Australian craft-tea brand, East Forged has been awarded three gongs in the DB & SB Autumn Blind Tasting competition, run by UK-based publications The Drinks Business and The Spirits Business. While the Green Tea & Pitaya and White Tea & Calamansi flavours each earned a Silver Medal, it was the Black Tea & Yuzu that impressed the judges and earned the highest Gold Medal recognition.
“It’s exciting to see a small business like ours on the world stage and we’re incredibly honoured to have received 3 out of the 5 awards. We’re particularly proud of the Black Tea recognition as it’s a local Queensland-grown tea,” said East Forged co-founder, Tania Stacey.
Part of the Global Spirit Masters series , the inaugural Blind Tasting competition was chaired by The Drinks Business Editor-in-Chief, Patrick Schmitt and Melita Kiely from The Spirits Business, with a supporting panel of leading industry experts including Master Sommeliers, Masters of Wine, senior buyers and leading mixologists, who all participated in the blind tasting in a bid to assess and discover the best drinks brand on the world stage right now.
“There’s an emerging trend towards alcohol-free drinks, driven by socially-minded Millennials and Gen Z generation and a growing health and wellness industry. It’s still early days in our brand journey and for this category, but these awards provide us with the encouragement and validation to continue our work and vision – we’re excited to keep experimenting and see where what’s in store for our Nitro-tea products in the future,” Tania added.
The low and no-alcohol drinks category is booming at the moment, and while some brands didn’t quite hit the mark by ‘putting in far too much extra flavour that’s not needed,’ the judges acknowledged that there’s a lot of innovation and creativity in the industry and “some really exciting things being launched that consumers should look out for”.
Here are the judges tasting notes:
- Gold – Black Tea & Yuzu: a) sweet black tea with a hint of citrus. Smells exactly as I would expect b) the tea fades out quite quickly with no note to pick up but very refreshing c) black tea, grapefruit peel d) black tea, bitter and earthy but with good balance, late citrus/yuzu.
- Silver – Green Tea & Pitaya: a) somewhat acidic, bucolic b) watery kombucha, but very fresh notes c) weird, burnt, green tea, quite funky d) earthy, damp, burnt, later greenness and bitterness rescues it.
- Silver – White Tea & Calamansi: a) delicate white tea with floral notes b) floral notes and refreshing gentle bitterness c) cold builders tea, hints of vanilla and sugar d) good tea depth, hint of citrus, orange, nice late bitterness.
Merging two of the oldest and most popular beverages processes in the world (tea and beer), East Forged offers an innovative range of alcohol-free cold brews with a delicate ‘real tea’ flavour and fruity aroma, lively mouthfeel and frothy finish that delivers a unique, sensory drinking experience, without the hangover, added sugars or sweeteners.