North American Single-Serve Tea Champions Named


The  North American Tea Championship (NATC) announced 10 first-place winners in various categories of its new Packaged Single-Service evaluation, which took place Nov. 14 – 15.

The Championship is the only independent competition, judged by professional cuppers, to distinguish the highest quality and best tasting teas that are commercially available in the North American marketplace. Some of the winning teas will be featured at the upcoming World Tea Expo, June 7 – 9 in Las Vegas, Nev.

“The tea submissions for NATC’s inaugural Packaged Single-Service evaluation were much higher in quality than we expected,” said North American Tea Championship Judge Mike Spillane, CEO at The G. S. Haly Company. “The quality of the teas showed a significant level of professionalism. There was a lot of thought put into these premium teas,” he said.

North American
Tea Championships
To inquire about competing in upcoming North American Tea Championship evaluations, including the Hot Tea Class, Iced Tea Class and Packaged Single-Service Tea Class, e-mail or call 702-253-1893.The next North American Tea Championship, for the fall Hot Tea Class, takes place in February 2013.

According to Spillane, the key message to consumers is that packaged single-service teas can deliver a first-class cup. “Don’t be hesitant when it comes to trying single-service teas,” Spillane said.

“There’s a lot of quality out there. Yet, there are so many tea brands that even I, a professional, sometimes have difficulty selecting the right single-service packaged tea at my market or online. So, my advice? When looking for a single-service tea, choose teas that are packaged in the pyramid tea bags; they present a greater selection and you have a higher chance of getting a specialty tea because it holds whole leaf, unlike the traditional flat-packed tea bags.”

Overall, Spillane said this new single-service competition from the NATC is a good first-step towards helping connoisseurs pick the right tea from the shelf. “This kind of third-party evaluation can really help the buyer make a decision, when they look for the North American Tea Championship logo.”

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

  • Newby Teas LTD, Kan-Junga Pyramid Infusers, Black Tea-Single Origin
  • Brands of Britain, Yorkshire Gold, Black Tea Blends Unflavored
  • Den’s Tea, Organic Fairtrade Mango Black Tea, Black Tea Flavored
  • QTrade Teas & Herbs, Organic Mao Jian, Pan-fired Green Tea
  • The Green Teaist, LLC, TGT Blend, Steamed Green Tea
  • Two Leaves Tea Company, Jasmine Petal, Jasmine Scented Green Tea
  • Choice Organic Teas, Genmaicha, Green Tea Blended/Flavored
  • Redco Foods, White Tea Asian Plum, White Tea Blended/Flavored
  • Newby Teas LTD, Chamomile Pyramid Infusers, Herbal
  • Teatulia Organic Single Garden Teas, Lemongrass Herbal Infusion, Herbal Blended/Flavored

Spillane pointed out that the flavored teas in this Packaged Single-Service Class were notably subtle in terms of flavor. “There weren’t any over-the-top flavor profiles,” he explains. “There were no teas that were bad in this category of competition, and that’s quite a compliment as we certainly have judged some less-than-perfect tea submissions in other categories of the North American Tea Championship.”

A complete list of first, second and third-place winners, as well as details on the Championship, is available at

About NATC’s Packed Single-Service ClassThe new North American Tea Championship’s Packaged Single-Service Tea Class is designed to determine the best tea bags, instant hot teas and other single-service teas that are commercially available in North America. The Class is evaluated once a year in November, and 2012 year marks the first evaluation for this category.For the recent competition, submissions were evaluated blind and through organoleptic analysis of characteristics, including flavor, body, color, clarity and balance. An overall numerical value on a 100-point scale was calculated based on the ratings of each characteristic, and winning teas were determined by rank.Teas were evaluated by similar pack size. For example, teas sold in 50 to 100 count packs evaluated against similar packaged teas. And teas packaged in a box under a 25 count — which includes most specialty teas — were evaluated against similar offerings.All teas that competed were brewed using one single-serve pack (teabag, sachet, portion pack, etc.) and steeped in an eight ounce serving cup. For the evaluation, the water temperature and steep time for each category was according to a specific Brew Plan chart.