BonBon said

Availability of teas

I just joined Steepster (which looks great!) and started looking for teas to try. I clicked on at least a dozen and was dismayed to see that they were all unavailable. Am I doing something wrong? If not, what are some popular green teas that are in stock? Thanks!

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I just joined Steepster and it won’t let me put anything in my profile, so I wonder if something is up with the site. I am very fond of Verdant Tea’s Laoshan Pine Needle green and they are having a sale for about anouth three hours, including a tasting sampler.

I am able to edit my Profile, I think there may be some kind of time-based lockout since you’re a new user? Not sure though, sorry.

AJ said

Unsure what the sale has to do with you being unable to edit your profile?

I think some new users in the past have also reported being unable to edit their profiles… This wasn’t always the case, since spam-accounts used to be able to edit in their gibberish the moment they joined. So there’s a possibility this is a new measure to help block that?

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It’s a feature that’s never really used, if I recall the only people with permission to activate it are tea company accounts, and I think they would have to manually put in a link to each tea in order for the button to work. But a lot of them are probably actually available, you will need to Google search to find out though.

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AJ said

Sorry about the confusion. Steepster isn’t actually a shop. So no tea is “available” through it.

A few years back, Steepster wanted to roll out a feature that linked Steepster’s individual tea pages to Vendor’s pages, to make things easier for you to buy from your favourite vendor. But it was never completed, just half-rolled out and then just left to cause confusion.

Steepster’s basically a “wikipedia” of tea companies and their teas. You’re meant to add the tea to the cupboard (click ‘Add to your cupboard’, which is under that availability box), if you own it, and then write reviews/tasting notes on it if you’ve drunk it previously (by clicking ‘Review this tea’). If you see a tea that you’re interested in trying, though, you’ll have to physically find that vendor’s website and check to see if it’s available to buy from them.

Mods can add a link, technically, but the functionality doesn’t work on the back-end, so I’m thinking it’s another half-missing permission. Adagio was putting some work into revitalizing the system for sponsorship links, but we haven’t heard anything about that for a couple months.

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52Teas said

Teas that are actually on my website (that is to say, they’re available, like my Pancake Breakfast tea, for example) have a link to a tea from Adagio – so basically, the “buy now” button is in place to lead people to the Adagio site. I’ve asked that I be able to either direct the traffic to my actual website with that button or have it disabled from my teas, but they have yet to respond.

AJ said

Wait, what? …Hold on. I’ve got access to part of this now, I’m looking into it.

That’s… Wow. Pumpkin Pancake Breakfast I just looked up and confirmed. That’s… a really uncomfortable way to use Steepster to steer people away from small blenders.

I pulled it up on the back-end. I can edit teas that don’t already have an affiliate link and put one in, but they won’t show (I tested adding in Blood Orange Spice’s link). Pumpkin Pancake Breakfast, I can’t edit the back-end at all to remove or change that link. I’m assuming that’s intentional.

Iiii… Wow.

Shae said

I’ve noticed a few teas that link to the correct site (Bird & Blend has some), but I wonder if those links were already in place before the Adagio takeover. Either that or Adagio isn’t putting much energy into searching for the correct site before adding a link to their own.

Also, can I just say, some of the Adagio teas they do recommend are not even close to the original. I mean, I don’t expect exact replicas, but some of these are a bit of a reach. It feels like they are linking to teas that share an ingredient or a single flavor just so they can get their link in the box. Not important in the grand scheme of things but a pet peeve nonetheless. I wish they’d put a little more effort into it.

*Edited for clarity.

52Teas said

Yes, thank you to Shae for pointing it out for me – I had never actually taken the time to click the button to see where it would lead me – I just assumed that it would lead me nowhere because I didn’t link anything up? I also noticed that 52Teas isn’t even listed in the tea vendor listing. If you go to the # category, no 52Teas. It used to be there, but at some point after Adagio took over, it was deleted. :( Adagio clearly does not like me.

AJ said

I can confirm that there were some links prior (vendors used to be able to message the admins to access/have links added). However, Adagio’s also implemented an ‘affiliate link’ setup since then, which appears to be different from the original (which just linked directly, IIR, as there were very few who had it). The idea being they’re earning revenue through clicks/purchases with the redirect links… With the hope that that money’s going back into Steepster’s maintenance (or at least part of it, I understand there’s no point keeping a website that just breaks even).

These “recommendation” links are being added in manually, because not every random tea has them (not even the top-rated Earl Grey Cream on the website—or really any of the top rated teas, for that matter).

It looks like they’re specifically going through individual companies to do this. DAVIDsTEA has had affiliate links added—but 52 hasn’t even been contact about it, and just had theirs manually replaced (there’s no search-term redirect… just straight links on the back-end) with Adagio teas. It’s Uncomfortable. You’re both companies that lean heavily into flavoured blends, and it’s doubly uncomfortable because you’re a small, independent blender being targeted.

But—on the topic of Company Listings, it looks like the reason you’re not showing up under # is because you’re already visible under ‘Popular Companies’, and any company listed there won’t be double-listed in their category (I checked a whole bunch of other companies under ‘Popular’ to confirm):

52Teas said

Thank you @AJ for that detailed explanation – that makes sense about why I’m not on the # category. My biggest complaint is that they are linking their teas on my tea pages – if they’re not gonna link it to my website (even just the homepage since my teas are on constant rotation) then – just leave the button non-functional. Don’t link it to another company. Why they would want to target me is beyond me, I’m absolutely no threat to their business – I’m a tiny, one-person operation.

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