The Leafies are now open for entries

The Leafies celebrate the world’s finest loose leaf teas. In partnership with Fortnum & Mason, we are proud to open these new awards to tea farmers, producers, suppliers and retailers.

Your finest teas could win a prestigious Gold or Highly Commended Award. A selection of winning teas will be sold at Fortnum & Mason’s London store at the Rare Tea Counter.


Entries close online Sunday 18th September 2022

Teas must be received by  Friday 23 September 2022

Put your tea in the spotlight

As a primary tea producer these awards will give you exposure to a global tea-focused market. As suppliers and retailers, you will be able to differentiate your award-winning teas with the marque of the International Tea Academy Awards: The Leafies. All winners will gain global recognition with some selected to be sold at Fortnum & Mason, London.


Tell the story behind your tea

There are over 40 awards for teas in different categories. Each tea will be evaluated according to a point system to ensure judging criteria stay comparable and consistent each year. Once the entries have been narrowed down to a short list in each category, judges may also consider the background stories of how the teas are grown and processed.

You can also enter, or nominate entries, in the five different Special Awards for those effecting positive change for the environment, the industry or their community.


How to enter
  • We recommend you read the FAQs below for entry guidelines
  • Deadline for entries is 18th September 2022
  • Complete the Entry Form by clicking the gold button below
  • You can enter several teas on the same form and pay for them together. If you’re entering multiple teas to one category you will need to complete a separate entry form for each tea.
  • Entries cost £50 per tea. Payment is at the end of the form
  • You will receive confirmation of your entry via the email address you provide
  • Print, complete and attach this slip to the tea you are sending. All teas received must be labelled with the company, tea name and category details.


01WN Natural
01WS Scented


02AW Cake or loose

GREEN: Steamed

03GSN Natural
03GSS Scented or Roasted etc

GREEN: Panned

04GRN Natural
04GRS Scented


05MG Matcha green


06CL Loose leaf+ spices


07JG Jasmine Green
07JO Jasmine Others


08YN Natural


09OCL Lightly oxidised
09OCH Heavily oxidised
09OCS Scented

OOLONG: Formosa

10OFL Lightly oxidised
10OFH Heavily oxidised
10OFS Scented

OOLONG: Other regions

11OORL Lightly oxidised
11OORH Heavily oxidised
11OORS Scented

BLACK: China, Formosa, Vietnam, Myanmar, Japan

12BCFN Natural
12BCFS Scented

BLACK: Sri Lanka, India, Nepal

13BSLN Natural
13BSLS Scented

BLACK: Other regions

14BORN Natural
14BORS Scented


15EB Comprising a minimum 10% orthodox tea


16EG Naturally scented


17DRAA Raw >5yrs
17DRAY Raw <5yrs
17DCO Cooked


18WTB Natural herbal blend must contain Camellia sinensis


19CB All Cold Brew/RTD must contain Camellia sinensis (inc kombucha)


20HB Signature blends from any tea category


21PTA All categories (inc chai and matcha scented blends)

These Special Awards are free to enter. Click VOTE on the relevant award to add your nomination. You can vote for as many different nominees as you like. You can also nominate your own garden/estate/farm, but the more support you have from others the better, so spread the word to your network through your social media.

Want to share your tea’s story and encourage votes? Here are some graphics for you to share online and encourage your audience to nominate you for a Leafies special award. Don’t forget to tag us, and good luck!


For the tea farm/estate/garden demonstrating community empowerment, economic regeneration and/or uplifting the welfare of the people dependent on the tea farm/estate/garden for their livelihood.


For an exciting new garden/region/producer demonstrating imagination and innovation in tea cultivation and/or manufacture.


For the farm/estate/garden demonstrating outstanding environmental stewardship.


For the bold, brave, creative tea producers developing successful experimental teas that don’t fall neatly into any category.


A very special award for an individual who is well established, highly respected and has made a significant contribution to the advancement of tea knowledge, understanding and appreciation.


