Post Date: 2015-09-03

A unique international competition among professional tea masters – the Tea Masters Cup™ (TMC) – will be held for the first time this September in Turkey, at World Food Istanbul, one of the largest and most successful food and beverage exhibitions of this region.

A large international group of tea experts from different countries (Belarus, China (Hong Kong), Georgia, Italy, Korea, Latvia, Russia, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Ukraine, Vietnam) will be present in Istanbul on September 3 to participate in the final round of the Tea Masters Cup International 2015.

It is also important that all participants of the TMC will visit the best tea plantations and factories in Turkey, which are located in the north of the country, near the town of Rize, the birthplace of Turkish tea.

The Tea Masters Cup competition will bring together national champions from various countries, and these masters will spend 3 days demonstrating their skills in different ways of working with tea.

The Tea Masters Cup comprises competitions in three categories: Tea Preparation, Tea Pairing and Tea Tasting.

•       In the Tea Preparation category, Masters will have 15 minutes to demonstrate the skill of tea preparation by brewing and presenting two beverages: a tea from a set of samples selected in advance by the organizing committee of the competition and a Master’s tea (tea brewed according to the Master’s original recipe).
•       In the Tea Paring category, Masters will demonstrate the skill of presenting tea in combination with a light food/snack.
•       In the Tea Tasting category, Masters will demonstrate the skill of tea degustation by identifying beverage samples of single varieties of teas.

The best tea Master in each category will be awarded the title of World Champion.

The competition will be judged by an expert international panel of judges, including:

-       Mr. Mustafa Akbulut, Associate Professor, Dean, Chair of the Department of Agriculture and Natural Sciences (Recep Tayyip Erdogan University, Turkey)
-       Mr. Bryan Baptist, professional tea taster (Sri-Lanka)
-       Mr. David Chanturiya, Head of the  Tea School, author of the rubric Tea Taster’s Choice, Coffee & Tea International business magazine (Georgia)
-       Mrs. Gabriella Lombardi, owner of the Cha Tea Atelier boutique, the author of “Tea Sommelier” (Italy)
-       Mrs. Hong Anh Nguyen, Vice Chairwoman, the Vietnam Tea Association (Vietnam)
-       Mr. Denis Shumakov, Head Judge of the Tea Masters Cup (TMC), Chairman of the Advisory Board of TMC, Advertising Director for Turquoise Tea (Russia), voted “Person of the Year in the Russian Tea Industry” in 2013 (Russia)
-       Mr. Alexander Wagner, Head of the Tea Culture Club “Cha-I” (Russia)
-       Mr. William Lee, Executive Director, Korean Tea Board, CEO of Shinda Wooloo Group (South Korea)

The competition ijointly organized by the Tea Masters Cup (Hong Kong) and by the Rize Commodity Exchange (Turkey). The General sponsor of this international competition is Çaykur, one of the largest tea companies in the world, the leader of the Turkish tea industry. The official partners are the Turkish Tea Association and the Rize Commodity Exchange.

“The aim of this project is to foster the development of high cultural traditions involving tea consumption and raise the status of tea culture among consumers," remarked Mr. Ramaz Chanturiya, the Chairman of the Tea Masters Cup."It also helps to identify promising tea industry professionals, aid their career growth, foster professional development and exchange of ideas among specialists in the tea business, including the hospitality and the specialized retail/wholesale industry. The Tea Masters Cup definitely creates a completely new attitude towards unique and premium tea categories, which have a great potential for development in the near future”.

Mr. Imdat Sutluoglu, General Director, Caykur, noted: “We are delighted to see representatives of the world tea industry elite in Turkey. This competition is a significant event for our country as well as for the world of tea as a whole. Turkish people love tea, they drink it from morning till night, with family members and with friends, in times of leisure and during business meetings. We are undisputed world leaders in terms of per capita consumption. For many years, our tea culture was not very well known beyond our country’s borders. But the time has come to change this: we have a deep understanding of tea, we know how to brew it well and we are eager to share our knowledge with the rest of the world! We are proud that tea industry professionals from so many countries are gathering here in Turkey. We are confident that the Tea Masters Cup will give us an opportunity to show the world our country’s tea culture.”

Mr. Mehmet Erdogan, Chairman of the Rize Commodities Exchange, is delighted that upon the conclusion of the competition, the international delegation will visit the birthplace of Turkish tea, the city of Rize and the surrounding region. "That is where all Turkish tea is grown. Today tea production in Turkey is 240 thousand tons annually, and almost all that tea is sold on the domestic market. During your visit, you will be able to see every aspect of the production process, from the plantation to the factory, you will visit a scientific research laboratory devoted to tea and, of course, you will enjoy breathtaking natural beauty of northern Turkey.”

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