June 1 marks not only the unofficial start of summer, but also the official start of National Iced Tea Month. Connoisseurs of the chilled brew will be thrilled to know there is a list of the best brands to choose from: winners of the 2010 North American Tea Championship Iced Tea Class competition.According to a March report by Beverage Marketing Corporation, ready-to-drink teas were the fastest-growing category of refreshment beverage in the U.S. last year. “As premium iced tea becomes more popular, having a resource for choosing the best teas on the market becomes more important to both retailers and consumers,” said Kim Jage, executive vice president of World Tea Media, organizer of the Tea Championship.
More than 80 premium teas were submitted for the championship, which is in its third year. Judging took place May 18 at the Wilbur Curtis Corporate Headquarters in Montebello, Calif. Awards will be handed out at a celebration during the 2010 World Tea Expo, June 11-13 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
First-place awards in the competition’s 13 different tea categories will go to: Adagio Teas, ITO EN, China Mist Brands, New Leaf Brands, The Republic of Tea, Rishi Tea, S&D Coffee, Shangri-La Tea Company, TeaGschwendner and True Brew.
The full list of winners by category is available at www.TeaChampionship.com. A buyer’s guide will be published later this year.
World Tea Expo is the premier business-to-business event dedicated to specialty tea; it’s the three days each year when industry members determine trends, optimize product lines, increase knowledge and network with peers. Tradeshow Week magazine recognized it as one of the Fastest 50 growing events in North America in 2006, 2008 and 2009. World Tea Expo is produced by SFG Group, LLC, dba World Tea Media, which also produces World Tea News, North American Tea Championship, World Tea Ratings, World Tea Buyers Guide and World Tea Webinars. For more information, visit (www.worldteaexpo.com).