August 16th, 2018

Iced Tea Commercial Competition

Category Definitions

March Competition Category Definitions:

Please note: Signature teas are single origin teas that that represent a specific tea type or standard. General teas are every tea outside of the Signature description such as less common teas, open class, blends, flavors, etc.

Category: Assam
Championship: Signature
Tea Base Type: Black
Country of Origin: India
Leaf: Fully oxidized leaf of any grade from the Assam region of India that contains no other botanical. Dry leaf is neat, well graded with black, copper and mahogany color with potentially golden tips.
Infusion: Wet leaf is coppery in color. Infusion is bright and clear, deeply colored amber with a rich full bodied, malty flavor with pungent astringency.

Category: Black Tea (Machine Processed)
Championship: General
Tea Base Type: Black
Country of Origin: Any
Leaf: Fully oxidized leaf of any machine processed grade from one single origin that contains no other botanical. Leaf is of uniformly sized irregular shaped balls. This leaf does not qualify for any other hot tea category whether in the Spring or Fall championship.
Infusion: Rich brown to red-brown color with a good, strong, well balanced flavor.

Category: Black Tea (Orthodox Processed)
Championship: General
Tea Base Type: Black
Country of Origin: Any
Leaf: Fully oxidized leaf of any orthodox processed grade from one single origin that contains no other botanical. This leaf does not qualify for any other hot tea category whether in the Spring or Fall championship.
Infusion: Infusion is golden brown to reddish brown to coppery in color. Medium to full body with mild astringency and an array of aromas and tastes.

Category: Blended Black
Championship: General
Tea Base Type: Black
Country of Origin: Any
Leaf: Fully oxidized leaf of any grade that is blended with at least one other botanical not of Camellia sinensis in origin. May not contain any flavoring agents.
Infusion: Well balanced, thought-out blend where each ingredient has a reason for being part of the blend. Though the black tea taste may not be in the forefront; notes of the black tea should be present and detectable.

Category: Breakfast Tea
Championship: Signature
Tea Base Type: Black
Country of Origin: Any
Leaf: Fully oxidized leaf of any grade that is marketed as a breakfast tea. May be of single origin or blend of origins. May not contain any flavoring agents or other botanicals.
Infusion: Infusion is bright and clear with rich, reddish-brown hues. Medium to full bodied and brisk. Astringent and robust enough to withstand milk and sugar, but balanced enough to drink straight.

Category: Masala Chai
Championship: Signature
Tea Base Type: Black
Country of Origin: Any
Leaf: Fully oxidized leaf of any grade that is blended with several whole or cut spices in the traditional Indian fashion. May contain flavoring agents.
Infusion: Infusion is full and astringent enough to accept a dilution of milk and sugar without losing much flavor. Tea is blended with an array of spices which may include (but is not limited to) cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, clove, liquorice root, star anise, fennel, etc.

Category: Darjeeling 2nd Flush
Championship: Signature
Tea Base Type: Black
Country of Origin: India
Leaf: Fully oxidized leaf of any grade from the Darjeeling region of India that contains no other botanical. Dry leaf is typically harvested between May and June where the finished leaf is mainly brown mingled with hints of olive green and golden tips.
Infusion: Infusion is pale amber in color with a sweet honey like flavor with notes of brown sugar and cocoa. Aroma reveals a muscatel grape that is very typical of this flush which is carried through the finish.

Category: Darjeeling Autumnal Flush
Championship: Signature
Tea Base Type: Black
Country of Origin: India
Leaf: Fully oxidized leaf of any grade from the Darjeeling region of India that contains no other botanical. Dry leaf is typically harvested after the summer monsoon season where the finished leaf display various tones of copper with hints of greenish-brown and possibly golden tips.
Infusion: Infusion is a dark mahogany color with a smoother more rounded mature flavor. A woody nose with notes of stewed red fruits and spices. Full bodied with a long finish, which might be spicy or peppery yet maintaining the muscatel flavor.

Category: Earl Grey Black
Championship: Signature
Tea Base Type: Black
Country of Origin: Any
Leaf: Fully oxidized leaf of any grade that is flavored using a flavoring agent of bergamot. May contain other botanicals.
Infusion: Well balanced, thought-out bergamot flavored black tea where the flavoring is not distracting and enhances the tea experience. Flavoring agent should not give off notes that are medicinal, chemical, perfumey or have notes of alcohol. When other botanicals are used, each should have a reason for being part of the flavored blend. Though the black tea taste may not be in the forefront; notes of the black tea should be present and detectable.

Category: Flavored Black
Championship: General
Tea Base Type: Black
Country of Origin: Any
Leaf: Fully oxidized leaf of any grade that is flavored using a flavoring agent. May contain other botanicals.
Infusion: Well balanced, thought-out flavored black tea where the flavoring is not distracting and enhances the tea experience. Flavoring agent should not give off notes that are medicinal, chemical, perfumey or have notes of alcohol. When other botanicals are used, each should have a reason for being part of the flavored blend. Though the black tea taste may not be in the forefront; notes of the black tea should be present and detectable.

