World Tea ChampionshipT to provide rating system for specialty teas

Las Vegas, NV-The highest quality and best tasting hot and iced teas from around the world will be judged and rated by professional tea tasters at the inaugural World Tea Championship™, a premier feature of the World Tea Expo™, May 30th to June 1st, 2008.

All teas submitted will receive a World Tea Rating™-providing the tea industry with a rating system for teas similar to that which has brought increased awareness and consumer understanding to the wine industry.

Much like wine, tea characteristics are influenced yearly by weather, soil conditions, manufacturing processes, craftsmanship and skill of tea masters and blenders alike. The World Tea Championship™ and the World Tea Buyers Guide™ will deliver the first
comprehensive resource for rating characteristics for those buying tea.

“[The Buyers Guide] will be ridiculously valuable to the attendees” commented Charles Cain, Director of US Operations for TeaGschwendner, the largest tea retailer in the world. The World Tea Buyers Guide™ will list the ratings of all entries of the World Tea Championships™ separated into iced and hot tea classes and will be distributed at the Expo to all attendees.

In the Hot Tea Class, a total of 24 different categories will be judged along with three Super Categories. Although there are hundreds of varieties of tea, the main categories reflect the most well-known and popular tea types, blends and herbals; including Jasmine Green Tea, Earl Grey, Silver Needle White Tea and Rooibos. The 24 hot tea categories must fall within a set MSRP and will be commercially available at the World Tea Expo™. The Super Categories are focused strictly on three types of tea (black, oolong, and green), have no pricing restriction and must be of a single origin. Hot Tea Class entries will be pre-qualified and pre-judged blind prior to the opening of the 2008 World Tea Expo™ by professional tea tasters from some of the most respected tea companies in the industry. Through the pre-judging process, all entries will receive a World Tea Rating™. The five highest rated teas will be further evaluated during the World Tea Expo™ to determine the best teas of 2008 in each category.

The Iced Tea Class is organized by market applications and sales channels. The three categories are ready-to-drink, foodservice and freestyle-focused on the grocer, restaurant and independent tea shop, respectively.

The World Tea Expo™ will be held May 30th to June 1st at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV. For more information on the World Tea Expo™, including a full listing of events and seminars, new features for 2008, a floor plan and an interactive exhibitor directory, visit www.worldteaexpo.com.