The ultimate tea award chosen from all the category winners.  This is not a comparison of the finest teas but a unanimous vote from the judges on the most outstanding tea of all the winners. One year a tea may win based purely on flavour, but the story behind the teas will be available to the judges so this may also have some bearing on their decision.

Expert Judges

Meet our expert judges, professionals in their area of expertise and passionate advocates of high grade tea. Judging will be in Oct 2022.

Ottilie Cunningham, Tea Buyer, Fortnum & Mason
Ottilie Cunningham

Tea Buyer, Fortnum & Mason

Ottilie fell into the world of tea after picking up a discarded copy of The Times on a train, where she spotted an ad for Trainee Tea Buyer at Twinings. Since then, Ottilie has spent the past 18 years in the tea trade and experienced every part of the tea value chain along the way, from grower to producer to retailer, working for brands such as Twinings, Finlays and Fortnum & Mason. As Tea Buyer at F&M, Ottilie is responsible for selecting the finest and most rare teas from across the globe for the iconic luxury retailer.

Juyan Webster

UKTA Tea Tutor, China

Juyan grow up in Zhejiang, China – one of the most important provinces for green tea production and worked with her parents in the family-run tea garden from a young age. In 2002, Juyan came to the UK for study and noticed that there was lack of premium quality teas in the market. So she started The Chinese Tea Company in London in 2010 after finishing the university. Since then she has traveled extensively visiting the tea gardens in China and meeting farmers to purchase the premium teas and learn her tea knowledge from the masters. She leads tea trips to China and hosts courses and private tastings and corporate events in London. She also teaches the Tea Sommelier Chinese tea module and Chinese Tea Masterclass.

Mask Group 19
Jane Pettigrew

UKTA Director of Studies

Jane Pettigrew is one of the best-known and most highly respected professionals in the tea world. She has worked as a writer and educator for over 35 years and is tirelessly committed to sharing her knowledge of tea and improving the standards of tea service. She teaches tea masterclasses all over the world and has written 17 books on tea.

In 2014 she was voted Best Tea Educator at World Tea Awards, World Tea Expo, and in January 2016 was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to Tea Production and Tea History in the UK’s New Year Honours list.

Jane’s latest book, Jane Pettigrew’s World of Tea was awarded Best New Product (Publications and Books category) at World Tea Expo 2018 and Best Tea Publication at World Tea Awards, World Tea Expo 2019.

Chau-Jean_5 copy
Chau-Jean Lin

UKTA Tea Tutor, Taiwan

Dr Lin teaches our Taiwanese Tea Masterclass. She started Marulin in London to share teas from her family farm in Taiwan – specialists in Taiwanese Oolong tea.

Marulin’s most recent development has been blending oolong teas in tea bags and creating new tea powders that go beyond matcha.

James Suranga Perera

UKTA Tea Tutor, Sri Lanka

Suranga has had over 20 years’ experience working at the centre of the tea trade in Sri Lanka and possesses an in-depth understanding of the tea and the industry. He worked as a Tea Broker in the Sri Lankan Tea industry for over 20 years. Starting at Forbes and Walker, he then became Vice President of Asia Siyaka Commodity Brokers, before being moving to Ceylon Tea Brokers PLC, where he was appointed COO and then CEO. During this time, he also served on the Sri Lanka Tea Board Tasting Panel representing the Broker community and was a Board Director for the Colombo Brokers Association. He represented the Colombo Brokers Association at the Colombo Tea Traders Association(CTTA) as the Tea Convenor for Tea Brokers and was a member of the initial panel appointed by the Sri Lanka Tea Board to carry out a feasibility study into the E-auction system, which is now in place. Suranga moved to the UK in 2017 and is now a consultant, entrepreneur and tutor on Ceylon tea for the UKTA.

