Penton’s North American Tea Championship Names 15 Winners During Evaluation of Hot Loose-Leaf Teas from Spring Harvest 2016

Some of the Winning Teas Will Be Featured at World Tea Expo in Las Vegas, June 13–15, 2017


Hot tea competitors

Fifteen high-quality teas were awarded first-place prizes in several categories during the North American Tea Championship’s (NATC) evaluation of spring-harvest 2016 hot teas. The competition, held Sept. 15–16, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nev., was hosted by Penton, organizer of the NATC and World Tea Expo. Some of the winning companies will be featured at World Tea Expo (#WorldTeaExpo and #WTE17), June 13–15, 2017 at the Las Vegas Convention Center (with a pre-conference program on June 12). See and

The North American Tea Championship (#NATC) is the only independent tea competition – evaluated by professional cuppers – to distinguish the highest quality and best tasting teas that are commercially available in the North American marketplace.

First-Place Winners
NATC’s first-place winners from the Spring Hot Tea Class evaluation are listed below (company/website, winning tea name and NATC category). A complete list of first, second, and third-place winners is available at

  • Garden to Cup Organics (, Vithanakande Estate Private Reserve – Ceylon
  • Teaja Organics (, Makaibari Darjeeling 1st Flush – Darjeeling
  • Aiya America (, Premium Matcha – Matcha
  • Florapharm Tea USA (, Organic Japan Sencha DE-OKO-005 – Sencha
  • Garden to Cup Organics (, Gyokuro Private Reserve – Steamed Green Tea
  • AmorePacific (O’sulloc) (, Oo-Jeon – Pan-Fired Green Tea
  • Teaja Organics (, Genmaicha + Matcha – Blended Green Tea
  • Teaja Organics (, Summer Fling – Flavored Green Tea
  • EASTSIGN INC. (, Puer Tea – Puer Tea
  • Teaja Organics (, Fujian Silver Needle – White Tea
  • Garden to Cup Organics (, Guilin Dreamin’ – Blended White Tea
  • Garden to Cup Organics (, Lemon Raspberry Mojito – Flavored White Tea
  • Big T NYC (, Pixie Pink Punch, Immune Boosting – Flavored Fruit Blends
  • SerendipiTea ( , Harmony – Flavored Herbal Blends
  • Citizen Tea (, Inner Harmony – Unflavored Herbal Blends

NATC Evaluators Praise the Winning Teas

NATC Evaluator Royce Van Twest, a leading tea professional with nearly 50 years of experience, and vice president of QTrade Teas & Herbs in Cerritos Calif., said, “More than 150 entries in 16 categories were judged at the North American Tea Championship evaluation of spring harvest loose-leaf hot teas from 2016. I was amazed by the exotic and beautiful varieties of teas and blends from all over the world, which were competing in the competition. The NATC also saw a number of new entrants, which speaks very well of the fast growing tea industry in this country, and how the championship continues to attract the very best teas to compete. I congratulate all who participated and the winners in particular for their keenness and array of high-quality teas.”

Scott Svihula, an NATC evaluator and well-respected industry consultant and principal of Hula Consulting in Orlando, Fla, said, “This year’s NATC Spring Harvest Hot Tea submissions offered up unique teas. It was nice seeing such a range of submissions in each category, with some well thought-out blends and flavor submissions. However, there were more than a few teas that had quality issues like: inconsistent leaf manufacture, product storage issues, incorrect use of ingredient size, and the lack of understanding how to appropriately apply liquid flavoring. But beyond those flaws, there were some clear stars in most of the categories. Congratulations to those that received awards in their categories. I encourage all entrants to submit their teas into the February Fall Harvest Hot Tea championship.”

During the competition, NATC evaluators reviewed every submission via blind and organoleptic analysis, including dry leaf, brewed flavor, brewed color, brewed aroma, 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, and winning teas were determined by rank.

Note: There was one additional NATC spring hot tea category, where no first-place prize was awarded by the evaluators – Dragonwell/Origin Authentic category. However, the category had second and third-place winners (a complete list of first, second, and third-place winners is available at Also, judges evaluating the teas were not allowed to enter teas from their own company.

Honorees will be featured at the North American Tea Championship Winners Tasting Circle at World Tea Expo (, June 13–15, 2017 at the Las Vegas Convention Center (#WTE17) (with a pre-conference program on June 12).

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