Thursday 30 March 2023

Inauguration of the International Tea Masters Cup in Istanbul, Turkey, from September 3-5 2015.

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ISTANBUL, Turkey . Inauguration of the International Tea Masters Cup in Istanbul, Turkey, from September 3-5 2015. A high level, intensely colorful event originating from Eastern Europe , where tea drinking has been part of life for many generations has taken off to conquer the global tea world.

During the opening ceremony Mr. Ramaz Chanturiya, the Chairman of the Tea Masters Cup, says: “The aim of this new and global competition is:

*to raise the status of tea culture amongst consumers
*to help promising tea industry professionals to improve their profile and their career
*to foster professional networking amongst tea specialists in the tea business, the hospitality and the specialized retail/wholesale industry.

The Tea Masters Cup also targets an increased awareness towards unique and premium tea categories, which have a great potential for future development “.

Turkey has been deliberately chosen as the venue for this first global competition, as a country with a rich tea culture and the world’s highest per capita tea consumption (3,5 kilograms of tea annually).

As this competition is focusing on one side on selecting the best among the tea masters, but also to expand and share the knowledge about tea, to identify new market aspects and to establish a world wide network of tea professionals, the location of this inaugural event will make Turkey and its tea ways better known in the world of tea.

The 11 national champions, which have been selected during a series of national competitions during the past three years have spent 3 days in Istanbul, demonstrating their skills within three sections:

• Tea Preparation: the Masters will have 15 minutes to brew and to present two cups: a tea from a set of samples selected by the organizing committee and a Master’s cup brewed according to an original personal recipe).
• Tea Pairing: the Masters will share their skill of pairing tea with a light food/snack.
• Tea Tasting: the Masters will demonstrate their knowledge of tea by identifying 5 single origin cups.

An important group of tea experts from Belarus, China (Hong Kong), Georgia, Italy, Korea, Latvia, Russia, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Ukraine and Vietnam has come to Istanbul on September 3rd to participate within a panel of judges in the first Tea Masters Cup International 2015:

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, Director, 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)

After three days of intense but fair competition, the judges selected the winners:
Natalia Loma’eva (Ekaterinburg, Russia) was awarded as world champion of the Tea Preparation: her performance was outstanding not only by her exquisite skills in working with tea but also by the level of attention to many details, such as presentation and showmanship.

Anastasia Shif (Minsk, Belarus) and Daria Mikhe’eva (Ekaterinburg, Russia) were awarded world champions of tea pairing ex aequo, because the judges simply could not decide whether to award the title to the Darjeeling tea with almond crackers and Parmesan cheese served by Anastasia or to the Chinese tea with a fruit medley prepared by Daria.

Finally, in the Tea Tasting category the undisputed winner was
Anna Pleshakova (Perm, Russia), was awarded as world champion for Tea Tasting, as she confidently and correctly identified all the cups.

The fact that all three top titles were awarded to tea masters from Russia at this first international event is probably due to the fact that the Tea Masters Cup competition was founded in Russia three years ago, the brain child of Ramaz Chanturiya , the CEO of the Tea and Coffee Association of Russia.

Hence during these past years, regional and national competitions have been held, with more than 70 tea masters taking part.

Clearly, the experience of these professionals in competing at this level has been an important contribution to their success but after the Istanbul kick off the playing field will be gradually levelled out.

This inaugural international competition was sponsored by Çaykur, one of the largest tea companies in the world, the leader of the Turkish tea industry.

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