The Great Taste Awards
The Two Spoons team were involved in judging at the Great Taste Awards in March. I was doing Herbal Teas, Mark got to do Matcha and Chais. It's a fantastic experience, especially in categories like tea where the tasting panel have specialist skills. There are some extremely knowledgeable judges and you can learn a lot.
In case you were concerned we weren't allowed to judge in the tea category because Two Spoons had a couple of entries..fingers crossed!
So how do teas get judged? In tables of two or three, there is an initial tasting. A grade from 0 to 3 stars is registered. A second table give judgement. If there is disparity of grading, the product is sent off to another table.
We tasted lots of herbal products over two days. In between tastings, we would drink water or use palate cleansers like apple or crackers. Some of the flavours could be quite strong! We don't just give a rating, we also provide feedback we hope can be helpful. For example, where certain flavours are overpowering or if brewing instructions could be refined.
3 star products are extremely rare, only around 2% of products get a 3 star. It is marked with the sounding of a bell and everyone gets very excited.
Last year our Green Tea was awarded 2 stars which means it is "outstanding". We drink it by the gallon!