I was scouring the web, as always, for reviews and information about the items I feature on this site. It's always interesting to see what others are saying about the products I review.
Sadly, many reviewers don't know what they're talking about.
It's frustrating for a one-man band like me.
I bend over backwards to remove as much of my own bias from the equation as possible. I try to fondle, caress, stroke, love truth.
I don't have many followers. That's the game. I'm new. I can't expect people to trust me outright.
But then you get these giant publications, with huge followings, belching utter nonsense.
And many of their followers gorge themselves on whatever these publications discharge.
This week I came across a review that left me flabbergasted. It's from a top review website.
Choice.com.au's aeroneous AeroPress review
Choice.com.au is, according to their own website's front page title, Australia's leading consumer advocacy group.
This is the tagline on their front page:
Products and services rigorously tested, rated and reviewed. No spin.
Choice, that sounds fantastic.
You and I are going to be good friends. Yes, we're enemies on the rugby and cricket fields, but we have common ground worth standing on.
Let's band together, Choice. Let's form a pact—a consanguineous bond—to destroy falsity.
Finish your beer first. Don't rush.
But once you're done, we have work to do.
Let us march into yonder valley where a Goliath of lies hath planted himself in the middle of the road, his head protected by a helmet of deflection and his feet shod with falsehood; where he standeth proud, not permitting any to pass.
Let us boldly, Choice, take to this monster an industrial-sized slingshot—or boomerang, if you wish—and make quick work of his death. Let seekers of truth pass through that valley unscathed on their journey to the billabong of truth, rejoicing as they go at the death of this evil behemoth, slain and rotting by the side of the road.
But alas, I came across their review of the AeroPress, that darling of the coffee drinking world; that mini laboratory of pure caffeine joy; that Willy-Wonka's-factory-in-a-pocket.
What I read there bruised, nay, crushed me. Here's the raw link: choice.com.au/home-and-living/kitchen/coffee-machines/articles/aeropress-review (I hope Google doesn't penalize me for mentioning them).
Let's take a look at where the Choice reviewer went wrong with the AeroPress post.
Let's see why, considering the product, Australia's reputation is forever tarnished and their rugby and cricket teams forever cursed.
Here we go, if your eyes can bear such blasphemy. Brace yourself...
The Aeropress won't fail you if you want a cup of forgettable espresso (technically, as it forces hot water through ground beans, it fits the dictionary definition).
Herein lies the main problem with the review. The dictionary doesn't give a full definition of an espresso.
What's the dictionary definition of a car?
according to WordWeb, a car is...
A motor vehicle with four wheels; usually propelled by an internal combustion engine
By that definition, I can take a glass bowl, stick four cheese wheels onto it, throw a remote control car engine into it and call it a car.
The reviewer should have been more careful. She should have known she's entering rough waters. She should have prepared herself better.
But Choice wasn't the only website that had me gasping in disbelief.
The Sweethome's travel mug tommyrot
The Sweethome, The Wirecutter's lovely younger sister, claims to know what the best travel mug is.
So she wrote an article with that title.
What makes reading her article painful is that The Wirecutter family is one of the most trusted in the world.
They're known for long-form reviews and always brag about the amount of time they put into testing things.
But how did they come to the conclusion that the Zojirushi is the best mug?
Her article says the following...
But its (the Zojirushi) well-designed exterior, one-handed usability, easy-to-clean nonstick Teflon interior, and foolproof locking mechanism are well worth the price of admission.
Those things don't set the Zojirushi apart.
You'll find those features on the Contigo West Loop mug too. So it must be the Zojirushi's better heat retention that made it prevail.
But the Contigo is easier to clean. You don't have to remove gaskets.
It's easier to drink from too.
You must flip open the Zojirushi's lid if you want to drink from it. The lid protrudes from the mug; it's something that can break.
She's right about one thing.
It doesn't hold heat as well as the Zojirushi.
But if you want your coffee to stay hot for longer, preheat your Contigo.
We all make mistakes.
I'm sure Choice.com.au's was an honest mistake, as was The Sweethome's.
I still like the Aussies. They gave us Crowded House, Paul Kelly (give From St Kilda to Kings Cross a listen; if you like folk music you'll love Paul Kelly), Tommy Emmanuel and Waltzing Matilda.
As for The Sweethome, it's a top notch publication. I recommend reading it. So does a million other people.
But do I agree with her article? Not a chance.
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