UPDATE 12/14/2017 – So I made a new video showing how I do my reviews. It’s actually changed a little bit. My schedule and way I do what I do revolves around my kids. I’m a stay at home dad and so as they grow, I have to adapt. With my Daughetr now taking naps after lunch and my son not, I’m now waking up at 4am, getting noodles photographed and then readying the reviews all at once. Around 2pm I am cooking and rating. Doing it this way makes it easier for me to spend more time with Miles in the afternoon. I’m also doing a lot of my YouTube videos early in the morning.
HOW I REVIEW: I guess you could consider this my disclosure statement about how I rate things. I mention how much I like many things on this blog and of course, these are all of my opinion. I think the photos and descriptions I do go a pretty long ways as to letting you know what’s going on. Since it’s a food though, descriptions only go so far – so if I say something sounds really good and you don’t like it, sorry – I like it. Same works the opposite – I might not like something and you might like it. Glad you like it – I don’t.
So there is a scale I have from 0.0 to 5.0 stars I use. 0.0 is bottom of the barrel. Tastes literally like crap. Foul smelling, tasting and even producing a gag like reflex. It’s gotta be pretty dang bad to rank this low and very few do. On the other hand, 5.0 stars is perfection; making me want to make another bowl or requiring me to call someone up and tell them how amazingly wonderful these noodles are – and I;’m happy to report there are quite a few of these I’ve had! Probably one of the reasons the blog keeps going is that I generally like most of the things I review.
Things that negatively affect my review – spongy/nasty noodles or too chewy with the consistency of Asiago cheese – yuck. I’ve rarely given bean thread a good review so if you like bean thread, maybe pay more attention to what I have to say about the flavor. Way too spicy with no flavor’s a no in my book. Things that up the review can be a variety of things – starting off with noodles with a nice consistency and a tasty broth with good character. Maybe more veggies, maybe an interesting added ingredient. Things that absolutely do not affect the reviews are the packaging (although neat packaging might make me quicker to buy at the store), included forks (everything would get a zero if I also reviewed the forks as I don’t like to eat plastic) or the fact whether it be in a pack, cup, bowl, etcetera.
Some people think that my review process is flawed. “Hey, you’re adding things like meat or veggies or… EGGS!” Well, yeah! Don’t you? I dunno – I’m eating this as a meal – this ain’t no wine tasting people! I don’t get a mouthful, swish it and then spit it out. Although if it’s bad enough, I certainly won’t be finishing the bowl. I give the review based on the BASE PRODUCT – not the eggs, veggies or anything else. I add these AFTER I taste the broth, noodles and veggies (if any). There are some that won’t like this and my advice to them is to start their own review site, using their own system of ratings and criteria. Some will argue that ‘This isn’t scientific!’ and I will say to them that I never said I was a scientist – I’m just a guy who likes noodles and likes to share my opinion on them.
WHERE DO MY NOODLES COME FROM? I thought I should put in a note about where my instant noodles come from. They come from many places – I buy them, awesome blog fans send them to me out of pure kindness (I send them some stickers for their trouble and make a point to thank them in the reviews of their noodles), retailers (who again I thank by putting a link to them in the post) and sometimes even big distributors and corporations send me samples. I was asked ‘isn’t that a conflict of interest?’ My simple answer is no. It doesn’t matter who or what you are, I have to answer to the highest power of all. My taste buds. If I don’t like it, it’s going to be reflected point-wise as well as my writing in the review. If I do like it, the opposite will occur and a more favorable amount of points and words get used. Pretty simple, really; if I don’t like it, I say so and if I do like it, I say so. Whether you or a big company send me a pack, cup or bowl of items or anything promotional with them, it’s all going to come down to if I like the taste or not. I do however really like getting anything noodle related and appreciate it!
INCOME FROM THE WEBSITE: I don’t accept money to give a better review to a product. Sometimes you’ll see links on the reviews to where you can buy the noodles or the garnishes I use to top them – those pretty much are all going to Amazon – I get a little pinch of moolah when people use those links to buy anything – which is most appreciated. Hans ‘The Ramen Rater’ Lieneschis a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
Another way is through Google AdSense, whose ads you might see on the right hand side.
The main revenue I get from advertisers for instant noodle companies. Companies will often ask if they can run an advertisement and I have yet to turn any down. These advertisers don’t get any special treatment – I still review their products the same way as every other. It turns out though that companies who end up on my top ten lists like to advertise on the site. Companies that get a lot of zero stars probably wouldn’t want to run an ad on a site that gives them low score anyways.
UPDATE 12/17/2017 – I also license the use of my image and logo for use by companies. Also, I have been getting a little bit from YouTube – not much but a little which is cool.
Not much more to say than that – I really appreciate those who come and comment and check out the site! I like friendly disagreement as well – as long as it stays kind – these are noodles.
Hans “The Ramen Rater” Lienesch