Penton’s North American Tea Championship Names the Best Fall Hot Teas and 
Packaged Single-Service Teas

Honorees Will Be Featured at the North American Tea Championship ‘Winners Tasting Circle’ at 
World Tea Expo, June 15 – 17 at the Las Vegas Convention Center

image2Penton’s North American Tea Championship (NATC) named the best fall hot teas from the fall 2015 harvest and the best packaged single-service teas during its recent evaluation, Feb. 25 – 26 in Las Vegas, Nev. NATC is the only independent and professionally-judged tea competition in North America, and all of the high-quality winning teas are commercially available in the marketplace.
Companies that took home an esteemed first-place award in either the Fall Hot Tea or Packaged Single-Service evaluation include: DoMatcha; Farmer Brothers; Florapharm; Garden to Cup Organics; ITO EN; Newby Teas; Rishi Tea; SAHPAT teas; Silk Road Teas; Soleil Industrial Inc. DBA Golden Tea Leaf Co.; The Tea House; and Walters Bay.

Honorees will be featured at the North American Tea Championship Winners Tasting Circle at World Tea Expo (, June 15 – 17 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nev.

David De Candia, one of the NATC evaluators and director of tea at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif., said, “I was very pleased to see the large amount of quality entries for the Fall Hot Tea and Packaged Single-Service evaluations of the North American Tea Championship. Congratulations to all of the winners.”

Lydia Kung, an NATC evaluator, tea buyer and expert with Eastrise Trading Corp./VeriLeaf LLC in Rosemead, Calif., noted, “This February event covered various autumnal teas – in addition to the Packaged Single-Service teas – and it therefore seems very fitting that the category earning the highest points consistently was Oolong, a group that ranges from lightly oxidized teas akin to green teas, to darker, layered cups that demonstrate the pleasures to be found in this category. The sheer variety of teas in the Oolong category, and the NATC-winning Oolong teas, should entice more consumers to explore this group, complex in the making and complex for the senses.”

All NATC tea submissions were evaluated blind and through organoleptic analysis of the following characteristics: dry leaf (hot tea competition only), brewed color, brewed aroma, brewed flavor, 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. Winners were determined by rank. Judges evaluating the teas were not allowed to enter teas from their own company.

A complete list of first, second and third-place winners from the North American Tea Championship’s Fall Hot Tea and Packaged Single-Service Tea evaluations is available at

Fall Hot Tea first-place winners include (Company, Winning Tea and Category):

    • Garden to Cup Organics (, Dong Ding Classical – Aged/Baked Oolong
    • Florapharm (, Halmari GTGFOP1 Clonal – Assam
    • Garden to Cup Organics (, Champagne Oolong – Bai Hao/Oriental Beauty
    • The Tea House (, Black Dan Cong – Black Tea
    • SAHPAT teas (, CTC (BOPSM) – Black Tea CTC
    • Walters Bay (, Walters Bay BOPA – Breakfast Blend
    • Florapharm (, Jungpana Upper FTGFOP1 – Darjeeling
    • ITO EN (, Wuyi Water Golden Turtle – Dark Oolong Tea
    • Rishi Tea (, Organic Moonlight Jasmine – Green Jasmine Open Leaf
    • Garden to Cup Organics (, Imperial Jasmine Pearls – Green Jasmine Pearl
    • Soleil Industrial Inc. DBA Golden Tea Leaf Co. (, Ali Mountain Oolong – Green Oolong

Packaged Single-Service Tea first-place winners include (Company, Winning Tea and Category):image3

  • Farmer Brothers (, English Tradition – Black Tea Blends
  • Newby Teas (, Oriental Sencha – Green Blended/Flavored
  • Soleil Industrial Inc. DBA Golden Tea Leaf Co. (, Pine Oolong – Oolong Blended/Flavored
  • Silk Road Teas (, Tieguanyin – Oolong
  • DoMatcha (, Hojicha – Pan Fired Green

Talking about the recent evaluation, Kung noted: “Tight scores for the Jasmine Pearls group signify higher quality appearing on the market and also a market ready for premium teas that are visually appealing, and in this case, with flavor reflecting a delectable, natural blend of leaf and flower. In the context of single-serve teas, the word ‘teabag’ has taken on a whole new meaning as more whole-leaf teas are bagged for convenience. The advantage of a blind tasting is that there are few preconceived notions – based on the type of bag – about the flavors we will find; and perhaps for many consumers, it is reassuring to have delicious teas in traditional bags. The growing movement towards premium teas notwithstanding, we are reminded that standard teabags should not be dismissed too quickly.”

The next North American Tea Championship will be held May 12 – 13, 2016, at the Wilbur Curtis corporate headquarters in Los Angeles, Calif., for an evaluation of iced teas. To inquire about entering the competition, e-mail, and to learn more visit