WIth close to 10,000 product reviews, ROASTe.com is the world's largest source for coffee reviews. These reviews allow customers to compare coffees from various origins, roasters, and brands in ways that were not available previously. The reviews are written by peer coffee lovers who have tried the coffees and share their notes and impressions.
The paradox of choice is especially evident in the food and coffee world. Books and movies have synopsis and graphics that give basic understanding of the product. Shoes and cloths have their looks, gadgets have their specs, yet when it comes to many food products such as coffee, none of this exist. Hence the key to product differentiation becomes branding (e.g. Starbucks) and The Wisdom of The Crowds. While branding mainly benefits the brand and is not necessarily an indication of the actual product you are buying, The Wisdom of The Crowds benefits the customer.
Here's an example for how this works on ROASTe. In one quick look, a newbie can see two amazing espressos, one organic single origin, and one flavored coffee, all of which are among the best in their categories. None of these are brands of course, they are much better!
The ROASTe community has been amazing in writing excellent reviews that are helping thousands of customers try new coffees from amazing micro-roasters and brands. When writing a coffee review, try to address the following:
- Overall - How would you rate the coffee?
- Packaging - how was the quality of the package?
- Aroma - before (beans) and after the brew.
- Visual - e.g. in an espresso, how was the crema?
- Taste - try to use taste undertones in your description.
- Body - how did the coffee feel on your tongue?
- Process - what brewing method did you use? Anything specific to point out about the brewing process?
- Delivery - was the product delivered on time?
Here's an intro to help you taste coffee at home: http://www.roaste.com/CafeRoaste/CoffeeGuides/CoffeeTasting
In addition, ROASTe also has thousands of equipment reviews, also written by our community. While coffee reviews are written by users who actually try the product, here, we get in addition product assessments from coffee geeks (admittedly, I am one of them...). What's great about these reviews from the geeks, is that they give customers a semi-professional perspective from the super-users. Anyone writing an equipment review should make it very specific and detailed so it adds clear value to the prospect purchaser of the product.
ROASTe awards its loyal customers, for contributing to the community, with eBeans. It's a win-win for everyone. To qualify for eBeans, reviews should be genuine, unique and of of 15 words or more. 99% of the reviews fall in this category. If you notice a review that does not, do let us know and we will remove it immediately.
With ROASTe's coffee reviews, we have for the first time an opportunity to make purchase decisions based on quality rather than perception (i.e. branding). It's a small revolution that we hope will empower the small local roasters and coffee shops while rewarding coffee lovers with better coffees at comparable prices.