News Release: S&D Wins Big in North American Tea Championship

CONCORD, N.C. – May 29, 2014 –S&D Coffee & Tea received nine awards in the recent Iced Tea Class Competition sponsored by the North American Tea Championship (NATC), including first place in the Foodservice – BIB Green Flavored category for its Teafinity Blueberry Thyme Bagless Green Tea; first place in the Foodservice – BIB Black Flavored category for its Teafinity Lemongrass Basil Bagless Black Tea; first place in the Best Value –Foodservice – Unflavored Green Tea category for its Rainforest Alliance Green Tea; and first place in both the Best Value – Foodservice –Flavored Black Tea and Foodservice – Black Flavored categories for its Black Currant Filter Pack Flavored Black Tea. S&D teas have received first place awards in four out of the past five national iced tea competitions.

“Being the leading foodservice provider of tea products to the foodservice industry, we want to offer our customers innovative products with mainstream appeal that add value to their menu but require limited investment,” says Grant Cates, R&D Beverage Technologist-Tea Products at S&D. “For example, I designed the Black Currant flavor to get in line with the ever-increasing trend toward functional fruits. It’s associated with high levels of Vitamin C, E, B5, B6 and B1, plus great balance and color. Apparently, the judges at NATC really liked that.”

The North American Tea Championship, previously known as the World Tea Championship, is the only independent competition that aims to distinguish the highest quality & best tasting teas commercially available in the North American marketplace. NATC’s judging panel of professional cuppers assess each submission based on a blind sensory analysis of five characteristics including flavor, body, color, clarity, and balance. The ratings of each characteristic are used to calculate an overall numerical value on a 100-point scale, and winners are determined by rank.

“Thankfully, our efforts to be proactive in developing flavor fusions that add appeal to our customers’ menus have been successful,” says Maya Zuniga, Ph.D, director of product innovation at S&D. “We plan to continue tracking emerging flavor trends and increase our portfolio of offerings. We recognize that consumers are becoming more sophisticated in their tea choices and we plan to be able to deliver these options to our customers.”