Tea Championship Ranks World’s Finest Hot Teas

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From cinnamon and cardamom to mint, ginger and rose, the North American Tea Championship Hot Tea Class / Spring Tea competitors showcased an assortment of pleasing flavors for discriminating judges. The Championship, which took place July 27 – 28 in Las Vegas, Nev., evaluated premium spring teas in 15 different categories. More than 200 teas entered the Championship, the only independent and professionally judged tea competition in North America, to distinguish the highest quality and best tasting teas commercially available in the marketplace. Many of the teas originated from China, India, Japan, South Korea and Sri Lanka. A complete list of first, second and third place winners is available at www.worldteaexpo.com/tcwinners.

First place “Signature Famous Teas” include:
—Ceylon category – Qtrade Teas & Herbs, New Vithanakande Supreme, Sri Lanka
—Dragonwell category – Ecrossland, Inc., Dayang Dragon Well, Zhejiang Province, China
—Sencha category – ITO EN, Okumidori Sencha, Japan
—Darjeeling category – Qtrade Teas & Herbs, Jungpana 2nd Flush, India

—Matcha category – Rishi Tea, Rishi Matcha, Japan

First place “General Category Teas” include:
—Blended Green Tea – Rishi Tea, Super Green
—Blended White Tea – Qtrade Teas & Herbs, Organic & Fair Trade Silver Serenity

—Flavored Green Tea – La Creme Coffee & Tea, Peach Ginger Detox Tea

—Flavored White Tea – Teas Etc., Pear Spice White

—Puer Tea – Rishi Tea, Shu Pu-erh Classic, China

—Unflavored Herbal Blends – Dilmah Tea/Unity Brands Group LLC, Dilmah Pure Chamomile Flowers

—Blended Green Tea / Genmaicha – Rishi Tea, Genmai Matcha

—Flavored Fruit Blends – TeaGschwendner Inc., #1452 Rose Mundi

—Flavored Herbal Blends – TEAMOTIONS, Tea Restfully

—Pan-Fired Green Tea – Qtrade Teas & Herbs,Tunxi Green Tea, China

—Steamed Green Tea – Rishi Tea, Gyokuro Secret Garden, Japan

—White Tea – Qtrade Teas & Herbs, Organic & Fair Trade Silver Needle Supreme

Kim Jage, executive vice president of World Tea Media, producers of the North American Tea Championship, said, “This is the first year we separated the competition from the World Tea Expo and opened it up to all companies in North America that sell tea. As a result, while there were many well-known and respected tea companies that took first place, there were also many pleasant surprises. We saw less familiar and up-and-coming tea retailers stand out with premium teas, winning first, second and third place honors.”

The 217 tea submissions were evaluated blind and through organoleptic analysis of the following characteristics: dry leaf, brewed color, brewed aroma, brewed flavor, brewed mouth-feel, and brewed harmony. An overall numerical value on a 100-point scale was then calculated based on the ratings of each characteristic above. Winners were determined by rank.

Jage said, “We thank our first-rate judges for their dedication to quality tea. Collectively, they brought more than a century worth of tea tasting experience to the Championship.”

Judges of the North American Tea Championship included:

—David De Candia, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

—Eliot Jordan, Peet’s Coffee & Tea

—Jane Pettigrew, internationally renowned tea expert

—Mike Spillane, G.S. Haly Company

—David Walker, Walker Tea

Cupping Coordinators included:

—Suzette Hammond, Peet’s Coffee & Tea

—Aaron Vick, G.S. Haly Company

The North American Tea Championship is made up of two classes: Hot Tea and Iced Tea. Each class consists of its own categories and judging panel. The Hot Tea Class is evaluated twice a year: July for spring teas and February for fall teas. The Iced Tea Class is evaluated once a year in May. Winners of the Tea Championship are announced after each respective evaluation. An invitation-only Awards Celebration is held annually at the World Tea Expo, the premier event for the industry, to honor all winners. The next evaluation will be held February 2011 for fall teas. Entries will be accepted in January. To inquire about entering the competition, e-mail [email protected]
About the North American Tea Championship

North American Tea Championship is produced by SFG Group, LLC dba World Tea Media, which also produces World Tea Expo and World Tea News. Until 2010, the Championship was called the World Tea Championship and it was held in-conjunction with the Expo. Today, it is an independent event, judged by professional cuppers, that evaluates premium teas from around the world sold in North America. For more information, visit www.worldteaexpo.com/tcwinners.

Posted 8/17/10.