Tea Rebellion participated in its first ever European tea competition in 2020. We are calling it “European” as it takes place in beautiful Paris. However, AVPA is really a Teas of the World Contest. AVPA, or “Agence pour la Valorisation des Produits Agricoles” reviews premium quality primary products such teas, coffee, olive oils to find striking profiles (rather than a consensual sensory profile). As such it’s a gastronomic rather than standardized evaluation. The jury is composed of tea professionals and tea sommeliers.
The AVPA “Teas of the World” contest is organized in two very distinct parts:
- Monovarietal teas (Camellia sinensis)
- Infusions (infusion plants other than Camellia Sinensis), blends and flavoured tea
The competition is open to all tea producers and gives equal access to long time famous tea regions such as China, India and Taiwan and less well known tea producing countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, Nepal and Malawi. This makes it unique and super interesting if you are tea buff or world tea trotter. It’s awesome that you don’t have to be large, organic or already well known in order to participate. One limitation exists though, you have to be able to afford the per tea listing price and of course the teas for sampling and the shipment to Paris. In usual years, there has also been a face to face awards event. Given the given circumstances this year, the award event took place on YouTube and zoom.
What teas to send?
2020 was the first time that Tea Rebellion submitted teas to a competition without also participating in the event or the festival (such as in San Francisco or Toronto in the prior years). To decide what teas to submit, we reviewed the participation rules and reached out to our partner tea farmers to see whether they were already participating (we are keen to avoid submitting teas double of course). We settled on our leading teas from Nepal and Taiwan and participated in both categories – monovarietal and infusions, blends and flavoured teas.
And now to the big reveal. Yes, we won and quite a lot. We submitted 6 teas and won 5 medals – an amazing outcome for our three-year-old social impact venture which only this year set up its European operations. Our ever so popular winter chai, Kathmandu Cosmos, won the gold medal. What amazing news for our Nepali cooperative tea partner and all chai lovers. Cheers to that and of course to staying healthy and happy this winter!