Hot Tea Judges

September Competition Judges:

  • Richard Enticott
  • Lydia Kung
  • Rob McCaleb
 

Richard Enticott |
Richard has worked in the tea industry for over 25 years. After a 5 year apprenticeship as a trainee tea taster with Tetley in England tasting thousands of teas each week, Richard held senior roles in buying and blending covering all major tea producing Origins. In 1999 he joined Finlays USA in New Jersey as Director of Tea Trading selling bulk tea and decaffeinated tea to national brands and private label packing companies throughout North America. Thereafter, he joined Martin Bauer Inc. in 2003 as President & CEO (N.A.) with responsibility for a portfolio of ingredients covering tea, herbs, botanical powders and extracts for the dietary supplement industry. In 2015 Richard relocated his family to Boulder Colorado and is presently owner of Meridian Trading Company, providing botanical ingredients to clients worldwide.

Lydia Kung Ph.D., Owner, VeriLeaf Fine Teas.
An avowed foodie who thinks teas get short shrift even as culinary expectations rise in our craft-fixated food culture, Lydia is delighted to play the role of tea advocate. Surely, some of the attention to growing regions and techniques in food, wine, and coffee can be transferred to a more judicious appreciation of fine teas. As an importer, Lydia has occasion to sample teas daily, ranging from low-end, high-volume products to captivating teas that virtually demand sipping again and again. She especially enjoys any occasion to taste with a group, since shared comments help build a tea lexicon and give articulation to nuances. Although no longer working in ethnography, all that this subject encompasses remains a passion, and tea falls easily into this field. Despite its long tradition, tea continually turns up new finds and surprises. Tea can still confound, and Lydia considers this as one of tea's greatest pleasures.

Rob McCaleb | The Herb Research Foundation
Rob McCaleb is the founder and president of the Herb Research Foundation, a researcher, writer and educator and a leading proponent of natural health care with botanical and nutritional products. He was Research Director at Celestial Seasonings for 13 years, building their analytical lab and quality programs, including the first-ever professional flavor profiling and control program for herbal products. He helped develop many of their herbal tea products, built their botanical research library, and conducted global quality troubleshooting of the herbal supply chain. Currently, he works with companies to assist them in formulating, labeling and marketing natural and organic foods, especially tea products, dietary supplements, and functional foods.

Educated in Cellular Biology and Botany at the University of Texas and University of Colorado, he was a Ph.D. candidate in Ethnobotany (ABD) at Union Institute. He is the author of The Encyclopedia of Popular Herbs, Best Herbs for Healing and was co-founder and technical editor of HerbalGram. McCaleb headed the Technical Committee of the American Herbal Products Association and was one of only two botanical scientists on the presidentially-appointed Commission on Dietary Supplement Labels created under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), which studied the global regulation of natural health products. McCaleb has worked for over 30 years in sustainable herb growing and harvesting operations and marketing ventures.


 

February Competition Judges:

  • Rob McCaleb
  • Lydia Kung
  • Gilbert Kendzior
 

Rob McCaleb | The Herb Research Foundation

Rob McCaleb is the founder and president of the Herb Research Foundation, a researcher, writer and educator and a leading proponent of natural health care with botanical and nutritional products. He was Research Director at Celestial Seasonings for 13 years, building their analytical lab and quality programs, including the first ever professional flavor profiling and control program for herbal products. He helped develop many of their herbal tea products, built their botanical research library, and conducted global quality troubleshooting of the herbal supply chain. Currently, he works with companies to assist them in formulating, labeling and marketing natural and organic foods, especially tea products, dietary supplements, and functional foods.

Educated in Cellular Biology and Botany at the University of Texas and University of Colorado, he was a PhD candidate in Ethnobotany (ABD) at Union Institute. He is author of The Encyclopedia of Popular Herbs, Best Herbs for Healing and was co-founder and technical editor of HerbalGram. McCaleb headed the Technical Committee of the American Herbal Products Association and was one of only two botanical scientists on the presidentially-appointed Commission on Dietary Supplement Labels created under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), which studied global regulation of natural health products.

McCaleb has worked for over 30 years in sustainable herb growing and harvesting operations and marketing ventures throughout Africa, in Asia, Central and South America, Eastern Europe and Russia.

Lydia Kung Ph.D., Owner, VeriLeaf Fine Teas.

An avowed foodie who thinks teas get short shrift even as culinary expectations rise in our craft-fixated food culture, Lydia is delighted to play the role of tea advocate. Surely, some of the attention to growing regions and techniques in food, wine, and coffee can be transferred to a more judicious appreciation of fine teas. As an importer, Lydia has occasion to sample teas daily, ranging from low-end, high-volume products to captivating teas that virtually demand sipping again and again. She especially enjoys any occasion to taste with a group, since shared comments help build a tea lexicon and give articulation to nuances. Although no longer working in ethnography, all that this subject encompasses remains a passion, and tea falls easily into this field. Despite its long tradition, tea continually turns up new finds and surprises. Tea can still confound, and Lydia considers this as one of tea's greatest pleasures.

Gilbert Kendzior | Owner All Points Tea Consulting LLC

Gilbert’s career in the tea industry began in 1980 when he joined Lipton in the United Kingdom. After one year of basic tasting and sourcing training he was posted to Ceylon where auction buying and tasting skills were honed, commonly he evaluated some 1000 cups per day! Lipton Malawi was the next stop for two years followed by five years in Mombasa, at that time a very fast growing auction and shipping point. Then it was time to move to the consuming countries, first back to the UK, then Canada where he also purchased green coffee beans and finally the USA in 1993. There he was responsible for quality control, blending/blend development, and sourcing teas of all types including black, green decaf. Bold Brew, organic and herbals from some 25 countries. Gilbert made frequent overseas visits to evaluate suppliers, share tea knowledge and increase his experience regarding tea manufacture.

Gilbert retired from Lipton in 2011 and subsequently, after numerous tea assistance requests, started his own business “All Points Tea Consulting LLC”, which he manages from Wilmington NC where he resides.