“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|
|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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