I have no experience in any tea championships, there really are none that I know of in the US. There is one, but it is more of a marketing championship, and not necessarily a tea championship. Either way, because of it’s structure, the winning teas mean very little to me and my purchasing… I’ve tried many of the winning teas and they were not what I would consider championship teas. Some of the competition teas I’ve had from Taiwan and China were very good, but I bought them after the competition, somewhat based on their scoring, but also because I like them in the samples I tried… “Tea Buyer from USA

It helps in marketing and those who attend and participate also get to know different kinds of teas. We have never directly participated but some of our teas have won. Interestingly our best teas have never won could be because they did not participate or they lost to other teas. It is also possible to make just a small quantity of extra ordinary teas just for competition purposes. That is why I feel it is interesting as different things get tried. I think we should have one in India…” Tea Grower from India.

Very interesting observations on tea championships from two very different countries, USA – where tea bags and cold brew are still dominant and India which produces some of the world’s greatest teas.

I did this survey when I was just beginning to write for AVPA’s “Teas of the World” Contest. And it was interesting to have these two comments – one from a buyer and another from a seller of tea – in understanding what could be the expectations from a global tea championship.

AVPA’s Teas of the World contest managed to successfully fit their purpose and objective to answer these two very different points of views.

“In spite of the global enthusiasm, the majority of tea consumers buy teabags from supermarkets. It becomes critical to show trade professionals and the general public alike that tea holds a genuine gastronomic value… For classic origins (China, India…) as well as new ones (Africa, South-East Asia…), the Contest gives an equal opportunity to all producers by providing them with an additional marketing asset to enhance their work… “ AVPA

Lydia Gautier, president of the Experts’ Jury for this first edition of AVPA ‘s “Teas of the World” Contest says “This contest is part of a worldwide movement of emancipation of the producers and they deserve it because they transmit us knowledge which is at the heart of the value of the tea as soon as leaving the plantation. I expect this contest to highlight the work of the producers at the source; it contributes to a dynamic of bringing together producers and consumers, with more transparency.”

On asking her view on what constitutes a good tea as she concludes the judging sessions, Lydia says, “a good tea should have a good balance between the sweet pole and the bitter pole, in a broader meaning than technical meaning: bitterness belongs to the plant, while the sweet stems from its shaping by Man to reveal its personality.” And that’s exactly how the teas were tested and graded at the contest.

Lauren 5
G6 (1)
Lauren 2
Laura 2
Tasting set

AVPA’s first Teas of the World contest came to a grand closing in Paris on 10th July 2018  with more than 100 teas contesting from across the world. The jury worked for almost two weeks to categorise and select teas as per guidelines framed by them to make sure to compare only what’s comparable. All participating teas were equally judged in a blind tasting with two steepings: Chinese-style and European-style.

The awards that were conferred to all the winning teas at this glittering event included Gold, Silver, Bronze, Gourmet and Support Diploma.

Groupe 1
Intro Lauren
Johnny _
Pose 4

Heartiest congratulations to all the winners and hoping that this helps you in bringing your tea to every deserving tea lover across the world. And also believing that this experience has enriched you with collective tea wisdom, and that each one of you shall use this unique knowledge in creating value for yourself as well as for all your stakeholders. As I had written in my first blog for AVPA, tea is and should be part of the knowledge industry. Let this knowledge ripple down to everyone who is waiting to be charmed by this delightful beverage.

Until we meet again… Cheers to our Cuppa…

Here is the complete winners’ list:

