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Tea Championship Tags the Best Iced Teas for Summer & Beyond

June is National Iced Tea Month, and the North American Tea Championship (NATC) is naming the 25 best, premium iced teas in key categories. The NATC is the only independent and professionally-judged tea competition in North America and the premier platform for showcasing quality teas. Visit TeaChampionship.com for a complete list of first, second and third-place winners in the NATC Iced Tea Class.

Some of the NATC victors are scheduled to be featured in 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. And all of the high-quality NATC-winning teas are commercially available in the marketplace.

Companies with 2014 first-place iced tea awards from NATC include: Argo Tea; Bhakti Chai; Crystal Geyser Water Company; Dr. Pepper Snapple Group; Honeybush Health Ltd.; Immaculate Leaf; ITO EN (North America); Kelley Organic / Eastsign Foods; Mellow Monk, LLC; QTrade Teas & Herbs; S&D Coffee and Tea; Shangri La Tea Co.; and Walters Bay.

ITO EN (North America), S&D Coffee and Tea, QTrade Teas & Herbs and Kelley Organic / Eastsign Foods boast the most first-place wins in the NATC Iced Tea Class.

“All of this year’s North American Tea Championship winners in the Iced Tea Class are exceptional and highly recommended for summer 2014 and beyond,” says George Jage, director of the North American Tea Championship at The Beverage Group, a division of F+W Media. “The NATC had a lot of high-quality iced teas to choose from. Most notably, we’re seeing an increase in premium iced tea offerings for foodservice, so we added four ‘Best Value Awards’ in Foodservice in different categories. We also presented a ‘Best Packaging Award.’ Congratulations to all of this year’s winners; we expect them to gets lots of attention from consumers and the foodservice industry, especially in the warmer months ahead.”

North American Tea Championship first-place winners include:
(Company, Website, Category, Name of the Winning Tea)

  • Argo TeaArgoTea.comReady-To-Drink – Green – Flavored, Green Tea Ginger Twist
  • Argo TeaArgoTea.comReady-To-Drink – Herbal – Any, MojiTea
  • Bhakti ChaiBhaktiChai.comReady-To-Drink – Black – Sweetened, Bhakti Chai Almond Blend Ready-To-Drink
  • Crystal Geyser Water CompanyCrystalGeyser.comReady-To-Drink – Black – Unflavored / Unsweetened, Tejava Premium Iced Tea
  • Immaculate LeafImmaculateLeaf.comFoodservice – Black – Unflavored / Unsweetened, Crushed Amber Oolong
  • ITO EN (North America)ItoEn.comReady-To-Drink – Oolong – Flavored, TEAS’ TEA Golden Oolong
  • ITO EN (North America)ItoEn.comReady-To-Drink – Green – Sweetened, TEAS’ TEA Jasmine Green Sweetened
  • ITO EN (North America)ItoEn.comReady-To-Drink – Green – Unflavored / Unsweetened, TEAS’ TEA Decaf Green
  • Kelley Organic / Eastsign FoodsTea2020.comInstant – Black – Flavored, Lemon Flavor Black Tea
  • Kelley Organic / Eastsign FoodsTea2020.comInstant – Black – Unflavored / Unsweetened, Instant Pu’er Tea Powder
  • Kelley Organic / Eastsign FoodsTea2020.comInstant – Herbal – Any, Hibiscus Drink
  • Mellow Monk, LLCMellowMonk.comInstant – Green – Unflavored / Unsweetened, Just-Right Roast
  • QTrade Teas & HerbsQTradeTeas.comFoodservice – Green – Flavored, Summer Me Baby
  • QTrade Teas & HerbsQTradeTeas.comFoodservice – Herbal – Any, Citrus Ironwood
  • QTrade Teas & HerbsQTradeTeas.comFoodservice – Green – Unflavored / UnsweetenedEmerald Green
  • S&D Coffee and TeaSNDCoffee.comFoodservice – Bag-in-Box – Black Flavored, Teafinity Lemongrass Basil Bagless Black Tea
  • S&D Coffee and TeaSNDCoffee.comFoodservice – Bag-in-Box – Green Flavored, Teafinity Blueberry Thyme Bagless Green Tea
  • S&D Coffee and TeaSNDCoffee.comFoodservice – Black – Flavored, Black Currant Filter Pack Flavored Black Tea
  • Shangri La Tea Co.ShangrilaIcedTea.comInstant – Green – Flavored, Tropical Green Quickbrewed

New NATC categories and winners include:
(Company, Website, Category, Name of the Winning Tea)

  • Honeybush Health Ltd.HoneybushHealth.com, Ready to Drink – Best Packaging, the complete line of Honeybush Bottled Herbal Tea
  • S&D Coffee & TeaSNDCoffee.com, Best Value – Foodservice – Flavored Black Tea, Black Currant Filter Pack Flavored Black Tea
  • S&D Coffee & TeaSNDCoffee.com, Best Value – Foodservice – Unflavored Green Tea, Rainforest Alliance Green Tea
  • Walters BayWaltersBay.com, Foodservice – Flavored Green Tea, Walters Bay Lime Green Iced Tea
  • Walters BayWaltersBay.com, Best Value – Foodservice – Unflavored Black  Tea, Walters Bay Pure Ceylon Iced Tea        

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.

Wilbur Curtis, a leading manufacturer of tea brewers and accessories, is the official equipment supplier for the North American Tea Championship Iced Tea Class evaluation. Global Customized Water is the official water supplier.

The next North American Tea Championship will be held in summer of 2014 for an evaluation of spring teas. Entries will be accepted and details will be at TeaChampionship.com once dates are established.  To inquire about entering the competition, e-mail kaye.polivka@fwmedia.com.