Two Teacraft consultancy clients – The Great Mississippi Tea Company and Bromwich Tea Company won top awards in the first ever Tea Of The US (TOTUS) tea competition, held in Hawaii during November 2015.
In the non-commercial division (for new tea companies), The Great Mississippi Tea Company scooped First Prize for its Black Tea and First Prize for its Green Tea. In the same division, Bromwich Tea Company achieved First Prize for its Oolong Tea and Second Prize for its Green Tea.
All four teas were hand made for our clients by Teacraft Associate Consultant Beverly-Claire Wainwright during September/October 2015, from green leaf grown by The Great Mississippi Tea Company in Brookhaven, MS. To gain first place in three out of four tea classes is an outstanding success – and to have achieved this with green leaf plucked from as yet immature bushes is even more praiseworthy. All commercial division prizes went to Hawaii based tea producers; many of these teas were of amazing quality and illustrate the high standard of specialty tea that can be produced in the USA. Apart from our clients, the only other USA mainland grower to be awarded was Mike Fritts of Golden Feather Tea Estate, California, who gained Second Prize for his Oolong.
Teacraft has been working closely with small tea growers in the USA for several years and has now extended its support to small scale tea growers in the United Kingdom: we now have tea growing clients in England (Devon), Wales (Glamorgan), and a large active group – the Scottish Artisan Tea Producers – in Angus and Perth.
Locating suitable cold tolerant and hardy tea plant material is key to growing tea under fringe conditions. To assist the upsurge in interest in ‘grow your own tea’ Teacraft has sourced and imported from the Republic of Georgia and from Nepal, more than a quarter of a million tea seeds in 2015 alone.
Look out soon for new teas from unusual places . . .