Tea is one of the most romantic of all beverages. This year’s World Tea Expo (May 29 – 31 in Long Beach, Calif) celebrated tea and its evolution. World Tea Expo also reviewed and selected the very best new tea and tea-related products for its 2014 Best New Product Awards.
The World Tea Awards (#TeaAwards) dinner and ceremony was held on the historic Queen Mary ship. The inaugural awards program recognized some of the best in the global tea industry, in a number of community-voted award categories, on May 30.
The winners of World Tea Awards 2014:
- Best Tea Spirit: James Norwood Pratt, tea author and expert, San Francisco, Calif.
- Best Tea Educator: Jane Pettigrew, tea author and consultant, United Kingdom
- Best Tea Book: Tea History, Terroirs, Varieties (Second Edition) by the Tasters of Camellia
- Best Tea Publication: TeaTime Magazine, Birmingham, Ala.
- Best Social Media Reach: Elyse Petersen, founder and CEO of Tealet, Honolulu, Hawaii
- Best Tea Room Website: The St. James Tearoom, Albuquerque, N.M.
- Best Tea Room Menu: Samovar, San Francisco, Calif.
- Best Tea Retail Website: Adagio, Clifton, N.J.
- Best Tea Blog: World of Tea, Chicago, Ill.
- Best Tea Short / Commercial: The Tea Song by Yorkshire Tea, United Kingdom.
According to Euromonitor International, health and wellness beverages – whether categorized as naturally healthy, fortified/functional, better for you or organic – continue to reach new heights in the U.S. market, eclipsing the U.S. $64 billion mark in 2013.
“It is humbling to be applauded by so many dear friends and colleagues in the tea community,” said industry expert and author James Norwood Pratt, who received the World Tea Award for Tea Spirit. “The spirit all of us share is a love of tea, and our tea industry exists to share that love widely. It’s plain and simple: Tea wants to be loved. We know that.”
Author and tea expert Jane Pettigrew, who won the World Tea Award for Tea Education, explained, “Education and awareness-raising is fundamental to growing the tea market. Tea is a complicated and complex subject, and many people are very confused about what is tea, what are the different categories of tea, and why they are all so different. What we aim to do in training is to help tea lovers understand the basics so that they can then head off on their own tea journey without making mistakes and without all the misunderstandings that can cloud our appreciation of tea.”
Best New Product Awards:
“Best New Product – Tea as an Ingredient” Winner: Lumbini Ladalu Chakra, Lumbini Tea Factory, Sri Lanka – A hand-made tea with a light and sweet taste, Lumbini Ladalu Chakra is part of the exclusive collection of Lumbini Tea Factory.
“Best New Product – Innovation” Winner: Biotre, Pacific Bag, Inc. – Pacific Bag spent two years developing Biotre film, a biodegradable barrier material for packaging, which protects products and is ideal for the tea industry.
“Best New Product – Tea Ware” Winner: Deluxe Iced Tea Beverage System, Takeya USA – Create and enjoy hand-crafted beverages in three simple steps with Takeya’s patented Flash Chill Iced Tea System.
“Best New Product – Open Class” Finalists: Tea Pee – Prostate Support Tea, Nuwati Herbals – The herbs in Tea Pee have been traditionally used to assist with discomfort and frequent urination, and to support healthy bladders.