Tea and coffee results in Great taste Awards

In the annual Great Taste awards, 287 awards have been made in the tea, coffee and hot chocolate categories – and the notable thing about this is that the judging was considered to be particularly severe this year. Only eight three-star awards were given – and they were all in tea. Not one coffee achieved the three-star accolade.

There has always been a certain amount of debate about the results, notably because tea blenders and coffee roasters are extremely proud of what they do, and they are extremely sensitive to criticism! However, it has been pointed out that the strict nature of the judging this year only underlines the credibility of the awards, and their value at retail… a one-star award, say the organizers, really means something.

The most notable performers in the beverage section overall were Newby Teas, who got twenty awards, and Teapigs, who took 13.

Among the top coffee performers, Baillies, the Irish roaster, got nine stars, although three of them were for tea; three of the coffees received two-star awards. Bolling of Yorkshire got seven, two of them two-stars; so did Java Republic, all one-stars, three of which were for teas. Union Hand-Roasted took four, two of them two-stars. Percol got four, and so far as we can see from the results, the notable thing about this is that they were all for roast-and-ground or wholebean – Percol in the past has also scored well for instant coffees. Tudor got three, including two two-stars, and Cafedirect got a remarkably well-spread five awards, which included teabags, ground coffee, hot chocolate and even an instant coffee.

In tea, the big stars were Newby, with 20 awards (three of them two-stars) and Teapigs, who took 13, including one of the rare three-stars, for its pure lemongrass. Twinings scored 11, with four two-starred, all for its Tea Deli and Tea Rituals products. Whittard scored 10, made up of four teas, three coffees, and three hot chocolates. Clipper got 9, including a hot chocolate. Typhoo got in there for a Harrod’s English Breakfast.

There were as always some curiosities – rhubarb cropped up a couple of times, including a rooibos and rhubarb infusion which won a three-star award, and there was a white chocolate and rhubarb drink. Perhaps the oddest of all, and we haven’t had time to check this out yet, was the espresso award to the Ludlow Food Centre, for what is described as ‘a blend of quality robusta beans’.

The alphabetical list of beverage winners can be seen on this magazine’s website, here: www.coffee-house.org.uk . The link to the winners is at the top of the news column.


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