Catherine Felegi is the founder and author of the blog Tea Love, a blog dedicated to all things tea-related. You can find this post and others on her page, http://cafelegi.wordpress.com/.
So, those who read my blog know that, in order to keep myself up-to-date, I read Google Alerts specified for tea. Usually, each e-mail contains around 50 news stories mentioning anything about tea.
As I looked through my news stories, I found "Tejava Repeats First Place Win at North American Tea Championship". Even though I have been writing this blog for about half a year now, I still had to do a double-take. A North American Tea Championship? And people laughed saying that my tea earrings were ridiculous.
But yes, this Olympic event for tea brings tea companies and professional cuppers together to decide which tea is the best tea available in North America. The hot teas are evaluated twice a year - once in July for the summer teas and once in February for the fall teas. Iced tea gets evaluated in May.
The hot teas are evaluated based on dry leaf, brewed color, brewed aroma, brewed flavor, brewed mouth‐feel, and brewed harmony. The iced teas are divided into categories according to their market application and sales channels: Ready-to-Drink. Foodservice and Instant iced teas. Each category is then separated into sub-categories.
Winners get announced in the North American Tea Championship press release, receive a letter announcing its ratings, a seal to use on promotional materials and the opportunity to showcase their teas in the World Tea Expo and the World Tea East.
On March 8, 2012, 20 iced teas were chosen to be amongst the elite, proving their rankings in sections like food services, sweet tea, unsweetened tea, and packaging.
While I will in no way be able to make it to Nevada for July 2012, I think this would be amazing to attend just once! I never would have bet that something like this existed in the tea world and if you don't get Google alerts or own a tea shop, I doubt you would either!