The first tea competition exclusively for US growers established Hawaii as the state most noted for its tea. Winners included a tea garden in Mississippi that took first place in three non-commercial categories.
The TOTUS (Tea of the United States) event was organized by Eva Lee and hosted at the Volcano Art Center in Volcano Village, Hawaii Island, in partnership with the Hawaii Tea Society, and in collaboration with the Big Island Resource Conservation and Development Council, Hawaii Farmers Union United, and The Kohala Center. TOTUS was co-funded by sponsors and the Hawaii County Office of Research and Development.
Winners in the commercial categories include:
White: Volcano Winery; grower Alex Wood; processor Volcano Winery
Green: Onomea Tea Co; grower/processor Mike Longo & Rob Nunally
Oolong: Volcano Tea Garden; grower/processor Mike Riley
Black: Tea Hawaii; grower/processor Chiu Leong
Non-commercial garden winners include:
White: Finley; grower/processor Bai-Alla Finley (Hawaii Island)
Green: The Great Mississippi Tea Co.; grower Jason McDonald; processor Beverly Wainwright
Oolong: The Great Mississippi Tea Co; grower Jason McDonald; processor David Bromwich
Black: The Great Mississippi Tea Co.; grower Jason McDonald; processor Beverly Wainwright