Just in time for summer and National Iced Tea Month (June), the North American Tea Championship (NATC) selected 20 first-place winners during its annual Iced Tea Class evaluation. The championship is the only independent competition, judged by professional cuppers, to distinguish the highest quality and best tasting teas that are commercially available in the North American marketplace, According to the NATC.
NATC Judge Eliot Jordan, director of tea, Peet's Coffee & Tea, said in a prepared statement, "The overall cup quality standard for iced beverages is higher than it was just a few years ago. Plus, innovation has strengthened. Let's hope these are trends that continue."
Judge Anthony Tellin, a former tea buyer/formulator for Starbucks' Tazo and current tea buyer/director of operations at Smith Teamaker, said, "With more options and higher quality across all iced tea channels, this summer is sure to be refreshing and delicious."
Winners (company, tea and category):
- S&D Coffee and Tea, Teafinity Sweet, Foodservice Bag-in-Box Sweetened Black
- S&D Coffee and Tea, Teafinity Unsweet, Foodservice Bag-in-Box Unflavored/Unsweetened Black
- Art of Tea, Summer Peach, Foodservice Flavored Black
- Shangri La Tea Co., Shangri La Natural, Foodservice Unflavored/Unsweetened Black
- QTrade Teas & Herbs, Summer Solstice, Foodservice Flavored Green
- Teatulia Organic Teas, Hibiscus Tea, Foodservice Herbal
- Tiki Tea, Apricot Papaya Strawberry, Instant Flavored Black
- Waterfall Tea Co., Instant Chai Latte Mix, Instant Sweetened Black
- Tiki Tea, Tiki Tea/Acai Blueberry Pomegranate, Instant Flavored Green
- Mellow Monk, LLC, Lightly Roasted Iced Green Tea, Instant Unflavored/Unsweetened Green
- Third Street Inc., Organic Hibiscus Mango Ginger, Instant Herbal
- Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Snapple Half 'n Half (Lemonade Iced Tea), Black Flavored Ready-To-Drink
- H2M Beverages, Herbal Mist Iced Tea, Ready-To-Drink Sweetened Black
- Crystal Geyser Water Co., Tejava Premium Iced Tea, Ready-To-Drink Unflavored/Unsweetened Black
- TEAloe LLC, TEAloe Mint, Ready-To-Drink Flavored Green
- ITO EN (North America), TEAS' TEA Half & Half Green Tea with Lemonade, Ready-To-Drink Sweetened Green
- ITO EN (North America), TEA'S TEA Green Tea, Ready-To-Drink Unflavored/Unsweetened Green
- Gizmo Beverages, Tea of a Kind – Pomegranate Acai White Tea, Ready-To-Drink Herbal
- Evy Tea, LLC, Tea Cuvee Amber Oolong, Ready-To-Drink Flavored Oolong
QTrade Teas & Herbs Emerald Green, Foodservice Unflavored/Unsweetened Green