The competition is the only one of its kind in Europe, with a focus on sensory assessment and excellence in taste. The medals were presented at the Gourmet Selection fine food show in Paris on September 23.
Zealong general manager Gigi Crawford was in France, to collect the awards.
“If you told us 10 years ago at the opening of our tea estate that we’d be here in the gourmet food capital of the world, being awarded medals for our teas a decade later… it’s a such testament to the hard work of our entire team at home.”
Zealong grows its award-winning tea on its estate on Hamilton’s northern fringe.
Mrs Crawford has been part of Zealong from day one and has seen the estate grow from “a crazy idea” to 1.2m tea bushes making up the only commercial tea estate in New Zealand. So for her to be present at the prizegiving was special.
The jury praised the gold medal-winning green tea’s “great harmony [and] interesting spicy notes,” while noting the oolong tea had “good balance” and the black tea was “very satisfying”.
“It’s always wonderful to see a New Zealand brand doing well on the world stage,” said New Zealand Trade Commissioner to France, Ariane Gonzalez.
“French consumers are extremely discerning, particularly around food and beverage, making high-end New Zealand produce a great fit for the market.”
Zealong’s teas are available to discerning European consumers at fine tea stores in France, Germany, and Switzerland, as well as from Harrod’s and Fortnum & Mason in the UK.
Tea drinkers here in New Zealand can get their hands on the award-winning brews at selected retail outlets or direct from the estate via www.zealong.com.
IMAGE: Zealong's Sen Kong and Gigi Crawford, left, and NZTE Paris Business Development Manager Leslie Eaker, display the awards at the Gourmet Seléction show.