Iced and Ready-to-Drink Tea Champions Named


Winners of the North American Tea Championship 2012 Iced Tea Class include foodservice entries from Walters Bay, S&D Coffee and Tea, Shangri La Tea Co., and J.M. Smucker Co.

In the RTD categories Xing Beverage, ITO EN, MaryAnna’s Tea, Runa LLC., The Tao of Tea., and TAZO received the top scores.

Crystal Geyser Water Company's Tejava premium iced tea once again placed first in the unsweetened iced tea category.

Click herefor complete list of winners.

World Tea Media, organizers of the North American Tea Championship, announced winners in three categories: premium iced teas in ready-to-drink, foodservice and instant tea. Professional tasters evaluated flavor, body, color, clarity and balance in awarding points from 0 to 100.

Teafinity Raspberry from S&D Coffee and Tea received top overall score of 93. B.W. Cooper’s Iced Brew Tea – Half & Half Lemonade from Cooper Tea Company which competed in the same foodservice catetory was awarded 92 points.

In the RTD category ITO EN (North America) received an 88 for its Teas’ Tea Pure Green. Rishi Tea’s Organic Peach was awarded 87 points to lead the Foodservice Black – Flavored category entries. S&D Coffee and Tea received 87 points for their Premium Blend in the Unflavored-Unsweetened Foodservice category and received 87 in the Best Value category with an MSRP of 27-cents per serving.

Tejava Premium Iced Tea received 84 points.

"Winning the North American Tea Championship for the second consecutive year is recognition that Tejava is unlike any other iced tea in its category," said Shawn Fitzpatrick, brand manager at Crystal Geyser Water Company. "Tejava is simply pure brewed tea made of the finest leaves, and a growing number of professionals and consumers agree it is a fabulous product."

According to AC Nielsen, the unsweetened ready-to-drink (RTD) iced tea category is showing strong growth nationally, up 14.9 percent in sales year-over-year as of April 21, 2012.

Among the Instant Tea competitors Mellow Monk’s Lightly Roasted Iced Green Tea was awarded 87 points in the Unflavored-Unsweetened Instant Green category.

MaryAnna’s Summer Sweet Tea with 85 points topped the RTD category. Templar Food Product’s Black-currant Citron Black Tea scored 84 and AriZona’s Lemon Tea scored 83.

MaryAnna's owner Mary Ann Rollano, who launched her brand in 2008, said, "It's wonderful to get positive feedback from customers about your tea, but being honored by industry experts brings it to a whole new level. A competition like this not only gives us recognition for winning first place in our iced tea category, but it also acknowledges our ability to create the finest bottled iced tea directly brewed from premium tea leaves. I thank the World Tea Media for its efforts in highlighting specialty teas. For a small company like ours to place first among nationally branded bottled iced teas is a real testament to the quality of our product."

North American Tea Championship Iced Tea ClassThe North American Tea Championship was held in May 2012 in Montebello, Calif. at the Wilbur Curtis headquarters, for the evaluation of iced teas.

The North American Tea Championship is an independent competition, judged by professional cuppers, to distinguish the highest quality & best tasting teas commercially available in the North American marketplace. It is the only professionally judged tea competition in North America.

Previously called World Tea Championship, the competition started in 2008 as an event held in-conjunction with the annual World Tea Expo, the premier trade show for the industry.

The competition became an independent event in 2010 and was re-branded as the North American Tea Championship that evaluates premium tea three times a year in-relation to harvests. It is open to any company located in North America that sells commercially available tea.

"Our goal is not only to distinguish the highest quality and best tasting teas commercially available in the North American marketplace but also to clarify tea definitions and the taste characteristics inherent in a tea bearing a particular name," said Kim Jage, sales & marketing director World Tea Media, producers of North American Tea Championship. "We aim, like the wine industry did thirty years ago, to educate tea buyers and further increase awareness of the category."

The championship is produced by World Tea Media, which also produces World Tea Expo, World Tea News and World Tea East. World Tea Media is a division of F+W Media, Inc.