Great Taste, the world’s most coveted blind-tasted food awards, which celebrates the very best in food and drink, has announced the Great Taste stars of 2016. Out of 10,000 products to be judged. Hope & Glory, based in Hertfordshire, was awarded two 2-star Great Taste Awards for its signature Masala Chai blend in Loose Leaf and tea pyramid formats.
Judged by over 500 of the most demanding palates, belonging to food critics, chefs, cooks, restaurateurs and producers as well as a whole host of food writers and journalists, Great Taste is widely acknowledged as the most respected food accreditation scheme for artisan and speciality food producers. As well as a badge of honour, the unmistakable black and gold Great Taste label is a signpost to a wonderful tasting product, which has been discovered through hours and hours of blind-tasting by hundreds of judges.
This year’s judges expressed their appreciation for the ‘carefully considered gentle spicing’ of the Masala Chai blend as well as commenting that they ‘love the fresh grassy warm buttery chamomile aroma’ of the Chamomile tisane featured in Hope & Glory’s Maharani collection, which they also awarded a Great Taste Star. The Maharajah collection fared just as well, with the English Breakfast blend awarded a Great Taste Star for its ‘nice black twisted leaf’ that ‘yields a liquor with fresh, bright, malty character’.
As part of what is being talked about as the new tea revolution, Hope & Glory represent an emerging contemporary view of tea and tea culture, expanding beyond the traditional ‘builders brew’ and into a world more often associated with lovers of coffee and fine wine.
“We had high hopes of winning a Great Taste Award in our first year of business, but to win 6 stars across our tea collections was incredible! We are so proud of our teas that we felt we had to grab the opportunity to get them in front of some of the most discerning tasters in the industry and see what they thought.”
explains Hope & Glory founder, Nina Chudasama,
“It’s incredible to think that, within only 9 months of launching Hope & Glory, we are able to proudly say that we supply award-winning teas to tea lovers across Britain.”
Commercial Director, Bharat Chudasama has no doubt that the Great Taste Awards will open doors for the business in terms of adding gravitas to the brand and positioning Hope & Glory as a real contender in the rising ‘Out of Home’ (OOH) Tea category,
“We have been touring the UK this year with our luxury pop-up tea salon, serving our teas at some of the most prestigious events in the British calendar, such as the recent Royal Salute Coronation Cup Polo tournament. We create a tea experience that fuses the very best of British & Indian traditions with both a nod to the much cherished British Afternoon Tea and in homage to the cultural heritage of the Indian Chai Wallah. It has been wonderful to see the enthusiasm people share for drinking high quality tea and how much joy can be taken in drinking tea as part of a luxurious social experience.”
Recognised as a stamp of excellence among consumers and retailers alike, Great Taste values taste above all else, with no regard for branding and packaging. Whether it is bread, honey, salami or cereal being judged, all products are removed from their wrapper, jar, box or bottle before being tasted. The judges then savour, confer and re-taste to decide which products are worthy of a 1-, 2- or 3-star award.
There were 10,000 Great Taste entries this year and of those products, 141 have been awarded a 3-star, 878 received a 2-star and 2,520 were awarded a 1-star accolade. The panel of judges included; TV chef and author, Valentine Warner, MasterChef judge and restaurant critic, Charles Campion, fifth generation baker, Tom Herbert from Hobbs House Bakery, and Great British Bake Off winner, Frances Quinn; food buyers from Harrods, Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason, Harvey Nichols and Waitrose and chefs including, James Golding, chef director of THE PIG Hotels, and Kevin Gratton, chef director of HIX Restaurants. These esteemed palates have together tasted and re-judged the 3-star winners to finally agree on the 2016 Top 50 Foods, the Golden Fork Trophy winners and the 2016 Supreme Champion.
Great Taste 2016 will reach its exciting finale on Monday 5 September, when the world of fine food gathers at the Royal Garden Hotel in London to find out the Golden Fork winners for each region at an Awards Dinner, with the final applause reserved for the Great Taste Supreme Champion 2016.