Category: Keemun
Championship: Signature
Tea Base Type: Black
Country of Origin: China
Leaf: Fully oxidized leaf of any grade from the Qi Men, Anhui Province of China that contains no other botanical. Dry leaf is neat, well graded, small and black that may contain gold tips.
Infusion: Infusion is clear with a medium, burnt orange coloring. Flavor is smooth, medium to full bodied, well rounded with a mild astringency with piney, floral and/or wine like notes.

Category: Lapsang Souchong
Championship: Signature
Tea Base Type: Black
Country of Origin: China
Leaf: Fully oxidized leaf of any grade typically from the Fujian Province of China that contains no other botanical. Dry leaf is neat, well graded, intensely black and has been intentionally dried over smoking pine wood fire. May not contain any flavoring agents.
Infusion: Infusion is a dark red brown color with a distinctive smoky aroma and flavor.

Category: Yunnan
Championship: Signature
Tea Base Type: Black
Country of Origin: China
Leaf: Fully oxidized leaf of any grade from the Yunnan Province of China that contains no other botanical. Dry leaf is neat, well graded, and brown that may contain gold tips.
Infusion: Infusion is golden reddish brown, full bodied and complex in flavors ranging from peppery to woodsy to sweet fruity.

Category: Gunpowder
Championship: Signature
Tea Base Type: Green
Country of Origin: China
Leaf: Green tea leaf, typically from the Zhejiang Province of China, that has been rolled to look like gunpowder pellets. The leaf grade can be tightly rolled (referred to as pinhead) or a larger more loosely rolled style. Leaf is green to gray-green in color.
Infusion: Infusion is pale yellow to amber in color. Medium bodied tea with slight astringency with roasted nutty toasted notes with a lasting aftertaste.

Category: Hojicha
Championship: Signature
Tea Base Type: Green
Country of Origin: Japan
Leaf: Green tea leaf (typically sencha or bancha) of any grade that has been roasted or pan fired to an oaky brown color.
Infusion: Infusion is a rich amber color with little astringency. The flavor is mild, slightly toasty caramel flavor.

Category: Jasmine Green (Open Leaf)
Championship: Signature
Tea Base Type: Green
Country of Origin: Any
Leaf: Green tea leaf of any grade that has not been rolled into pearls in which jasmine petals where used to naturally scent the tea leaf. May contain jasmine petals, but doesn’t have to. May not contain any flavoring agents.
Infusion: Infusion is predominantly jasmine in aroma with a vegetal green undertone. Infusion is bright, clear and golden green in color with light to medium bodied. Flavor is a well-balanced sweet jasmine floral with some astringency with notes of the green tea base underneath.

Category: Jasmine Green (Pearl)
Championship: Signature
Tea Base Type: Green
Country of Origin: Any
Leaf: Green tea leaf of any grade that has been rolled into pearls in which jasmine petals where used to naturally scent the tea leaf. May contain jasmine petals, but doesn’t have to. May not contain any flavoring agents.
Infusion: Infusion is predominantly jasmine in aroma with a vegetal green undertone. Infusion is pale to warm ivory in color with light to medium bodied. Flavor is a well-balanced sweet jasmine floral with some astringency with notes of the green tea base underneath.

Category: Kukicha
Championship: Signature
Tea Base Type: Green
Country of Origin: Japan
Leaf: A fibrous, stalky mixture of dark green stems and straw colored pieces.
Infusion: Infusion is a pale yellow green color that is mild with no astringency. Subtly fragrant with a clean nutty sweet flavor.

Category: Moroccan Mint
Championship: Signature
Tea Base Type: Green
Country of Origin: Any
Leaf: Green tea leaf of any grade, typically from China like gunpowder or chun mee, blended with mint, typically spearmint. However, any blend of green tea and mint will qualify for this category. May not contain any flavoring agents.
Infusion: Infusion is pale yellow to amber in color. Medium bodied tea with slight astringency with sweet, minty, nutty, and vegetal flavor.

Category: Blended Oolong
Championship: General
Tea Base Type: Oolong
Country of Origin: Any
Leaf: Semi-oxidized leaf of any grade or leaf style that is blended with at least one other botanical not of Camellia sinensis in origin. May not contain any flavoring agents.
Infusion: Well balanced, thought-out blend where each ingredient has a reason for being part of the blend. Though the oolong tea taste may not be in the forefront; notes of the oolong tea should be present and detectable.

Category: Flavored Oolong
Championship: General
Tea Base Type: Oolong
Country of Origin: Any
Leaf: Semi-oxidized leaf of any grade or leaf style that is flavored using a flavoring agent. May contain other botanicals.
Infusion: Well balanced, thought-out flavored oolong tea where the flavoring is not distracting and enhances the tea experience. Flavoring agent should not give off notes that are medicinal, chemical, perfumey or have notes of alcohol. When other botanicals are used, each should have a reason for being part of the flavored blend. Though the oolong tea taste may not be in the forefront; notes of the oolong tea should be present and detectable.

