Spring Harvest Tea Champions Announced


Pan-fired greens earned the top honors in the North American Tea Championships Hot Tea Spring Harvest competition.

The top ranked tea was a South Korea pan-fired green from Jeju Island presented by OSULLOC, Illohyang and earning 91 points. A Dong Ting Mountain Bi Luo Churi submitted by Black Tusk Trading earned 90 points to finish second in the category.

QTrade Teas & Herbs earned seven awards taking top honors in three categories including Ceylon Orange Pekoe, its Verdant Summer Steamed Green and for its Bollywood Mango Flavored White. Dethlefsen & Balk, Inc. from Germany with offices in Chicago won five honors including a first-place for its Sunny Herbs, a Flavored Herbal Blend. Florapharm Tea – USA – LP received two first-place honors, one for Summer Passion in the Flavored Fruit Blends category and for its Jungpana Organic Darjeeling as well as a second place for its Divine Temple Flavored White. Black Tusk Trading based in British Columbia also earned three awards with its West Lake Dragonwell (Pre-Qing Ming) receiving top honors.

Other first-place winners include International Tea Importers (Dark Puer), TeaSource (Blended White) and Teas Etc. for its Bai Mu Dan Superior Organic from Fujian, Fuding, China.

Manjiv Jayakumar, President of QTrade Teas & Herbs, "We are very happy to have won in multiple origins and multiple categories this year. We feel that the competition provided by the North American Tea Championship offers a great learning experience for our team members, and also validates our expertise and relationships on the producer level."

 “Each year we see the quality of teas submitted get higher and higher. The teas entered today are vastly better than when the competition started in 2008. This is testament to the growth and strength of the industry and it’s nice to see,” said Kim Jage, organizer of the Championship.

Judges, who traveled to Las Vegas, Nev. July 31 and Aug. 1, identified the highest quality and best tasting teas among 200 entries in 17 categories from the spring harvest of 2012, which are commercially available.

The competition is divided into two groups: Signature Famous Tea categories such as Ceylon, Darjeeling, Dragonwell, Matcha and Sencha along with General Categories for Steamed Green Tea, Pan-fired Green Tea, Blended Green, Flavored Green, Green and Dark Puer, White and Blended White Tea, Flavored White Tea,, Flavored Fruit Blends, Flavored and Unflavored Herbal Blends

First Place Winners (Company, Tea, and Category) include:


  • Ceylon: QTrade Teas & Herbs, Ceylon Orange Pekoe, Sri Lanka (87)
  • Dragonwell: Black Tusk Trading Co., West Lake Dragonwell (Pre Qing Ming), Hangzhou (88)
  • Sencha: World of Tea –Le monde du thé, Sencha Maroyaka (86)
  • Darjeeling: Florapharm Tea – USA – LP, Organic Darjeeling "Jungpana" Wonder Muscatel (85)
  • Matcha: Sipping Streams Tea Company, Imperial Matcha, Japan (88)


  • Steamed Green Tea: QTrade Teas & Herbs, Verdant Summer (86)
  • Blended Green Tea: Chado-En Dba The Taste of Tea, Sakura Karigane – Organic (84)
  • Green Puer: Silk Road Teas, Jinggu Grade One Mao Cha, Yunnan, China (85)
  • Dark Puer: International Tea Importers, Organic Pu-erh Tea, China (86)
  • White Tea: Teas Etc,,  Bai Mu Dan Superior Organic (87)
  • Flavored White Tea: QTrade Teas & Herbs, Bollywood Mango (88)
  • Flavored Herbal Blends: Dethlefsen & Balk Inc., Sunny Herbs #22948 (85)
  • Pan-fired Green Tea: OSULLOC, Illohyang, Jeju Island, South Korea (91)
  • Flavored Green Tea: Tea & Beyond Llc Dba Teagschwendner, Asian Pear (85)
  • Blended White Tea: TeaSource, Jasmine Silver Needle (85)
  • Flavored Fruit Blends: Florapharm Tea – USA – LP, Summer Passion, (85)
  • Unflavored Herbal Blends: MarketSpice, Six-Herb (86)

A complete list of first, second and third place winners of the North American Tea Championship is available at www.teachampionship.com.

Suggestions to entrants:

  1. Read the category description carefully before submitting. Know your tea: Some entrants submitted single herbs into the herbal blends category. Others entered black tea into Puer or tea into herbal-only blends. Make sure the tea shipped from the warehouse corresponds with the category.  This happens with some frequency. Make sure it doesn’t happen to you.
  2. Cup the teas before submitting them to the competition.
  3. Most important, it would serve all entrants well to be obsessive-compulsive in managing their storage. There were teas submitted which were tainted with mint or other strong botanicals. I suspect that suppliers do not even know their teas have been tainted because they are so accustomed to the aroma of mint, for example, that they don’t smell or taste it anymore. So perhaps someone who is not surrounded by mint all day can cup the intended submission before shipping it for evaluation. – Kim Jage