New International Tea Academy Awards honour the world’s finest teas

The UK Tea Academy (UKTA) in partnership with Fortnum & Mason has announced the launch of the International Tea Academy Awards: The Leafies, to celebrate the world’s finest loose-leaf teas.

The Leafies are the first dedicated tea awards in the United Kingdom to highlight carefully crafted teas from all over the world. They will bring together high-profile tea experts to assess and award high grade, artisan teas in over 30 categories. Judging criteria will consider the farming and processing of the teas as well as the stories and the people behind the gardens.

One Gold will be awarded to a tea in each category, with Highly Commended awarded at the judges’ discretion. Tea categories include white, green, dark, oolong, jasmine, matcha and many more. Special awards will be given to those effecting positive change for the environment, the industry and their community.

Jane Pettigrew, co-founder and director of studies at the UKTA said, “We are thrilled to be launching the International Tea Academy Awards, The Leafies, in partnership with Fortnum & Mason. They mark the first dedicated UK tea awards to celebrate the astonishing diversity of crafted teas from every tea-producing region in the world.”

A selection of winners will be given the opportunity to have their teas sold at Fortnum & Mason’s internationally renowned Rare Tea Counter. F&M tea buyer, Ottilie Cunningham, said of the partnership, “Fortnum & Mason [is] delighted to be involved with The Leafies, created to champion the values of family producers, small batch teas and inspiring tea companies. We are looking forward to discovering some exciting new teas for our Rare Tea Counter.”

Jane Pettigrew and Ottilie Cunningham, alongside a selection of the UK Tea Academy’s specialist tutors, are the first of the expert panel of judges to be confirmed.

Entrants can register their interest for the awards now through the UKTA’s website to receive exclusive updates. The awards cost £50 per tea entry. Completed applications and teas will need to be sent during August and September, with judging taking place in October at The Scottish Tea Factory and in London. Winners will be announced at The Leafies Award Ceremony at an iconic London venue.

For those interested in participating in the inaugural The Leafies, visit:

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