The first North American Tea Competition Gold Cup for the United States was awarded to the delicate Spring White Tea of Hawaii Rainforest Tea of Kurtistown, Hawaii. This tea cultivated and processed with the passion of tea grower Bob Jacobson (see video of Bob and his tea) has been turning heads as it has recently entered the market within the past few years. This is not the first tea processed in the United States, but it is the first one to be recognized on an international platform, introducing the United States as a legitimate tea-growing region.
At the 5th Annual North American Tea Competition, dozens of teas were submitted by top tea producers and traders and judged per country of origin. A long line of Indian teas were judged using the same standards next to lines of teas from Japan, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Kenya. Each origin offered its own style of tea, providing a difficult decision for each judge to choose the best of each country. At the end of the table was the placard indicating the “United States” category. This is the first year that a tea was entered in this category. Bob Jacobson’s Hawaii Spring White tea was a shining star on the table, introducing to the world to “US Grown Tea.”
During the competition many people were buzzing with the talk of this US grown tea and its clean look and pristine pluck quality. Many were shocked to hear that tea was growing in the US, while a few others had already been keeping up with the story and were familiar with Bob’s tea and Tealet’s work. By the time the award ceremony took place and the winners were announced it was questionable whether or not the Spring White tea would be awarded the Gold Cup considering it was the only entry. To our great surprise it was given the award despite the lack of competition.
This is the start of US Grown Tea becoming an international contender in the global high quality tea arena. Although tea has been grown in the US for decades, this is the first time it has been presented to the tea community as a high quality, artisanal product on such an international stage. Bob Jacobson of Hawaii Rainforest Tea is not the only grower producing fine quality tea. This is going to motivate other growers to come forward with their teas and further increase the opportunity for US grown tea.
If you are interested in tasting Bob Jacobson’s award-winning tea, you can order a 15 gram sample here. If you are a tea retailer and interested in purchasing this tea in bulk, (only 5 kg of the Spring harvest were produced) you can email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask if you qualify as a wholesale buyer and a team member will reply with further information and instructions for ordering.