The Global Tea Championship’s Fall Hot (Loose Leaf) Tea Competition will take place Feb. 23–24, 2019 in Boulder, Colorado and entry forms are currently being accepted through Feb. 13. Any company whose tea is commercially available worldwide is eligible and encouraged to enter. This includes, but is not limited to: tea growers, producers, brokers, brand owners, grocers, retailers, and teahouses. Tea samples are due by Feb. 15.
The Global Tea Championship is a valuable way for tea purveyors to learn about how their teas compare to others on the market in terms of appearance, aroma, taste and mouthfeel. All tea entries will be thoroughly evaluated and scored by three judges who have extensive knowledge of tea and experience in the tea industry: Lydia Kung, Owner of Verileaf Fine Teas; Gilbert Kendzior, Owner of All Points Tea Consulting; and Rob McCaleb, Founder and President of the Herb Research Foundation.
The highest quality, best-tasting teas prevail, and all entrants receive useful feedback from the judges. “It is always beneficial to hear feedback, especially when it comes to teas that are a company’s best offerings,” said Kung. Ergo, participating in the competition benefits all entrants, regardless of whether they place.
The judges’ informed perspectives stemming from the scope and depth of their knowledge and exposure to teas can only help tea purveyors. “Judges usually have the opportunity to see a large number of teas in various categories, beyond entries submitted to the competition,” said Kung. “Comments coming from this wider context may help entrants in sourcing better teas, giving them a better idea of what to look for.”
Furthermore, this is the only time of year the Global Tea Championship is offering the Unique Class tea category. Companies with unique teas are encouraged to enter in this category.
Winners will be notified Feb. 28 and results will be published in World Tea News March 5. Winning companies will receive a print-ready seal that can be used in packaging and promotional materials. Winning companies that attend the World Tea Expo also have the option to showcase their tea in the Winners Tasting Circle where they are eligible to win People’s Tea Choice Awards. Placing in the Global Tea Championship and in the Winners Tasting Circle communicates the company’s quality to the public. Past winners have felt the notoriety from the Global Tea Championship bolstered their companies’ credibility.
Submit applications via the competition application portal. Kung emphasized the importance of making sure teas are submitted in the proper categories, “While it does not happen often, some submissions are incorrect for the category. This is crucial info for the entrant.”