Dubai Tea Report: Golden Leaf Awards

Indian Teas Recognized at Golden Leaf Awards in Dubai

By Dan Bolton

DUBAI, UAE – India’s great wealth of tea gardens and expertise extends far south of the fabled Himalayas.

Golden Leaf India Judge Kurush Bharucha (foreground) and Sanjay Sethi (background) sip and slurp.

Golden Leaf India Judge Kurush Bharucha (foreground) and Sanjay Sethi (background) sip and slurp.

Last week, judges of the Golden Leaf India Awards announced 34 outstanding teas in multiple categories as winners of the annual competition. Judging took place at the 5th Global Dubai Tea Forum April 9th. Categories include traditional fannings and orthodox black pekoe and broken pekoe teas along with a test of skill in green tea making.

Kanan Devan Hills Plantation won six Golden Leaf Awards, three each from both CTC and Orthogox categories  from its factories located in the High Ranges of Munnar in Kerala, India. KDHP is the largest tea plantation company in  South India garden and the largest producer-tea exporter in South India with an annual production of 25 million kilos. The plantation spans 23,000 hectares.

WTN140414_GoldenLeafAwards_TastingLine“This has been a testament to KDHP’s efforts on quality enhancement over the years as we won an unprecedented 6 awards in each of the categories that we entered, which no one else has managed thus far,” Chacko P. Thomas.

The total brings to 29 the number of Golden Leaf trophies awarded KDHP.

Golden Leaf India Judge Yahya Beyad, owner of Britannia Teas stands over the spittoon.

Golden Leaf India Judge Yahya Beyad, owner of Britannia Teas stands over the spittoon.

Wentworth and Woodbriar Estates, also in Kerala, each won three Golden Leaf trophies to net the Woodbriar Group a total of six. The Harrisons Malayalam Ltd., Tea Company took home four prizes and Devon Plantations & Industries, Vigneshwar Estate, Koadanad Estate and Joonktollee Tea & Industries each received three of the attractive trophies.

The prizes for best green teas when to Bluegate Beverages in the Nilgiris for its whole leaf and to Poabs Organic Products for its green tea fannings.

The competition is a joint initiative of the Tea Board of India and the United Planters Association of Southern India (UPASI). The panel of judges included Sanjay Sethi, Moshin Saify, Yahya Beyad, Kurush Bharucha and Mike Jones.

Golden Leaf India Judge Moshin Saify reports his scores.

Golden Leaf India Judge Moshin Saify reports his scores.

Indian tea is grown at elevations of 7,500 meters, as high as any in the Himalayan foothills and the plantations date to the late 1800s. South India teas are known for their aroma, balanced astringency and lingering aftertaste. This awards event was first organized in 2005. The judges gave high praise to this year’s competitors.

Presentation of the awards concluded the Dubai tea conference with 300 attendees offering an enthusiastic round of applause.

The victors return to Munnar, Conoor, Annamallais and Wandiperiyar with trophies for their display cases and the knowledge their teas rank among the best India has to offer.

Learn more:


Need to Know (April 7, 2014)

What tea professionals need to start the week —

It’s QingMing….The Global Dubai Tea Forum is about to begin…JT&Tea, a new business from Thomas Shu and Josephine Pan….Rooibee Red Tea for the Whole Family….Arizona Iced Tea off to court…and before you go to buy your Chamomile Colored Mini Cooper T, read this report.


Qing Ming Is Over so Pre-Qing Ming Tea Is on the Way

This year’s Qing Ming Festival was on April 5, celebrating the arrival of spring and the remembrance of ancestors.

For tea lovers, Qing Ming indicates that the much coveted pre-Qing Ming teas will soon be available. Pre-Qing Ming teas are the first harvested each season. Plucking can begin as early as mid-March and finishes just before the festival. Demand is always high for these young leaves.

Interested in pre-Qing Ming teas? Keep in mind that not all tea plants grow at the same time or the same rate, so not all pre-Qing Mings are created equal. Teas like dragonwell are premium pre-Qing Ming picks, while teas from places like Yunnan that are warmer have already passed the moment of the youngest, most tender leaves.


Reports from the UAE and the Dubai Global Tea Forum

Tea Biz editor Dan Bolton has just arrived in Dubai for this year’s Dubai Global Tea Forum. Dubai has seen an increase in tea trade volume of 29% in the last year and an increase in value of 34%. They are now the world’s largest re-exporter of tea, with more than 60% of market share.

The forum will be attended by delegates from 30 tea producing and consuming countries. It opens on Tuesday, April 8 and will close on Thursday, April 10.

Bolton will be providing reports from the conference to Tea Biz so keep watching.


JT & T Inc. to Promote Taiwanese Teas

Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 10.01.29 AMJosephine Pan and Thomas Shu, the team behind ABC Tea, has announced the launch of a new tea company JT & Tea Inc. (ABC Tea is now a division of JT & Tea.)

JT&T will be launching an Oolong Sommelier course, a certification program to become a Taiwan Oolong Specialist. JT&T will operate events at the 2014 World Tea Expo on behalf of the Taiwan Tea Manufacturers’ Association including a world origin tasting tour, an oolong rolling demonstration, and a class on tea baking. They will also operate another Taiwan Oolongs Study Tour (TOST) from October 23 – 30, 2014.

Full coverage of JT & T Inc. will come later this week on Tea Biz.


Rooibee Roo, Bottled Rooibos for Kids

Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 10.08.23 AMRooibee Red Tea has announced the release of a new product, Rooibee Roo, a bottled rooibos for kids. The concept was to provide the health benefits of rooibos in a form that was more appealing to children by adding cherry, orange and mango flavors. Because it is rooibos, it is naturally caffeine-free.

According to Rooibee Red’s Chief Tea Officer Heather Howell, “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.”

The new product was introduced at Natural Products West and will be sold online and in a limited number of retail stores.


Off to court for Arizona Iced Tea…again…

In a battle that seems like it will never end, a judge has refused an interim buyout payment of $200 million in the AriZona Iced Tea ownership dispute. This will force things to trial beginning next month. Behind the dispute? Co-founder John Ferolito is trying to sell his 50% stake, claiming that the company is worth $4 billion. His partner Domenick Vultaggio said it’s only worth about $400 million. You can read more about the case here in a World Tea News report from 2012. It may be two years old, but since then it’s really been more of the same.


In the Market for a Tea-Fueled Car?

Mini-Cooper-T-626x489And finally, there may have been some disappointed tea fanatics when they found out the new MINI Cooper T that operated on tea leaf biofuel was only an April Fools joke. MINI sent out the release, reporting that their car could get 40 miles per cup of tea and was available in Chamomile Yellow, Red Bush, and Earl Grey. It also offered a Dunk Filtration System that would keep peckish drivers or nearby pedestrians from dipping their biscuits into the fuel tanks.

You can see the original post on the MINI UK Facebook page.


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