Entries open for Leafies 2023
Image: The UK Tea Academy
The UK Tea Academy (UKTA) has announced the reopening of entries for The International Tea Academy Awards, The Leafies 2023. Building on the success of last year, this year’s awards introduce new changes, including nine new ‘Bestseller’ categories specifically tailored for retailers. Another notable addition is the ‘New Region’ category, recognising gardens and estates in non-traditional tea regions that have been producing exceptional teas for less than five years.
The Leafies were launched last year by the UK Tea Academy, establishing the first dedicated tea awards in the UK. These prestigious awards aim to celebrate beautifully crafted teas from all corners of the globe. With the participation of nine expert judges from diverse tea-producing regions, nearly three hundred teas from over 27 countries were blind tasted and evaluated, resulting in an impressive selection of Highly Commended and Gold-winning teas.
A selection of last year’s Gold winners are currently available from the Rare Tea Counter at Fortnum & Mason’s flagship London store. As the official partner of The Leafies this year, Fortnum & Mason will once again provide the opportunity to sell some of the exceptional winning teas.
Expressing her enthusiasm about the continued partnership with The Leafies, Ottilie Cunningham, tea buyer at Fortnum & Mason, said, “It is a real joy being part of The Leafies. The combined knowledge of the judges really is second to none, and we have discovered some exciting new teas for the counter as a result. I very much look forward to what this year’s competition will bring.”
As part of its mission to educate more individuals about high-quality tea, the UK Tea Academy has introduced new categories for The Leafies, specifically tailored to retailers. Jane Pettigrew, director of studies at UKTA, explains, “We had such outstanding teas at last year’s awards, but of course they are often small batch, high value, and not readily available to the general public. This year, by introducing dedicated retail categories, we can encourage retailers to enter and demonstrate that great-tasting, loose-leaf teas can be both accessible and affordable.”
Online entry forms can be completed until Monday 11 September, with the judging week scheduled for early October. The winners of The Leafies 2023 will be presented with the awards at a ceremony in London later this year. Visit the ukteaacademy.com to find out more. To enter The Leafies 2023, please click here.