Tea Tasters Box 2020

The Tea Tasters Box is an opportunity for tea lovers to try and rate some of the best teas available. Tasters are selected on social media and have about a month to blind taste and rate teas in a specific category (white, green, oolong, puer, black, and herbal). The winners are then announced leading up to and at the Toronto Tea Festival.

Follow the Tasters’ experiences via the hashtag #TeaTastersBoxTO on social media.

For fairness in rating, the 2020 Tea Tasters Box will be a blind tasting with all identifying packaging removed. Teas will be rated by both the public as well as a pool of tea sommeliers. Public rating will be on a scale of 1-10 (based on personal preference) for Leaf Appearance, Aroma, Liquor Quality, Flavour, and Overall. See detailed descriptions below.

Here are your winners for the Tea Tasters Box 2020!

Tea Identities

Here are the identities of the teas from the blind tasting.

Tea ID Tea Name Tea Company
B1 Imperial Golden Monkey Genuine Tea
B2 Balhyo Cha Soocha Tea
B3 Alishan Black Tea Rebillion
B4 Kumari Gold Tea Rebillion
B5 Kanchanjangha Noir Tea Rebillion
B6 Jin Jun Mei Capital Tea Limited
B7 Yunnan Pine Needle Gold Capital Tea Limited
B8 Golden Yunnan Dian Hong Maofeng Super Grade Capital Tea Limited
B9 Queen Bee Blend My Tea Brew
B10 Montgomery’s Tea My Tea Brew
B11 Assam Legacy Camila Tea
B12 Golden Needle Tao Tea Leaf
Tea ID Tea Name Tea Company
C1 Dawn Energizing Organic Turmeric Chai Turmeric Teas
C2 Shakti Chai Sonya’s Chai
C3 Bombay Masala Chai Trudy Ann’s Chai & Spices
C4 The Masala Chai Camila Tea
Tea ID Tea Name Tea Company
G1 Ringo Sencha Momo Tea
G2 Hojicha Momo Tea
G3 Genmaicha Momo Tea
G4 Hojicha Gold Roast Hojicha
G5 Hojicha Hanamitsu Hojicha
G6 Hojicha Dark Roast Hojicha
G7 Genmaicha Matcha Tea Leaves Tea Tasting Bar
G8 Organic Dragonwell Genuine Tea
G9 Woojeon Soocha Tea
G10 Sejak Soocha Tea
G11 Premium Hochija Tea Rebellion
G12 Pristine Reserve Camila Tea
G13 Jasmine Green Tea Tao Tea Leaf
G14 Ooh La La-Rose Mint Tea My Tea Brew
Tea ID Tea Name Tea Company
H1 Winter/Warming Organic Turmeric Ginger Tea Turmeric Teas
H2 Summer/Cooling Organic Turmeric Peppermint Tea Turmeric Teas
H3 Dusk/Calming Organic Turmertic Lemongrass Tea Turmeric Teas
H4 Wellness-Turmeric Blend My Tea Brew
H5 Zesty Lemon Ginger Rooibos My Tea Brew
H6 Redbush Chai My Tea Brew
H7 Organic Magic Roots Tea Leaves Tea Tasting Bar
H8 Organic Blue Delta Genuine Tea
H9 Organic Lemongrass Tea Rebellion
H10 Ginger Lemongrass Tao Tea Leaf
H11 Barley Sprout Soocha Tea
H12 Mistletoe Soocha Tea
Tea ID Tea Name Tea Company
O1 Regal Oolong Camila Tea
O2 Ginseng Oolong Genuine Tea
O3 Alishan Oolong Tea Rebellion
O4 Father Zambezi’s Mission Tea Rebellion
O5 Forever Spring Tea Rebellion
O6 Da Hong Pao Tao Tea Leaf
O7 Milk Oolong Tao Tea Leaf
Tea ID Tea Name Tea Company
P1 Organic Aged Puer Genuine Tea
P2 Imperial Puer (Shou) Tao Tea Leaf
P3 White Moon Puer (Sheng) Tao Tea Leaf
Tea ID Tea Name Tea Company
W1 Exotic Darjeeling Camila Tea
W2 White Fairy Genuine Tea
W3 White Prakash Tea Rebellion
W4 Silver Needle Tao Tea Leaf
W5 Peach Blossom Tao Tea Leaf
W6 White Jasmine Goddess Tea My Tea Brew

See the 2019 winners here.
See the 2018 winners here.

Schedule for Tea Tasters Box 2020

September 30th, 2019 : Vendor submissions due – Vendor registration here!
September to Early October : Taster selection (keep an eye on our social media channels!)
Mid-October : Tea pickup by tasters
November : Tasting and rating period
November 30th, 2019 : Deadline for taster ratings
January 2020 : Identities of teas revealed, winning teas annnounced

Directions for Tea Tasters

Once you have picked up your box, follow these simple steps.

  1. Try the tea! Use the recommended steeping times below.
  2. Make note of the tea code (ex: P3, H10), and rate the tea in the five criteria – Leaf Appearance, Aroma, Liquor Quality, Flavour, Overall. Rating is 1-10, with 10 being the best.
  3. Share on social media using hashtag #TeaTastersBoxTO.
  4. Once you’ve tasted and rated ALL of your teas, go to the online form printed on the instructions inside the box (it was also emailed to you).
  5. Enter all your ratings and hit submit. Deadline: November 30th, 2019
  6. Keep an eye on our social media to find out the identities of the teas and winners in January 2020.
  7. Pick up all your favorites at the Toronto Tea Festival 2020!

Guide for Tasting

The Toronto Tea Festival strives to enhance the tea experience. The 2020 Tasters Box rating system uses the following criteria. All are on a scale 1-10, with 10 being the best. The descriptions below are intended to help those new to rating tea. What is considered “best” is personal preference.

Leaf Appearance How do the leaves/flowers look? Did they open during steeping? Are they broken or whole? Is the colouring appropriate?
Aroma How do you find the smell of the steeped tea? Consider strength of aroma, complexity, and overall pleasantness.
Liquor Quality How does the colour of the steeped tea look to you? Are there any tea particles in the cup? How does the tea feel in your mouth? Does it feel “thick” or “light” on your tongue?
Flavour How does the tea taste? The main components of flavor are bitterness, sourness, and sweetness. Does this tea feature one or more of these qualities?
Overall Using the other criteria as a guide, what rating would you give this tea overall?

Recommended Steeping Times

The below are a guide for the categories. This year’s Tea Tasting Box will include recommended steeping times for each tea.

Tea Category Water Temp Steep Time
Black (B#) Boiling 3-5 mins
Chai (C#) Boiling 3-5 mins
Green (G#) 185 F / 85 C 2-4 mins
Herbal (H#) Boiling 5-6 mins
Oolong (O#) 195 F / 90 C 4-6 mins
Puer (P#) Boiling 4-5 mins
White (W#) 195 F / 90 C 3-5 mins