New Zealand may not be the first country that springs to mind as a tea grower but a new brew with 100% pure origins is about to line up against the most famous global brands at the World Tea Expo in Las Vegas.

Zealong, a pure and healthy oolong tea grown and processed in New Zealand`s Waikato region, will be put to the test at the major expo – the first exposure to the world market since the Kiwi brew was launched in December 2009.

The oolong tea, produced with traditional Taiwanese methods, has flourished in the New Zealand conditions – the clean air, fertile soil, good rainfall, sunshine and temperate climate offering perfect, year-round growing conditions.

Pure pickings
Zealong is produced from a single source at the company`s 48-hectare tea estate at Gordonton near Hamilton. It is chemical spray and residue free, and the company`s entire operations are certified to world-leading food safety standards.

Every pack of Zealong tea is traceable down to the date of harvest and the block where it was picked. Because the perfect growing conditions mean Zealong tea can be grown naturally, the leaf is thicker and greener, and in the cup it holds its flavour and fragrance longer.

The company is confident Zealong`s extraordinary purity will strike a chord with discerning customers across the globe.

Clean green credentials
Zealong director and general manager Vincent Chen says his product`s clean green New Zealand credentials will have special appeal for Asian and European buyers.

“Customers are looking for products they can trust – that`s why we`ve gone for the highest international food safety standards,” Chen said. “I believe you can taste the purity.” Zealong performs like a fine single source wine, its delicacy and purity of flavour setting it apart. International reviewers consistently point to its freshness, says Chen.

He says the company is attending the Las Vegas expo to introduce the world to Zealong and explore international sales opportunities.

Background: Zealong tea
The Zealong story began when Taiwan-based Tranz Group Limited established in New Zealand back in 1996 and the company founder`s son began experimenting with oolong tea on a piece of vacant land.

Thirteen years later the plantation produces up to 4.5 tonnes in three picking seasons and includes a 900sqm purpose-built tea factory with a cafe, lodge, plant nursery, landscaped lake and visitor centre due for completion in 2010.

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