side. (Music is becoming a trend on some tea sites, where they want to create an atmosphere online that mimics what you would get in their tearoom.)
How does all of this help you in your quest for spending your tea dollars wisely? The same as reviews of anything, from books, movies, and restaurants, to tea kettles, autos, and other products. You have to trust that the reviewer is being honest (most are, even though some reviewers are engaging in veiled accusations that some other reviewers have an agenda, that is, promoting sales of the tea they are reviewing). Only a real puddin’ head would promote a tea that isn’t really what he/she says. You would find them out quickly and have ample opportunity to let others know. You also have to bear in mind that these are opinions — take them as such, not as cold hard fact.
Don’t forget that the main point is to expand your tea horizons by reading and/or watching some reviews and then selecting a tea here and there to try. Who knows? You might be inspired to do your own video review!
Disclaimer: I have a personal tea review blog, Little Yellow Teapot Tea Reviews (the sassiest little teapot on the Internet).
Don’t forget to check out A.C.’s blog, Tea Time with A.C. Cargill!