Judges, including TV tea-lovers Paul Henry and Kate Hawkesby, gathered at the Bell Tea tasting rooms to preside over the entries submitted to a world-first challenge – to create a blend of tea for Twinings.
The world famous tea company is searching for a blend that captures the essence of the perfect New Zealand Breakfast tea.
Heading the judging panel was Stephen Twining – 10th generation of the Twinings family, so the best man for the job! Stephen was joined by popular Breakfast TV host Paul Henry; acclaimed chef Celia Harvey, currently of Greys Ave Deli, and formerly of River Café in London; Kate Hawkesby, newsreader for the breakfast show on Newstalk ZB (and tea lover); Dr Laurence Eyres, renowned for his scientific studies into nutrition and health for University of Auckland; and Matt Greenwood, New Zealand’s only full time Master Tea Taster and Blender.
The panel in New Zealand sipped, slurped and spitted its way through the top entries submitted by New Zealanders, selecting the top ten blends – to be announced later in the month. The winning blend will be selected from these top ten and the creator of this winning blend will be flown to the UK to assist Stephen Twining and the Twinings Tea Masters in fine-tuning the blend before it goes on sale in New Zealand.
Twinings has been perfecting the art of blending for over three centuries now, but it still believes that Kiwis can help discover something totally unique. As Stephen Twining says, “I’m always struck by the passion for tea in New Zealand, and we think we may have a gap in our offering. To us, it makes perfect sense to offer a unique quality brew.”