Category: Ginseng Oolong
Championship: Signature
Tea Base Type: Oolong
Country of Origin: China
Leaf: Lightly oxidized leaf that has been blended with powdered ginseng to create dense olive-green pellets of irregular shape.
Infusion: Infusion is pale yellow to amber in color with a floral aroma. A rich clean oolong taste with a strong pleasing ginseng aftertaste which is surprisingly sweet.

Category: Blended Pu-erh/Dark
Championship: General
Tea Base Type: Pu-erh/Dark
Country of Origin: Any
Leaf: Tea of any age or type that has undergone a secondary post manufacturing microbial fermentation step or aging process, whether aging is intentionally accelerated or not. Must be blended with at least one other botanical not of Camellia sinensis in origin.
Infusion: Well balanced, thought-out blend where each ingredient has a reason for being part of the blend. Though the pu-erh/dark tea taste may not be in the forefront; notes of the pu-erh/dark tea should be present and detectable.

Category: Dark Tea
Championship: General
Tea Base Type: Dark Tea
Country of Origin: Any
Leaf: Tea of any age or type that has undergone a secondary post manufacturing microbial fermentation step or aging process, whether aging is intentionally accelerated or not. This leaf must not come from the Yunnan Province of China.
Infusion: Infusion is amber to rich dark brown in color. Medium to full bodied cup with notes that are earthy, woody, reminiscent of damp autumn leaves, molasses, and/or hints of spice. Little to no astringency.

Category: Flavored Pu-erh/Dark
Championship: General
Tea Base Type: Pu-erh/Dark
Country of Origin: Any
Leaf: Tea of any age or type that has undergone a secondary post manufacturing microbial fermentation step or aging process, whether aging is intentionally accelerated or not. Must be flavored using a flavoring agent. May contain other botanicals.
Infusion: Well balanced, thought-out flavored pu-erh/dark tea where the flavoring is not distracting and enhances the tea experience. Flavoring agent should not give off notes that are medicinal, chemical, perfumey or have notes of alcohol. When other botanicals are used, each should have a reason for being part of the flavored blend. Though the pu-erh/dark tea taste may not be in the forefront; notes of the pu-erh/dark tea should be present and detectable.

Category: Pu-erh
Championship: General
Tea Base Type: Pu-erh
Country of Origin: China
Leaf: Tea of any age or type that has undergone a secondary post manufacturing microbial fermentation step or aging process, whether aging is intentionally accelerated or not. This leaf must come from the Yunnan Province of China.
Infusion: Infusion is amber to rich dark brown in color. Medium to full bodied cup with notes that are earthy, woody, reminiscent of damp autumn leaves, molasses, and/or hints of spice. Little to no astringency.

Category: Decaf
Championship: General
Tea Base Type: Black
Country of Origin: Any
Leaf: Fully oxidized leaf of any grade from one single origin that contains no other botanical that has gone through a decaffeination process. Decaffeination may be done through super critical carbon dioxide process or ethyl acetate process.
Infusion: Infusion is golden brown to reddish brown to coppery in color. Medium body with mild astringency and an array of aromas and tastes.

Category: Blended Decaf
Championship: General
Tea Base Type: Black
Country of Origin: Any
Leaf: Fully oxidized leaf of any grade that is blended with at least one other botanical not of Camellia sinensis in origin that has gone through a decaffeination process. Decaffeination may be done through super critical carbon dioxide process or ethyl acetate process. May not contain any flavoring agents.
Infusion: Well balanced, thought-out blend where each ingredient has a reason for being part of the blend. Though the black tea taste may not be in the forefront; notes of the black tea should be present and detectable.

Category: Flavored Decaf
Championship: General
Tea Base Type: Black
Country of Origin: Any
Leaf: Fully oxidized leaf of any grade that is flavored using a flavoring agent that has gone through a decaffeination process. Decaffeination may be done through super critical carbon dioxide process or ethyl acetate process. May contain other botanicals.
Infusion: Well balanced, thought-out flavored black tea where the flavoring is not distracting and enhances the tea experience. Flavoring agent should not give off notes that are medicinal, chemical, perfumey or have notes of alcohol. When other botanicals are used, each should have a reason for being part of the flavored blend. Though the black tea taste may not be in the forefront; notes of the black tea should be present and detectable.

Category: Unique Tea Open Class
Championship: General
Tea Base Type: Any
Country of Origin: Any
Leaf: Unique tea that is typically made in small batches or specific times a year. This category is for teas that are highly specialized and do not fall into a specific category. These teas are often rare, hard to find, unique, and/or so specialized there are few if any other teas like it made anywhere in the world. Examples of this tea could include, but not limited to, African Purple Tea, First Flush Japanese Black Tea, Tai Ping Hou Kui Green Tea from China, Lotus Tea from Vietnam, etc.
Infusion: Infusions will vary in color, aroma, and flavor. Teas will be judged individually based on its own merits. For this category judges will be given the tea name to help judging, but company names will not be known.