The company was one of just 141 companies to be awarded a 3-star Great Taste award, the highest accolade possible, for its Kenyan Gold Tea Bags. Ringtons’ 3-star winning Kenyan Gold Tea Bags will be pitted against fellow 3-star recipients at the grand finale of the Golden Fork Awards on Monday 5 September at the Royal Garden Hotel in London, where regional winners will be announced and a Great Taste Supreme Champion 2016 recognised.
From over 10,000 entries received, Ringtons Traditional Tea Bags and Ringtons Signature English Breakfast Loose Tea were also honoured in this year’s competition with each receiving a 2-star rating.
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 unmistakeable 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.
Jon Malton, Divisional Director for Ringtons said: “We have been buying and blending tea for more than 100 years and buy most of our tea from Kenya. This tea is grown east of the Rift Valley and is considered amongst the finest tea in the world, due to the high altitude and quality volcanic soil it’s cultivated in. Our 3-star winning Kenyan Gold is made of tea from this region and our Great Taste win is testament to the expertise of our tea tasters and buyers as well as the skills of tea estates and gardens we source from. We have our own factory in North Tyneside where all of our tea is blended and packed, and we champion a unique preservation process which protects our tea and creates a smooth flavour with less bitterness than other teas, and this is what we believe made our tea stand out to the Great Taste judges and creates a truly British cuppa.”
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.
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.