Great Taste 2014 reveals new stars and Tea People is a winner
The world’s largest blind-tasted food awards Great Taste, has just released the stars of 2014 and Tea People is amongst the producers celebrating, as our Choco Mint Rooibos is now able to proudly carry the little gold and black Great Taste logo.
Judged by over 400 of the most demanding palates including Masterchef judge and restaurant critic Charles Champion, BBC Food Programme presenter Sheila Dillon, Great British Bake Off winner Frances Quinn, MasterChef 2013 Natalie Coleman, food buyers from Harrods, Fortnum & Mason, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and Whole Food Markets, and chefs including Michelin Star chef Russell Brown, Great Taste is widely acknowledged as the most respected food accreditation scheme for artisan and speciality food producers.
Being a new company, this was the first time we had entered the Great Taste Awards and we are really proud of this achievement. This award now places our teas at the top 6.95% of all 10,000 top products judged and puts us at par with the finest food and drinks companies in the UK.
Great Taste is simply about taste, not clever branding or smart packaging. Judges are presented with a spoonful of jam, a pie, a slice of salami, or a cup of tea, with no wrappings, jars or marks – and they taste, confer and re-taste before making the decision on whether a product should be a 1-, 2- or 3-star winner. In total more than 12 judges will have tasted and commented on each product.
What is Great Taste?
Great Taste is the largest and most trusted accreditation scheme for speciality and fine food & drink. Established in 1994, it encourages and mentors artisan food producers, offering a unique benchmarking and product evaluation service leading to an independent accreditation that enables small food and drink businesses to compete against supermarket premium own label brands.
Since 1994 over 90,000 products have been evaluated. This year 10,000 products were blind-tasted by panels of specialists: top chefs, cookery writers, food critics, restaurateurs and fine food retailers.
What are Great Taste judges looking for?
They’re looking for great texture and appearance. They judge the quality of ingredients and how well the maker has put the food or drink together. But above all, they are looking for truly great taste.
How do they work?
Working in small teams, experts taste 25 foods in each sitting, discussing each product as a coordinating food writer transcribes their comments directly onto the Great Taste website which producers access after judging is completed. Over the years, numerous food businesses, start-ups and well established producers have been advised how to modify their foods and have subsequently gone on to achieve Great Taste stars.
Any food that a judging team believes is worthy of Great Taste stars is judged by at least two further teams. Only when there is a consensus will an award be given – that means at least 16 judges will have tasted every accredited product. For Great Taste 3-star, every single judge attending the session, which can be as many as 40 experts must unanimously agree the food delivers that indescribable ‘wow’ factor.
What should consumers look for?
The logo. The Great Taste symbol is their guarantee a product has been through a rigorous and independent judging process. It’s not about smart packaging or clever marketing – it’s all about taste.