Awards & Recognitions

Global Tea Championship Announces Winners of the Fall Hot Tea, Packaged Single-service Tea Evaluations

Penton’s Global Tea Championship (formerly the North American Tea Championship) named the best hot teas (loose leaf) and the best pack­aged single-service teas during its recent eval­u­a­tion, Feb. 25 – 26 at Allegro Coffee Company in Thornton, Colo. The Global Tea Championship (GTC) is an inde­pen­dent compe­ti­tion that eval­u­ates and distin­guishes the highest quality and best tasting specialty teas. The recent Championship, which was open to all teas that are commer­cially sold around the world, eval­u­ated 245 teas from 16 coun­tries in various cate­gories and presented 15 first-place wins, in addi­tion to second and third-place awards.

Tea purveyors submitted a spec­trum of tea vari­eties – from break­fast blends to flavored green teas and herbal infu­sions – for this round’s pack­aged single service and fall hot (loose leaf) classes. Each tea was given equal consid­er­a­tion as judges exam­ined the leaves, liquor and taste. To earn third place, teas had to earn a score of 60. Second place required a score of 70, and the threshold for first place was 80. Several cate­gories did not have first-place winners or any winners at all. With the compe­ti­tion now open to global submis­sions, the GTC scoring stan­dards were set much higher than in past compe­ti­tions. However, if a tea entry did not win, it does not mean that tea was a bad tea. Thresholds for winning are meant to iden­tify teas that are above average to supe­rior in quality. A complete list of first, second and third-place winners from the Fall Hot (Loose Leaf) Tea and Packaged Single-Service Tea eval­u­a­tions is avail­able at teachampionship.com.

All Global Tea Championship winners will be featured in an October 2017 Global Tea Buyers Guide, which will be distrib­uted digi­tally world­wide. And all winners will have the oppor­tu­nity to show­case their winning teas at World Tea Expo 2017 in the “Winner’s Tasting Circle” (if they are exhibiting or attending the show) – with a chance to win a People’s Tea Choice Award. World Tea Expo takes place June 13 – 15, 2017 at the Las Vegas Convention Center (with a pre-conference program June 12). See WorldTeaExpo.com.

Fall Hot (Loose Leaf) Tea Class — First-Place Winners Include (Company, Winning Tea and Category):

—Teaja Organics (teaja.com), Jasmine Pearls Private Reserve – Jasmine Green (Pearl)

—Florapharm Tea USA (florapharmteausa.com), LP Assam GTGFOP1 Halmari (cl) – Assam

—Lumbini Tea Factory (Pvt) Ltd (lumbinitea.com), Lumbini Sinharaja Wiry Tips (FBOPF Extra Special) – Black Tea (Orthodox)

—Lumbini Tea Factory (PVT) LTD (lumbinitea.com), Lumbini Breakfast Tea (FBOPF) – Breakfast Blend

—Teaja Organics (teaja.com), Lemongrass Mint Oolong – Blended Oolong

—Tea Sip (teasip.com), Black Walnut Brownie – Blended Pu-erh/Dark

—Garden to Cup Organics (gardentocup.com), Ginseng Oolong Supreme – Ginseng Oolong

—CitizenTea (citizentea.com), Creamy Nut Oolong – Flavored Oolong

—Churchill’s Fine Teas (churchillsteas.com), Lemon Drops Black Tea – Flavored Black

—Teaja Organics (teaja.com), Tangerine Basil Pu’erh – Flavored Pu-erh/Dark

—Tea Sip (teasip.com), Masala Chai – Chai (Masala Chai)

Packaged Single-Service Tea First-Place Winners Include (Company, Winning Tea and Category):

—Shohokuenchaten Co., Ltd. (ujicha.com), Uji Gyokuro Tea Bag – Green Steamed (Bagged)

—Zealong Tea Estate (zealong.com) Zealong Oolong – Green Oolong (Bagged)

—Zealong Tea Estate (zealong.com) Zealong Black – Black (Single Origin) (Bagged)

—Numi Organic Tea (numitea.com), Turmeric Three Roots – Herbal Blended (Bagged)

Suzette Hammond, founder of Being Tea, an inde­pen­dent consul­tancy offering training and program devel­op­ment, and one of the Global Tea Championship eval­u­a­tors, said, “We saw notice­able high points this year in the flavored and blended black tea cate­gories, specif­i­cally with quality of ingre­di­ents and elegant restraint in flavoring. Some teas had simply beau­tiful ingre­di­ents, showing off the natural curl of citrus peel or bright, truly fresh-looking herbs for example. These were clearly done for a tea-forward concept and the skillful approach deliv­ered in the cup.”

Scott Svihula, founder of Hula Consulting, an inde­pen­dent consul­tancy offering product devel­op­ment, sourcing and regu­la­tory compli­ance, said, “I want to congrat­u­late all those that won or scored above 60. You should be proud of your teas. For those that are consid­ering entering future events, this is a great new plat­form to get peer review and vali­da­tion of your teas. Though entries were signif­i­cantly up from last year, there were many cate­gories in both fall hot and single-serve that were under­rep­re­sented. I encourage everyone who sells tea to busi­nesses or consumers to consider entering a couple of your top teas.”

GTC Evaluator Richard Enticott, owner of Meridian Trading Company, which supplies botan­ical ingre­di­ents to customers around the world, noted, “Being my first time as a judge, I was very impressed by the large number of entries across such a broad range of cate­gories. It demon­strates clearly the enor­mous poten­tial for continued expan­sion of the U.S. market for specialty teas.

Kelly Amoroso, tea buyer at Allegro Coffee Company, based in Thornton, Colo., and a GTC eval­u­ator, explained, “Tea compe­ti­tions are useful to the tea commu­nity and consumers as it creates a space for healthy compe­ti­tion amongst tea suppliers, as well as drives inno­va­tion and new blend ideas that keep our industry fresh. Thank you to the compa­nies that submitted samples and for your creativity.”

The Global Tea Championship is made up of three classes: Hot Tea, Iced Tea and Packaged Single Service Tea. Each class consists of its own cate­gories and eval­u­a­tions panel. The Hot Tea Class is eval­u­ated twice a year: September for spring teas and February for fall teas. The Iced Tea Class is eval­u­ated once a year in May. The Packaged Single-Service Tea class is eval­u­ated once a year in conjunc­tion with the February Championship.

The next Global Tea Championship will be held May 2017 at the Wilbur Curtis corpo­rate head­quar­ters in Los Angeles, Calif., for an eval­u­a­tion of iced teas.
To inquire about entering the compe­ti­tion, e-mail info@teachampionship.com.

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