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FALL HOT COMPETITION --  FEBRUARY 23 & 24, 2019

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. There have been changes made so please read over carefully.

 
TEA TYPE COUNTRY CATEGORY
UNIQUE TEA OPEN CLASS ANY ANY SIGNATURE

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.


ASSAM BLACK INDIA SIGNATURE

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 sometimes with 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.


BLACK TEA (MACHINE, CTC) BLACK ANY GENERAL

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.


BLACK TEA (ORTHODOX) BLACK ANY GENERAL

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.


BLENDED BLACK BLACK ANY GENERAL

Leaf: Fully oxidized leaf of any grade that is blended with at least one other non-Camellia botanical. 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.


BREAKFAST BLEND BLACK ANY SIGNATURE

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.


CHAI (MASALA CHAI) BLACK ANY SIGNATURE

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, licorice root, star anise, fennel, etc.


DARJEELING (2ND) BLACK INDIA SIGNATURE

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.


DARJEELING (AUTUMNAL) BLACK INDIA SIGNATURE

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.


EARL GREY BLACK BLACK ANY SIGNAUTRE

Leaf: Fully oxidized leaf of any grade that is flavored using bergamot as a flavoring agent . 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.


FLAVORED BLACK BLACK ANY GENERAL

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.


DECAF BLACK ANY GENERAL

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.


BLENDED DECAF BLACK ANY GENERAL

Leaf: Fully oxidized leaf of any grade that is blended with at least one other non- Camellia botanical that has gone through a decaffeination process. Decaffeination may be done through supercritical 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.


FLAVORED DECAF BLACK ANY GENERAL

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 supercritical 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.


BLENDED GREEN GREEN ANY GENERAL

Leaf:Green tea leaf of any grade that is blended with at least one other non-Camillia botanical. 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 green tea taste may not be in the forefront; notes of the green tea should be present and detectable.


FLAVORED GREEN GREEN ANY GENERAL

Leaf: Green tea leaf of any grade that is flavored using a flavoring agent. May contain other botanicals.

Infusion: Well balanced, thought-out flavored green 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 green tea taste may not be in the forefront; notes of the green tea should be present and detectable.


HOJICHA GREEN JAPAN BAG/SC/INSTANT

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.


JASMINE GREEN OPEN LEAF GREEN ANY SIGNATURE

Leaf: Green tea leaf of any grade that has not been rolled into pearls in which jasmine petals were 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.


JASMINE GREEN PEARL GREEN ANY SIGNATURE

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 body. Flavor is well-balanced sweet jasmine floral with some astringency with notes of the green tea base underneath.


MOROCCAN MINT GREEN ANY SIGNATURE

Leaf: Green tea leaf of any grade, typically from China such as 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.


AGED/BAKED OOLONG OOLONG ANY GENERAL

Leaf: Semi-balled or open leaf semi oxidized leaf of any grade that has undergone a post-production process of aging or heavy baking with the intent to significantly alter the original aroma and/or flavor. Leaf should be very dark, not brittle or burnt. This leaf does not qualify for any other hot tea category whether in the Spring or Fall Championship.

Infusion: Wet leaf aroma includes mesquite or pit fruits. Infusion is a deep gold-amber. Visible particulate from baking and firing is acceptable. Infusion is sweat and roasty, with concentrated flavor, but should not be excessively smoky, indicating a smoked tea.


BLENDED OOLONG OOLONG ANY GENERAL

Leaf: Semi-oxidized leaf of any grade or leaf style that is blended with at least one other nonCamellia botanical. 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.


DARK OOLONG OOLONG ANY GENERAL

Leaf: Open leaf oolong tea that is more heavily oxidized but not aged or roasted. (Examples may include, but are not limited to, Phoenix Dan Congs, Shui Xian, Da Hong Pao, Rou Gui, etc.) Leaf is often large and twisted or openly crumpled with a dark coloring. High quality dry leaves will have noticeable aromas of pit fruits and/or spices. This leaf does not qualify for any other hot tea category whether in the Spring or Fall Championship.

Infusion: Infusion ranges from deep golden-yellow to amber to shades of brown. Some particulate from final firing is acceptable, but should not be excessive as to indicate baking or aging. Very aromatic with notes of pit fruits, roasted grains, orchids, honey and fruit and nut tree blossoms. Smooth mouthfeel deep and very lingering flavor and aroma.


FLAVORED OOLONG OOLONG ANY GENERAL

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.


GINSENG OOLONG OOLONG CHINA SIGNATURE

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.


TI KUAN YIN TRADITIONAL OOLONG CHINA SIGNATURE

Leaf: A light to medium oxidized semi-balled oolong leaf typically from Anxi in Fujian province of China. Leaf will have moderate to heavy bakey character.

Infusion: Infusion is a pale yellow to golden in color with no brown or green tones. Particulate from baking is acceptable. Very aromatic ranging from floral to fruity, with noticeable aromatics from baking. Taste is mild, sweet and subtly complex, with flavors including nutty, fruity and mildly vegetal.


BLENDED PU-ERH/DARK PU-ERH/DARK ANY GENERAL

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 non-Camellia botanical.

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 puerh/dark tea should be present and detectable.


DARK TEA PU-ERH ANY GENERAL

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.


FLAVORED PU-ERH/DARK PU-ERH ANY GENERAL

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 not 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.


PU-ERH COOKED PU-ERH CHINA GENERAL

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


PU-ERH RAW PU-ERH CHINA GENERAL

Leaf:Tea of any age or type that has undergone a post-manufacturing microbial fermentation step or aging process, whether aging is intentionally accelerated or note. Leaves are not oxidized prior to aging. Tea may be in loose form or in compressed form. Leaf may come from any province in China.

Infusion: Tea is deep gold to light amber in color with a medium body. Flavor notes: partly earthy, toasty, with hints of damp woods; finish should not be overly astringent.