Asako Steward

UKTA Tea Tutor, Japan

Asako was born and educated in Japan and is a qualified Tea Instructor for both black and green tea in Japan. She lived and worked in London for more than 20 years teaching her own British tea and culture courses and also teaching at UK Tea Academy. From 2018 she has run the Tea Academy Japan in Tokyo and Kyoto as a Director. She is also a Japanese Tea Ambassador and Kakegawa Tea Ambassador, and hosts many seminars and lectures to introduce Japanese tea to U.K. and Europe. Asako has visited many tea gardens in the world and learned about black, green, white, oolong and fermented teas and published 5 books about tea in Japan. She is also a specialist judge for tea at the Great Taste Awards.
Sam Kimmins Headshot 2022(1)
Sam Kimmins

UKTA Tea Tutor, London

Sam has decades of experience as a professional Tea Blender and Buyer and has frequently shared her expertise on TV and radio. She teaches Tea Champion modules.

Timothy D’Offay

Postcard Teas, London

Thirty years ago while living in Kyoto, Tim became fascinated by tea culture and started to explore the tea traditions of East Asia. This led him to start importing tea in the late 1990s and to found Postcard Teas in 2005 which works exclusively with small farms across Asia. He has also written several books on tea which have been translated into several languages.

London Award Ceremony

The Leafies Award Ceremony will be held at Fortnum & Mason, Piccadilly, London on Wednesday 26 October 2022 from 2pm-6pm.

More details can be found on the event page linked below.


Leafies entrant: £85.00

General admission: £125.00

Entrants to The Leafies will receive a discount code for ceremony tickets via email. Simply apply the code at the checkout to receive your discount. Get in touch if you have entered The Leafies but have not been sent your code.

All tickets to the event can be purchased following the link to our event page.

We look forward to celebrating with you!

“The 2022 International Tea Academy Awards, The Leafies, are the first dedicated UK tea awards to celebrate the astonishing diversity of crafted teas from every tea-producing region in the world. We are thrilled to launch this initiative with our friends at Fortnum & Mason.”

Jane Pettigrew, Co-Founder and Director of Studies at the UKTA

Terms & Conditions

  1. The Leafies are open to tea farmers, tea estates, suppliers, retailers and organisations producing or handling high quality loose leaf tea.
  2. Entrant’s teas should be available to buy internationally, even if only in small quantities.
  3. Entrants should complete an entry form for the tea(s) entered into The Leafies. You can select multiple categories in one entry form. Teas sent in without a corresponding completed entry form will not be accepted.
  4. A fee of £50 per tea is required to enter your tea(s) into The Leafies. Entrants may select multiple categories, the total cost of which will be calculated at the end of the form where payments are taken. If your payment does not work for any reason, we will be in touch.
  5. All the teas will be tasted using professional tea-tasting equipment. Entrants can provide brewing parameters for their teas in a specific section of the entry form. We will endeavour to respect the brewing parameters.
  6. Entrants are responsible for providing the correct amount of tea (50g) and packaging it carefully so that it is not damaged in transit. The UKTA on behalf of The Leafies is not responsible for any teas that arrive damaged.
  7. Entrants are responsible for labelling their teas clearly and correctly with the information specified in the ‘How to Enter’ section of the webpage. Entrants sending multiple teas must label teas separately with the required details.
  8. One Gold will be awarded per category where there is a tea the judges consider outstanding.
  9. Teas will be judged on taste. If there are several teas at Gold level, information such as the farming process and the story behind the tea may be taken into account in the judging criteria.
  10. The Leafies judges will not provide feedback on entries. However, The UKTA will have access to the judges notes and can provide a feedback service. For further details contact jo@teaacademyawards.com
  11. Information on the winning teas such as the background story and any photographs included in the entry form, may be used by The UK Tea Academy for The Leafies marketing materials.
  12. Your participation in The Leafies means that we will have access to the personal data you supply, e.g. your name and email address, and other data which you submit in relation to your participation in our event. The UKTA will only share data with our sponsorship partners, namely BRITA and Marco. As a condition of entry, you accept that we have access to and will store your personal data which is relevant for the use of our system and the events you participate in.


The Leafies is open to any tea organisation around the world, from farmers and tea makers to tea suppliers and retailers, anyone can enter the teas they are proud of into The Leafies 2022.

The Leafies showcase carefully crafted teas which bring out the complexities of the leaf and the unique flavours of the terroir.

