Britain’s first UK Coffee Brewers Cup and Tea Brewers’ Cup competition took place in March at The Old Library, The Hayes, Cardiff, Wales. Judges were Angela Pryce, Jonathan Nunn, and Kasim Ali, founder of Welsh tea company Waterloo Tea and the innovator and driving force behind the brewing contest. With such competitions being commonplace in the coffee industry, Ali felt there was a need for the tea industry to follow suit.
“Events such as these are beneficial on many level,” he said. “Firstly, norms can be established and common practice developed. Secondly, innovation is encouraged. Contestants will often include in their routines novel approaches and techniques – in a sense, a key message to the industry. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, competitions bring people together and allow discussion to take place.” The Tea Brewers’ Cup heats took place on Saturday 21st March and entrants were asked to brew three teas in just 30 minutes. The top six competitors progressed to Sunday’s finals during which contestants presented two teas to the judges. Points were scored on aroma, flavor, mouthfeel and overall harmony and marks were also awarded for knowledge, presentation, workflow and overall impression. Winner Andrew Tolley, from coffee company Taylor Street Baristas, brewed a Phoenix oolong, and used two different filters for a Darjeeling 1st Flush, highlighting the sensory effect of filters on infusion. The Tea Brewers Cup will continue to be held annually and hopes to evolve into a World Cup, embracing tea cultures from across the globe. See official scores and learn more at: www.teabrewerscup.com