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The first level screening of teas for the 17th edition of The Golden Leaf India Awards (TGLIA) organised by UPASI was held on Saturday at Coonoor, Tamil Nadu.
A 3-member panel comprising Koshy Panicker of J. Thomas & Co. P. Ltd, A. Noor Mohamed of Paramount Tea Marketing (SI) P. Ltd, and Thomas Mathews of Forbes & Co evaluated the teas that had entered the competition.
There were 133 entries from 40 estates/companies/factories from different agro-climatic regions of Nilgiris, Wayanad, Anamallais, Travancore, High Ranges, other minor tea growing regions and from Bought Leaf Factories.
Arun Kumar, convener, TGLIA organising committee, said the process of selecting the best teas from various agro-climatic regions is based on a multi-layer screening process using a scoring system that capture the various quality attributes of tea such as dry leaf appearance, infused or spent leaf appearance, liquor attributes like colour, taste/flavour, briskness and strength in an objective manner.
The teas qualifying the first level of screening will also be screened for pesticide residue parameters and heavy metals in the NABL accredited laboratory of UPASI Tea Research Foundation. The format and protocol for the competition was exhaustively detailed to ensure total transparency and de-mutualisation.
TGLIA is an annual feature in South India. The competition over the last 16 years helped immensely to showcase the quality teas of various regions of South India all over the world.
The Covid-19 pandemic had given an opportunity to reimagine the conduct of TGLIA competition. The final screening of the 16th edition of the TGLIA competition in 2020 was carried out through a process of remote tasting session, he said.
“Deriving success from the last initiative, this edition of the competition will feature a ‘ Virtual and Live Remote Tasting’ of teas for the final screening. We hope that this initiative will give a better exposure to the unique quality profile of South Indian teas,”.