Rooibee Red Tea, the Louisville-based maker of the only bottled USDA-certified organic rooibos red tea on the market, company officials say, has captured a second place award at the 2013 North American Tea Championship (NATC), missing out on a North American title by only one point. The Rooibee Red Tea Peach flavor was honored in the Ready-To-Drink, Herbal category of the Iced Tea class, marking the second time the company’s teas have been awarded at the competition.
“We are so excited about the judges from the North American Tea Championship recognizing our tea for a second time,” says Heather Howell, Rooibee Red Tea CTeaO. “This second place award for our Peach flavor combined with the first place award in 2011 for our Watermelon Mint really speaks to the quality of the teas we are producing.”
Each year, the NATC evaluates premium teas sold throughout North America. The annual championship includes three classes: Hot Tea, Iced Tea and Packaged Single-Serve Tea, with the Iced Tea class judging every May. The judging panel consists of professional cuppers from the nation’s top tea companies, as well as culinary arts professionals. The cuppers judge unbranded submissions on flavor, body, color, clarity and balance.
In the scoring, Rooibee Red Tea Peach received an 81 on a 100-point scale, with the winning tea receiving just one point higher with an 82. In 2011, Rooibee Red Tea Watermelon Mint captured a first place award in the Ready-To-Drink, Flavored/Sweetened category.
Rooibee Red Tea is the only full line of bottled organic red tea made from the South African rooibos bush, officials say. The tea is certified USDA organic, rich in antioxidants, naturally caffeine free, gluten free, low in calories and comes in five varieties: Watermelon Mint, Peach, Cranberry Pomegranate, Vanilla Chai and Unsweetened.
In addition to this most recent award, 2013 brought an updated brand identity with new labels and a website re-design for Rooibee Red Tea. The company has also expanded its distribution to include additional divisions in Kroger stores, Whole Foods Market, The Fresh Market, Earth Fare, and many other retailers nationwide.