AVAP’s ‘Teas of the World’ Contest Ends on High Notes

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.

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.

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:

Brand Tea name Producing            region Country Company or producer name Category Award
La Ruta del Tè Green tea Obera, Misiones Argentine Don Basilio SRL Green Bronze
Compagnie Coloniale Grand Yunnan Préfecture autonome dai de Xishuangbanna, Chine Compagnie Coloniale Black Bronze
L’Autre Thé Nan Mei Lincang, Yunnan Chine L’Autre Thé White Gold
Bitaco High-grown Colombian White tea La Cumbre, Valle del Cauca Colombie Agricola Himalaya S.A. White Silver
Les Jardins de Gaïa Subarna FTGFOP 1FF Darjeeling Inde Les Jardins de Gaïa Darjeeling FF Bronze
Nunshen Barnesbeg First Flush Darjeeling Inde Nunshen Darjeeling FF Gold
Les Jardins de Gaïa Full Moon Spirit Darjeeling Inde Les Jardins de Gaïa Darjeeling FF Gourmet
Lochan Giddapahar Spring Wonder Darjeeling Inde Lochan Tea Limited Darjeeling FF Gourmet
Nunshen Arya Ruby First Flush Darjeeling Inde Nunshen Darjeeling FF Gourmet
Les Jardins de Gaïa Mineral Spring FTGFOP 1FF Darjeeling Inde Les Jardins de Gaïa Darjeeling FF Silver
Bankitwangi Black tea Cianjur, West Java Indonésie PT. Bukitsari Black Gourmet
Sunday Natural Hon Gyokuro Yamashita Takumi Uji Japon Sunday Natural Products GmbH Green Gold
Sunday Natural Hashimi Shincha Tanegashima Shoju Tamegashima island Japon Sunday Natural Products GmbH Green Gold
Les Jardins de Gaïa A l’ombre du Phénix Ujitawarachou, Kyotofu Suzukigun Japon Les Jardins de Gaïa Green Gourmet
Les Jardins de Gaïa Rosecha Haruno, Shizuoka Japon Les Jardins de Gaïa Out of category Silver
Nunshen Capusa Ilam Népal Nunshen Black Gold
Tea by Me Green First Flush Brabant Netherlands Tea by Me BV Green Gourmet
Rukeri Organic Black OP Kinihira Rwanda Sorwathe LTD Rwanda Black Gourmet
Dalu, Giri & Kelay Sinharaja Wiry Tip (FBOPF Ex Sp) Deniyaya / Kolawenigama, Ruhuna High Sri Lanka Lumbini Tea Factory Pvt Ltd Black Gourmet
Yi Xiang Natural Farming Tea Farm Oolong tea Mingjian, Nantou Taiwan Yi Xiang Natural Farming Tea Farm Light Oolong Bronze
Zenique Black oolong Mingjian, Nantou Taiwan Yi Da International Co., Ltd. Taiwan Branch Oolong foncé Bronze
Xue Jian Oolong Tea Oolong S17055 Tai-An, Maio-Li Taiwan Li-Hsin CHANG – Xue Jian Medium Oolong Bronze
Hwa Gung Tea Lishan oolong (5) Taichung Taiwan Hwa Gung Tea co Light Oolong Gold
Xue Jian Oolong Tea Oolong S1805 Tai-An, Maio-Li Taiwan Li-Hsin CHANG – Xue Jian Light Oolong Gold
Taiwanese-Style Shui Xian Songboling, Baguashan, Mingjian Township, Nantou Taiwan Chen Yu-Wen Dark Oolong Gold
Chen-Wey Tea House Tieguanyin Tea Mucha Taiwan Chen-Wey Tea House Medium Oolong Gold
Family Reserve Oriental Beauty Hsinchu County Taiwan Chen Yu-Wen Oolong Oriental Beauty Gold
Hwa Gung Tea Eternity black tea Taichung Taiwan Hwa Gung Tea co Black Gourmet
Hwa Gung Tea Lishan oolong (6) Taichung Taiwan Hwa Gung Tea co Light Oolong Gourmet
Xue Jian Oolong Tea Oolong S1804 Tai-An, Maio-Li Taiwan Li-Hsin CHANG – Xue Jian Light Oolong Gourmet
Zenique Jin Shyuan oolong Mingjian, Nantou Taiwan Yi Da International Co., Ltd. Taiwan Branch Light Oolong Gourmet
Er Wu Cha Mi Natural Ecology High Mountain Nantou Taiwan Yung-An Tea Co Ltd Medium Oolong Gourmet
Purple Tiger Dong ding oolong Shanlinxi, Nantou Taiwan Shiuan Long Enterprises Co., Ltd Medium Oolong Gourmet
Hwa Gung Tea Legends Nantou black Yuchi Taiwan Hwa Gung Tea co Black Silver
Chen-Wey Tea House Lishan Oolong Lishan Taiwan Chen-Wey Tea House Light Oolong Silver
Fortune Tea Garden Wenshan Bao-Chung Pin Lin District Taiwan Fortune Tea Garden Light Oolong Silver
Hwa Gung Tea Lishan ooloong (7) Taichung Taiwan Hwa Gung Tea co Light Oolong Silver
Xue Jian Oolong Tea Oolong S17057 Tai-An, Maio-Li Taiwan Li-Hsin CHANG – Xue Jian Light Oolong Silver
Zenique Aromatic oolong Mingjian, Nantou Taiwan Yi Da International Co., Ltd. Taiwan Branch Light Oolong Silver
Songboling Bao Zhong Songboling, Baguashan, Mingjian Township, Nantou Taiwan Chen Yu-Wen Light Oolong Silver
Hwa Gung Tea Oolong black tea (2) Taichung Taiwan Hwa Gung Tea co Dark Oolong Silver
Yo-Ming-Tang Chin-shin honey Shizuo, Alishan, Chiayi Taiwan Yo-Ming-Tang Medium Oolong Silver
Le Bénéfique Thé vert en tige Of, Trabzon Turkey Idylle SARL Green Support diploma
Sobica Carosa Tay Con Linh, Vi Xuyen, Ha Giang Vietnam Sobica J. S. C. Black Bronze
Sobica Latchi Tay Con Linh, Vi Xuyen, Ha Giang Vietnam Sobica J. S. C. Black Gourmet
Tam Duong Tea Red Beauty Vietnam Ecolink Black Gourmet
Sobica Oflora Moc Chau, Son La Vietnam Sobica J. S. C. Light Oolong Gourmet
Sobica Ceriso Moc Chau, Son La Vietnam Sobica J. S. C. Medium Oolong Gourmet
Tam Duong Tea Naked Tea Sa De Phin, Sin Ho Vietnam Ecolink Green Gourmet
Tam Duong Tea Fairy Tea Tiên Nguyên, Quang Bình, Ha Giang Vietnam Ecolink White Silver
Tam Duong Tea Dragon’s Tails Vietnam Ecolink White Silver
Tam Duong Tea Yellow Tea Vietnam Ecolink Out of category Silver
Sobica Rizote Tan Cuong, Thai Nguyen Vietnam Sobica J. S. C. Green Silver

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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