BrandTea nameProducing            regionCountryCompany or producer nameCategoryAward
La Ruta del TèGreen teaObera, MisionesArgentineDon Basilio SRLGreenBronze
Compagnie ColonialeGrand YunnanPréfecture autonome dai de Xishuangbanna,ChineCompagnie ColonialeBlackBronze
L’Autre ThéNan MeiLincang, YunnanChineL’Autre ThéWhiteGold
BitacoHigh-grown Colombian White teaLa Cumbre, Valle del CaucaColombieAgricola Himalaya S.A.WhiteSilver
Les Jardins de GaïaSubarna FTGFOP 1FFDarjeelingIndeLes Jardins de GaïaDarjeeling FFBronze
NunshenBarnesbeg First FlushDarjeelingIndeNunshenDarjeeling FFGold
Les Jardins de GaïaFull Moon SpiritDarjeelingIndeLes Jardins de GaïaDarjeeling FFGourmet
LochanGiddapahar Spring WonderDarjeelingIndeLochan Tea LimitedDarjeeling FFGourmet
NunshenArya Ruby First FlushDarjeelingIndeNunshenDarjeeling FFGourmet
Les Jardins de GaïaMineral Spring FTGFOP 1FFDarjeelingIndeLes Jardins de GaïaDarjeeling FFSilver
BankitwangiBlack teaCianjur, West JavaIndonésiePT. BukitsariBlackGourmet
Sunday NaturalHon Gyokuro Yamashita TakumiUjiJaponSunday Natural Products GmbHGreenGold
Sunday NaturalHashimi Shincha Tanegashima ShojuTamegashima islandJaponSunday Natural Products GmbHGreenGold
Les Jardins de GaïaA l’ombre du PhénixUjitawarachou, Kyotofu SuzukigunJaponLes Jardins de GaïaGreenGourmet
Les Jardins de GaïaRosechaHaruno, ShizuokaJaponLes Jardins de GaïaOut of categorySilver
Tea by MeGreen First FlushBrabantNetherlandsTea by Me BVGreenGourmet
RukeriOrganic Black OPKinihiraRwandaSorwathe LTD RwandaBlackGourmet
Dalu, Giri & KelaySinharaja Wiry Tip (FBOPF Ex Sp)Deniyaya / Kolawenigama, Ruhuna HighSri LankaLumbini Tea Factory Pvt LtdBlackGourmet
Yi Xiang Natural Farming Tea FarmOolong teaMingjian, NantouTaiwanYi Xiang Natural Farming Tea FarmLight OolongBronze
ZeniqueBlack oolongMingjian, NantouTaiwanYi Da International Co., Ltd. Taiwan BranchOolong foncéBronze
Xue Jian Oolong TeaOolong S17055Tai-An, Maio-LiTaiwanLi-Hsin CHANG – Xue JianMedium OolongBronze
Hwa Gung TeaLishan oolong (5)TaichungTaiwanHwa Gung Tea coLight OolongGold
Xue Jian Oolong TeaOolong S1805Tai-An, Maio-LiTaiwanLi-Hsin CHANG – Xue JianLight OolongGold
Taiwanese-Style Shui XianSongboling, Baguashan, Mingjian Township, NantouTaiwanChen Yu-WenDark OolongGold
Chen-Wey Tea HouseTieguanyin TeaMuchaTaiwanChen-Wey Tea HouseMedium OolongGold
Family Reserve Oriental BeautyHsinchu CountyTaiwanChen Yu-WenOolong Oriental BeautyGold
Hwa Gung TeaEternity black teaTaichungTaiwanHwa Gung Tea coBlackGourmet
Hwa Gung TeaLishan oolong (6)TaichungTaiwanHwa Gung Tea coLight OolongGourmet
Xue Jian Oolong TeaOolong S1804Tai-An, Maio-LiTaiwanLi-Hsin CHANG – Xue JianLight OolongGourmet
ZeniqueJin Shyuan oolongMingjian, NantouTaiwanYi Da International Co., Ltd. Taiwan BranchLight OolongGourmet
Er Wu Cha MiNatural Ecology High MountainNantouTaiwanYung-An Tea Co LtdMedium OolongGourmet
Purple TigerDong ding oolongShanlinxi, NantouTaiwanShiuan Long Enterprises Co., LtdMedium OolongGourmet
Hwa Gung TeaLegends Nantou blackYuchiTaiwanHwa Gung Tea coBlackSilver
Chen-Wey Tea HouseLishan OolongLishanTaiwanChen-Wey Tea HouseLight OolongSilver
Fortune Tea GardenWenshan Bao-ChungPin Lin DistrictTaiwanFortune Tea GardenLight OolongSilver
Hwa Gung TeaLishan ooloong (7)TaichungTaiwanHwa Gung Tea coLight OolongSilver
Xue Jian Oolong TeaOolong S17057Tai-An, Maio-LiTaiwanLi-Hsin CHANG – Xue JianLight OolongSilver
ZeniqueAromatic oolongMingjian, NantouTaiwanYi Da International Co., Ltd. Taiwan BranchLight OolongSilver
Songboling Bao ZhongSongboling, Baguashan, Mingjian Township, NantouTaiwanChen Yu-WenLight OolongSilver
Hwa Gung TeaOolong black tea (2)TaichungTaiwanHwa Gung Tea coDark OolongSilver
Yo-Ming-TangChin-shin honeyShizuo, Alishan, ChiayiTaiwanYo-Ming-TangMedium OolongSilver
Le BénéfiqueThé vert en tigeOf, TrabzonTurkeyIdylle SARLGreenSupport diploma
SobicaCarosaTay Con Linh, Vi Xuyen, Ha GiangVietnamSobica J. S. C.BlackBronze
SobicaLatchiTay Con Linh, Vi Xuyen, Ha GiangVietnamSobica J. S. C.BlackGourmet
Tam Duong TeaRed BeautyVietnamEcolinkBlackGourmet
SobicaOfloraMoc Chau, Son LaVietnamSobica J. S. C.Light OolongGourmet
SobicaCerisoMoc Chau, Son LaVietnamSobica J. S. C.Medium OolongGourmet
Tam Duong TeaNaked TeaSa De Phin, Sin HoVietnamEcolinkGreenGourmet
Tam Duong TeaFairy TeaTiên Nguyên, Quang Bình, Ha GiangVietnamEcolinkWhiteSilver
Tam Duong TeaDragon’s TailsVietnamEcolinkWhiteSilver
Tam Duong TeaYellow TeaVietnamEcolinkOut of categorySilver
SobicaRizoteTan Cuong, Thai NguyenVietnamSobica J. S. C.GreenSilver

You can download it here: Winners’ List

About Lydia Gautier :

Lydia, who was initially trained as an agronomist worked in French and South American vineyards before specialising in tea. She has been practicing her trade of tea expertise with passion for more than 20 years now creating blends, sourcing teas from origin, and also teaching and advising. She is also the author of best-selling books about tea : Le thé, arômes et saveurs du monde, published in 2005, which is now considered a reference book on tea and translated in several languages ; Thés et Mets : Subtiles Alliances concerns tea sommellerie, released in 2008 ; 1001 Secrets sur le Thé published in 2012 has won the Best in the World Gourmet.

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