New UK Loose-Leaf Tea Company, Lahloo, Wins 4 Great Taste Gold Awards

Bristol, United Kingdom, July 24, 2010 --( Lahloo, specialists in artisan single estate and custom-blended loose leaf tea with flavour and provenance, is celebrating after scooping four coveted One-Star prizes at the sixteenth annual national Great Taste Awards this week.

Lahloo launched a unique retail range in the UK 18 months ago and is a new player in the premium tea arena. Kate Gover, founder of Lahloo is therefore absolutely delighted with this success. “I am so pleased to receive not one but four coveted One-Star awards,” Kate says. “I know how fantastic Lahloo Tea is but to stand out among what is really talented competition after just 18 months and receive these awards is a great achievement. It gives me confidence that Lahloo is heading in the right direction,” she adds.

This is quite an achievement for such a young company especially as Kate Gover used to hate tea with a passion. That was until she tasted a Japanese green tea produced by farmers on a tiny estate. She fell in love with the complex taste and a new and exciting world opened up in front of her. That one extraordinary cup inspired Kate to start Lahloo and it would be hard to find somebody more passionate about tea.

This dynamic new company offers tea drinkers a boutique collection of single estate and custom-blended loose-leaf tea from some of the world’s finest small tea gardens. These distinctive teas are a world away from the faceless, mass-produced tea produced in huge factories. This is hand-picked tea with character, flavour, provenance, and, like Kate and Lahloo, each one has its own fascinating story to tell.

Smokey, their unique Sri Lankan large leaf smoked in small batches over cinnamon wood was not only described by the Great Taste Award judges as “close to perfect” but it was also described as “a different take on the classic, great balance of the smoke.”

Kate was ecstatic to hear that the judges also described Lahloo Earl Grey, an elegant afternoon tea blending fine Darjeeling tea with real Bergamot oil, as “close to perfect” with “continental floral notes” and a “bright and unusual blend.”

Orchid, a twisted oolong from the Phoenix Mountains in China with an exquisite orange blossom honey aroma and Sobacha, a unique and delicious Japanese mountain toasted buckwheat caffeine-free infusion, were also both crowned with the One-Star prize and described as “close to perfect.”

The Great Taste Awards, organised by the Guild of Fine Food, are back stronger than ever. They are the authoritative, independent standard for Britain’s fine food sector: more and more consumers recognise the gold & black logo as the benchmark for independently proven fine food. However, winning a coveted Great Taste Award is much more than recognition for excellence; it is one of the most powerful tools to help grow business in the specialty food sector.

The 2010 GTAs have seen even more products entered than ever before. 6021 in total have been blind-tasted, tested and discussed over an intense, two-month judging period by 350 judges, comprising food writers, chefs, deli and farm shop owners, food producers and buyers.

Bob Farrand of the Guild of Fine Food said “It’s so exciting to see the standards of food and drink in the British Isles go from strength to strength, year after year, proving that for those who enjoy great food - it’s there to be discovered.” Farrand continued, “We’ve worked hard to ensure our judging process is as robust as possible. The judging teams are balanced in terms of experience, background and even gender and every Gold Award winning entry has been independently proven to be of the highest standard.”

Kate Gover adds “Retailing artisan fine loose leaf tea hasn’t always been easy but I know there is a discerning market there and The Great Taste Awards are the perfect tool to help me get our message across. This is the first of many – I hope!”


Notes to editor:

- Lahloo is named after an iconic 19th century clipper ship that Kate Gover’s great-great grandfather, George Hockaday, sailed aboard
- Clipper ships were built for speed and they raced each other to bring the finest tea from China to London.
- Lahloo teas are artisan – quality over quantity - not mass-produced in huge factories purely for profit.
- All tea – green, black, white, oolong - is made from the same plant (camellia sinensis) and, like wine, is influenced by ‘terroir’
- Lahloo tea is available in distinctive pouches, 5.00 pounds Sterling-10.00 pounds Sterling, with colourful label explaining everything the customer needs to know about the product and sealed with a Lahloo wooden peg.
- The teas really stand out on the shelves of the increasing number of food halls, delis, Michelin-Starred restaurants, boutique hotels and spas that stock or serve Lahloo teas across the UK, including Harvey Nichols and Liberty of London.
Kate Gover