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May 17: Gold for Waikato at Global Tea Championships

Mayor Allan Sanson of the Waikato District Council joined Zealong in celebrating their recent triumph at 2017 Global Tea Championship Fall in Colorado, USA. The Estate’s Black and Oolong tea bags received “gold” first-place honours in their respective categories and the Green tea bags achieved top honours by coming second in its category.

Gigi Crawford of Zealong Tea Estate and Mayor Allan Sanson of Waikato District Council, with the three trophies won by Zealong Tea Estate at the 2017 Global Tea Championship Fall in Colorado, USA.

The three striking glass trophies, each individually inscribed with the Estate’s name and the award category, arrived by special delivery from the United States today.

“We are indeed proud that all three of Zealong’s teas were placed highest in their categories in a global competition which saw 245 entries from 16 different countries. This is a noteworthy triumph for the Waikato District community and for wider New Zealand,” Mayor Allan said.

“Zealong are commendable ambassadors of our District and we wish them everything of the very best when they showcase their winning teas at the World Tea Expo’s ‘Winners’ Tasting Circle’ in Las Vegas later this year,” he said.

William Durning, the Chief Executive of the Waikato Chamber of Commerce noted, “The international success of Zealong against strong competition is further endorsement that great New Zealand companies creating value and opportunity for all are right here in the Waikato - New Zealand’s best business address.”

“This is a significant award for Zealong as it once again proves that New Zealand tea can hold its own amid fierce competition and on any global platform,” said Zealong General Manager Gigi Crawford.

Zealong’s winning teas are entitled to proudly display the Global Tea Championship seal and they will be showcased in the October 2017 issue of the Global Tea Buyers’ Guide, a digital publication distributed to the international tea community and vertical markets.

The competition was organised by Penton’s World Tea Media and blind judged by professional tea tasters who determined the finest quality and best-tasting teas commercially available Worldwide.

Zealong’s honours at the Global Tea Championship are the very latest in a string of global accolades, including a Great Taste Award in the UK and organic beverage awards in Hong Kong and London.


For further information contact:
Annalese Webber, Zealong Tea Estate or 0274392672

About Zealong:

The Zealong Tea Estate story began in 1996 with 130 premium quality seedlings. The plantation’s local climate, terroir, and lack of heavy frost proved to be ideal for growing the Camellia sinensis tea plant enabling Zealong to increase in size over the past 21 years to grow and lovingly-nurture 1.2 million plants on a 48 hectare estate.

Zealong is home to New Zealand’s first and only commercially grown, organic tea and is located a mere 10km outside Hamilton in the picturesque Waikato Region. This Waikato icon represents a NZ$20 million investment and is a key player in the New Zealand clean and green arena, and the only tea brand entitled to display the NZ Grown logo on its packaging.

Zealong are specialists in producing high-quality loose-and-bagged green, oolong and black teas. Almost two-thirds of its annual production is exported to the USA, Germany, UK, France, China, and to various tea businesses around the world. The balance is sold locally to fine food and specialty shops as well as through forty-two outlets countrywide.

What is unique to Zealong is that its tea is 100% organically certified and fully traceable from soil to first sip, thanks to full ISO22000 HACCP certification across every step of the production process. Alongside the various international organic standards and ISO certification, Zealong also has official Halal accreditation and carries a FernMark licence, recognition of being an authentic NZ product.

In January 2010, the company opened a Halal-friendly restaurant on the estate, the Zealong Tea House. The same year, Zealong gift boxes were voted world's best packaging by The Dieline, the world's #1 package design website.

Other prestigious awards include Natural and Organic Beverage awards in Hong Kong and London; a Great Taste Award in the UK; a Waikato Business Excellence award; and most recently top honours in three categories at Global Tea Championships;

Zealong is a highly successful export company often cited for its innovative approach, ambition and support of the local economy. Zealong’s tea-centred experiences are a firm favourite with tourists and locals alike: with Qualmark accreditation and TripAdvisor Certificates of Excellence for 2013-2016, the Estate is currently rated #2 for Things to Do in Hamilton, #9 for Restaurants in Hamilton, and is featured in the 2017 Lonely Planet New Zealand Guidebook.