Congratulations to the 2018 World Tea Award Winners at the World Tea Expo in Las Vegas

One of many tea tastings at the World Tea Expo in Las Vegas

Perhaps you haven’t thought that much about what leaves are in your cup of tea. At the World Tea Expo, we learned it’s a broad, yet delicate, multifaceted world much like the wine industry, but even older. World Tea Expo is North America’s specialty tea market and leading tradeshow focusing on premium teas. Those who build their brands and business on quality teas and related products meet at this once a year expo to share fresh ideas, steep in the latest trends and build new business relationships. Buying, selling and education abounded throughout the week-long event in mid-June with attendees capitalizing on the growing demand of premium tea products.

Serving a nearly $14 billion US tea industry that is expected to grow an additional $500 million per year through 2021, specialty/premium tea is driving this growth and holds much of the market share today, remaining the main focus of products, services and education at World Tea Expo.

Who attends the World Tea Expo? The mix of large and small retailers, tea room owners, distributors, F&B directors, resort & spa directors, specialty grocers, mass merchants and business professionals attend every year to see over 300 high-quality tea suppliers and related vendors from 22 countries exhibit new products and innovations. Many of the exhibiting companies exhibit nowhere else, making attendance at the World Tea Expo an exclusive opportunity to visit these specialty suppliers.

For the cream of the crop; companies and people that have made significant impacts to the industry, there are awards honored every year by the World Tea Expo Advisory Board, with the John Harney Lifetime Achievement Award bestowed on one of the most influential tea industry leaders that have advanced the business of tea with their outstanding impact. With 19 nominees (*listed below), the 2018 winner is Nigel Melica, Managing Director of Teacraft Ltd. We extend heartfelt congratulations to Nigel for his family oriented, scientific approach and hands on accomplishments that have touched nearly every continent on the planet.

We extend congratulations to all of the 2018 World Tea Award winners for their outstanding and well deserved accomplishments. The full list of winners by category is listed below. So, the next time you peruse your favorite tea shop, online retailer or grocery aisle, pause for a moment and reflect on the forward thinking, driven individuals that take the tea from farm to your relaxing, refreshing, delicious cup.

Here is the complete list of this year’s World Tea Award winners:

   Best Tea Health Advocate: Katharine Burnett, PhD (U.C. Davis)
Best Consumer-Oriented Tea Marketing Campaign/Promotion: International Tea Sippers Society – Sip for Peace
Best Tea Brewing Device (Electric, Battery Powered): Bonavita 1.0L Digital Variable Temperature Gooseneck Kettle
Best Tea Brewing Device (Non-Electric): Mountain Tea tumbler by The Tea Spot
Best Retail Tea Shop, Cafe, Bar: Camellia Sinensis
Best Tea Accessory: Double Walled Glass Cups, Pavina Design 12 oz. Tea for One by Bodum
Best Tea Publication: Global Tea Hut (Tea and Tao Magazine) – Aaron Fisher (Wu De)
Best E-Commerce Tea Website: Camellia Sinensis
Best Tea Trade Website (Wholesale): a tie between International Tea Importers and The G.S. Haly Company
Best Specialty Tea Brand: The Tao of Tea
Best Sustainability Initiative: Young Mountain Tea – Global Tea Exchange in India & Nepal
Best Tea Blog: – Tea for Me Please by Nicole Martin
Best Tea Educator: Suzette Hammond – Being Tea
Best Grassroots Tea Education Campaign: NorthWest Tea Festival – Seattle/World Tea Series
John Harney Lifetime Achievement Award: Nigel Melican

* 2018 John Harney Lifetime Achievement Award Nominees:
Rajah Banerjee
Founder - Makaibari Tea Estate
Dan Bolton
Editor/Publisher - Tea Journey Magazine
Charlie Cain
Principal & Executive Consultant -- Building Oz
Babette Donaldson
Founder - International Tea Sippers Society
Kevin Gascoyne
Owner - Camellia Sinensis
Sanjay Guha
International Tea Consultant 
Richard Guzauskas
Consultant/ Specialty Tea Industry
Manik Jayakumar
Founder & CEO -- Qtrade Teas & Herbs
Nigel Melican
Managing Director - Teacraft Ltd.
Jane Pettigrew
Author & Speaker - Jane Pettigrew
Bruce Richardson
Author /Publisher -  Benjamin Press
Louise Roberge
President - Tea Association of Canada
Ron Rubin
Minister of Tea & Chief Executive Officer - The Republic of Tea
David Segal
Co-Founder & Brand Ambassador (Retired) - David's Tea
Thomas Shu
Owner - JT & Tea Inc.
Tim Smith
Chief Leaf - The Tea Smith LLC
Abigail St. Clair
Owner - TeBella Tea Company
Maria Uspenski
Founder - The Tea Spot
Bill Waddington
Founder & President - TeaSource


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