  • Only loose leaf, no teabags
  • Present as high quality (in most categories retaining the integrity of the whole leaf)
  • Leaves can be processed in a traditional, artisan style or using modern mechanical techniques designed for high grade teas
  • Contain only natural ingredients
  • Available for worldwide purchase online, even if only in small quantities

Click here or on the gold button above to enter your tea.  Complete one form for the tea(s) you want to enter.  Make a payment of £50 per tea (or equivalent converted to your currency).  Follow details in these FAQs on how and where to send the teas.

You will need some basic information about your company, such as the address and the contact details of the person handling your entry for The Leafies.

You will need to select the correct award category for the tea you are entering and need to  provide a brief overview of the harvesting and processing of your tea, but please note this does not have to be in much detail.

You will also have the option to share the story behind your tea and any specific brewing parameters.

You can also upload a photograph that represents your tea such as the farm, your community, staff or even your packaging.

Finally you need the details of the bank card you are using to pay for your entry.

You can see all the questions in the Entry Form + some guidance in the line below this.

A full list of the questions included in the entry form can be viewed here.

Entries cost £50.00 per tea. You can enter as many teas as you like, but you will need to complete a separate entry form for each tea submitted.

Entries for the Special Awards are free. You can nominate yourself or others.

Get in touch with jo@teaacademyawards.com if you need help with your entry.

The Awards are now open to receive entries. You should send your tea once you’ve completed your entry form. We advise you to send your tea as soon as possible and not leave it too close to the deadline as it may not arrive in time.

The deadline for completing the Entry Form is Friday 23 September 2022

The deadline for receiving teas at The Scottish Tea Factory is Friday 30 September 2022. We will notify you once we have received your tea.

All teas should be sent to:

The Leafies
The Scottish Tea Factory
Comrie croft
United Kingdom


You should send your teas with a tracking option. The Leafies are not responsible for any teas that do not arrive.

Please ensure that postage includes tracking as we cannot take responsibility for any missing entries.

Print and complete this form to send alongside your teas.

Send 50g of each tea carefully sealed and packed in protective outer packaging. If you have a pre-packed retail carton holding more than 50g, you can submit that to save repacking.

Each tea entered must be individually labelled with the following information securely attached or printed on the pack

  • Name of the organisation that is entering the tea (eg farm/estate/retailer/supplier/wholesaler etc)
  • Name of the tea
  • The Leafies Category Name and Number for which you are entering the tea
  • Ingredients list (if not pure tea ie any blends and RTD)
  • Brewing guidelines (optional)

Yes. When we have received your tea, we will notify you via the email you entered in your Entry Form.

There will be one Gold Award in each category for truly exceptional tea. However, if the judges decide that none of the entries achieve a Gold standard, there may not be a Gold awarded in that category.

The judges will determine the number of Highly Commended awards. There is no fixed number or limit to the Highly Commended awards.

  • Gold Award winners receive The Leafies Gold Award Trophy.
  • All winners receive The Leafies Award Certificate in their category.
  • All winners receive The Leafies award-winning Gold/Highly Commended retail stickers.
  • All winners have the right to use The Leafies award-winning Gold/Highly Commended marque on their website and in their marketing collateral.
  • A selection of Gold Award winners will be sold at the Rare Tea Counter at London’s Fortnum & Mason.
  • Winning teas will be highlighted in a global tea-focused market with worldwide promotional and networking opportunities.
  • Some of the teas will be included in the UK Tea Academy (UKTA) training courses, the UK’s leading professional tea educational body.
  • All winners have their names and background stories published on the UKTA website, broadcast in social media posts and in on-going marketing.

The Leafies Awards Ceremony will be held at 2pm on Wednesday 26 October at Fortnum & Mason’s flagship store in London.

There will be a limited number of tickets available for the event. Follow UK Tea Academy social media for details of when they are released.

Winners will not know in advance if they have won. We will endeavour to set up a live link to the winners who can’t be there in person.

The International Tea Academy Awards: The Leafies, are proud to be in partnership with