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Tea

Rooibee Red Tea Launches Ready-to-Drink Option for Kids

Rooibee Red Tea announced the launch of Rooibee Roo at Natural Products Expo West. Developed just for kids, the bottled tea offers the same health benefits and similar great taste of its parent line in three fruity flavors: cherry, mango and orange. A certified USDA organic rooibos tea that is naturally caffeine free, only 12 grams of organic cane sugar and less than 60 calories per eight ounce BPA free bottle, this is a tea parents can feel confident giving their children. For more information go to www.RooibeeRedTea.com.

When Rooibee Red Tea Chief Tea Officer Heather Howell joined the company four years ago, she noticed how much kids enjoyed the drink and knew they deserved their own. “I’m happy to fulfill the need of a healthier drink option for children by offering a tea with kid-friendly flavors, filled with unique minerals and antioxidants that also fall in line with school nutrition standards,” said Howell. “As a parent I know how important it is to feel confident about what your children put in their bodies.”

Rooibee Roo is currently production ready and will be available to consumers in select stores and online in late spring as a six-pack or individual bottles. It will cost an average price of about $1.00 per bottle.

Best Premium Hot Teas Named

The North American Tea Championship (NATC)  has named the 22 best, premium hot teas from the fall 2013 harvest. The evaluation was held Feb. 20-21 in Las Vegas, Nev., and all of the high-quality winning teas are commercially available in the marketplace.

Companies that took home an esteemed first-place award include: Black Tusk Trading; Florapharm Tea; Garden to Cup Organics Ltd.; International Tea Importers, Mountain Tea; Naivetea; Octavia Tea; QTrade Teas & Herbs; Sipping Streams Tea Company; TeaSource, LLC; Tea Xotics, LLC; and Walters Bay.

Garden to Cup Organics led the championship with the most wins, including four first-place honors, four second place wins and a third place recognition. This new player in the market, driven by seasoned tea experts, is a wholesale supplier of ethically sourced, loose-leaf organic teas based out of Vancouver, British Columbia. The company’s teas are carefully selected, directly from organic tea gardens across the world, and hand-blended in micro-batches to produce the highest quality products. Garden to Cup Organics offers wholesale, custom blending, private and white label opportunities.

“The North American Tea Championship is an excellent platform to showcase quality teas, and we’re thrilled to have received the most wins in this recent evaluation,” said Raj Teja, one of the principals of Garden to Cup Organics. “And the best part of this competition is that it’s independent and judged by professional members of the tea community with stringent standards. For us, the timing of these wins perfectly coincides with the expansion of our distribution across North America.”

NATC Cupping Coordinator Mo Sardella, of The G.S. Haly Company in Redwood City, Calif., noted, “For this competition, there was a noticeable increase in quality and uniqueness within the blended and flavored tea and herbal categories. The flavored and blended products, which are experiencing steady growth within the specialty tea industry, have quickly become the most popular categories at the NATC. Within these categories, the judges noticed a significant increase in custom blends that include good quality specialty teas and herbs, as well as premium ingredients regarding flavoring, decorations and other botanicals. This is a noticeable increase from previous NATC events, in which most blended and flavored products were of varied quality, with less refinement and overall harmony in the finished product.”

All NATC tea submissions were evaluated blind and through organoleptic analysis of the following characteristics: dry leaf, 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.

“Congratulations to all of the teas that stood out and took first place prizes,” said David De Candia, one of the NATC evaluators and tea buyer at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif. “The North American Tea Championship continues to gain exposure in the marketplace, attracting some of the finest teas for review. Certainly, winners of this competition are experiencing the benefits of being an NATC-winner, such as heightened recognition for quality and taste, additional buyer interest and increased sales.”

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

North American Tea Championship first-place winners include:

Black Tusk Trading,  Blended Oolong Tea, Osmanthus Blossoms

Black Tusk Trading, Traditional Ti Kuan Yin, Ti Kuan Yin Private Reserve

Florapharm Tea, Darjeeling, Organic Darjeeling Jungpana

Florapharm Tea, Earl Grey Tea, Manhattan Natural

Garden to Cup Organics Ltd., Blended Black Tea, Black Rose Garden

Garden to Cup Organics Ltd., Flavored Black Tea, Lychee Black Tea

Garden to Cup Organics Ltd., Jade Ti Kuan Yin, Nanyan Tiequanyin

Garden to Cup Organics Ltd., Yunnan, Yunnan Golden Tip

International Tea Importers, Assam, Mangalam Assam

International Tea Importers, Keemun, Keemun Hao Y

Mountain Tea, Bai Hao/Oriental Beauty, Oriental Beauty

Mountain Tea, Green Oolong Tea, LiShan

Naivetea, Flavored Oolong Tea, Passion Fruit Oolong

Naivetea, Green Jasmine Open Leaf, Jasmin Bao Zhong

Octavia Tea, Dark Oolong Tea, Phoenix Mountain Dancon

QTrade Teas & Herbs, Chai, Sweet Chai

QTrade Teas & Herbs, Green Jasmine Pearl, Jasmine Pearls

Sipping Streams Tea Company, Aged/Baked Oolong Tea, 1999 Muzha Formosa

TeaSource, LLC, Breakfast Blend, Ceylon Lumbini Est. Burning Sun FBOPF

TeaSource, LLC, Black Tea, Jin Jun Mei

Tea Xotics, LLC, Flavored Rooibos Blends, Santa’s Cup

Walters Bay, Black Tea CTC, Walters Bay English Breakfast

Honorees will be featured at the North American Tea Championship Winners Tasting Circle at World Tea Expo (WorldTeaExpo.com), May 29 – 31, 2014 at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center, Long Beach, Calif.

The next North American Tea Championship will be held in April 2014 for an evaluation of iced teas. Entries will be accepted in early April. To inquire about entering the competition, e-mail kaye.polivka@fwmedia.com.

Cool Down This Summer With The Republic of Tea

By Phillip Cahill

The Republic of Tea’s new Strawberry Basil iced green tea is hitting shelves around the world on March 1. This exciting flavor is one of many among the Republic of Tea’s line of bagged iced teas. A classic among tea enthusiasts for ages, this variation on green tea gets bold for a promise of a cool, refreshing summer.

The flavor is, in a word, satisfying. It is bold, sweet, subtle, and refreshing all at the same time, making for a beautiful and welcome guest to a hot summer day. Unlike in some flavored teas which sound good but get lost in translation, these elements work together in an unexpected way. No single flavor is the hero; they all work together to make something more.

Green tea is coming in to its own lately, not only with an array of flavors, but also with knowledge of its powerful health benefits. Enjoyed for centuries for how it helps the mind and body, green tea is growing in both popularity and variety.

Not satisfied to leave the mission at quality tea, The Republic of Tea’s bags boast an eco-friendly angle: these tea bags are unbleached and biodegradable, making for great nutrition in a garden once brewed. In a wasteful world, this is a welcome change.

With a commitment to flavor, health, and the environment, The Republic of Tea is a strong frontrunner for the emerging tea revolution; with popularity like never before, this amazing plant has found its home. This is a flavor that is not to be overlooked. Whether you’re new to tea and are looking for a relaxing drink for the summer, or you’re experienced and looking for something new, this is one drink that both promises and delivers.

Coming March 1 with a pack that makes eight quarts.

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