The first ever Tea Masters Cup Australia & New Zealand showcasing Australian talent in tea brewing, tea and food pairing and tea tasting took place in Melbourne on Sunday 15th May, 2016.
The competition sponsored by the Tea Board of India, Australian Tea Masters and the Byron Bay Cookie Company was highly competitive and saw tea enthusiasts compete in three different categories, demonstrating their unique brewing skills.
A panel of 5 expert judges, made up of both tea and food experts, as well as a flavour specialist tried nearly 30 different teas throughout the day from rare black and green teas, a blended Puerh served over ice, cold brewed white tea, fragrant and floral oolongs as well as tea grown in Australia. The tea pairing category invigorated their taste buds with unique winning combinations of sweet and savoury foods expertly paired with teas to enhance their flavour profiles.
Examples from the tea and food pairing included Tie Guan Yin paired with delicate Portuguese custard tarts, Himalayan Snow bud tea paired with malted panna cotta and an Australian grown black tea served with poached spiced pears and dark chocolate sauce.
The winners are: Tea Preparation Category — Ruan de Witt, Tea Pairing Category — Mary Jane Hua, Tea Tasting Category — Alex Yurong Pan. Tea Masters Cup Australia/New Zealand Champion — Alex Yurong Pan.
The judges were very impressed by the quality of teas presented, the calibre of the contestants and their individual presentation style.
We wish the overall winner, Alex Yurong Pan, all the best in the Tea Masters Cup International in South Korea in June 2016!