Italian Tea Wins Gold in 3rd Teas of the World contest 2020

Paris, France – December 2020 –  The Verbano White Tea (Camellia sinensis) from Italy was named a gold winner in white tea category in the 3rd Teas of the World contest, the only European independent tea producers awards program, organized by the Agency for the Valorization of Agricultural Products (AVPA), a French non-governmental, non-profit organization.

The third annual Teas of the World international competition, focusing on tea producers from all over the world, was the most competitive in its history, with the highest number of awards submissions to date and the most distinguished judging panel yet assembled.

More than 220 awards submitted to date, were received this year, from a wide array of tea companies of all sizes, and from a variety of geographic regions in the world.

The Teas of the World 2020 contest had 6 main tea categories (green teas, white teas, yellow teas, wulong teas, black teas and dark teas), which were in turn divided into 33 sub-categories.

Tea samples came from all over the world with 21 participating countries, including China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Nepal, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

«I am honoured to have been recognized with a Gourmet Gold Medal for my Verbano White Tea as it is a great recognition from an independent panel of experts,» said Marco Bertona (马可·贝托纳), president of Italy Tea & Infusions Association (意大利茶业与花草茶协会 – ITA.Tea). «It’s an honour to receive this award amongst so many notable tea producers and worthy peers. This is one of my greatest achievements this year.»

Already last year, Marco Bertona, with the Verbano Black Tea, won the Gold Award in an international contest of black teas in China, the homeland of tea. The 2019 International Black Tea Tasting Competition, organised by the Tea Industry Committee of China (an organisation linked with the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture).

Yes, at that time too, the Italian tea surpassed about a hundred candidates from the world’s greatest tea-producing Countries, including China, Nepal, Kenya, Vietnam, Korea, Thailand, and Turkey.

«I was attracted to the AVPA Tea Contest this year because the judging panels made up of  European specialised tea buyers and culinary experts,» said Marco Bertona. «They have their finger on the pulse of the latest and greatest in our industry, so being recognized by such a prestigious group is a definite indication that we are moving in the right direction.»

Winners of Teas of the World 2020 were determined by an independent panel of 50 judges from European tea experts industry and the most refined gourmets in the world.

This year’s juries awarded 22 Gourmet Gold, 27 Gourmet Silver and 28 Gourmet Bronze medals.

The triumph of the Italian Tea in the world

This umpteenth prestigious acknowledgement is yet further confirmation of Italy’s ability to produce excellent, innovative products also in new market sectors, and master Bertona, who now rightfully deserves to be considered the Alchemist of Italian Tea, has opened the path towards a new beginning and a potential supply chain for Tea Made in Italy.

For more details:

Italy Tea & Infusions Association (ITA.Tea):

E-mail: [email protected]   –   Mobile: +39 3356611662

About Italian Tea

Tea is the oriental beverage par excellence, but who says tea cannot also be Made in Italy?

We are in the Piedmont (皮埃蒙特) region in the province of Verbania (维尔巴尼亚省), situated in the north-west of Italy, on the border with Switzerland, at the foot of the Alps (阿尔卑斯山), an area renowned for its superb camellias, because the tea plant is also Camellia, namely the “sinensis” species. It is here where, for four years, experiments were carried out on the cultivation of tea that is fully Italian, organic and 100% local.

That is the length of time that has lapsed since Marco Bertona 马可·贝托纳 (a top Italian tea expert) and a local flower-growing expert, launched their innovative project, namely to start a large-scale experimental tea plantation in an area of land that forms part of the Val Grande national park (瓦尔·格兰德国家公园), 15 km from the Piedmont shore of Lake Maggiore (马焦雷湖).

As of today over 24,000 seedlings have been planted in an open-field system making the Verbania tea garden the biggest tea plantation in Europe after the plantation of the Azores. And additionally after a long four year wait, the first harvest was reaped in April 2020.

But, as the expert grower says: «tea is like wine: it is one thing to produce good grapes, another is making a good wine.»

Of the same opinion is Marco Bertona, technical partner of the Italian experimental tea garden. In this regard, the professor explains that «the mere fact of having tea plants does not mean you already have Tea. Once harvested, the tender buds are the part used to produce the tea. The finished product, in other words the dried leaves that we call “tea” is, in fact, the result of a long and complex work processing.»

Marco Bertona is a professional tea taster who graduated in China at the Tea Research Institute of the Guangdong Academy of Agriculture Sciences of Guangzhou (Canton), and is director of Italy Tea & Infusions Association (意大利茶业与花草茶协会 – ITA.Tea), and the Italian Delegate at the FAO Intergovernmental Group on Tea (IGG/Tea).

He is the alchemist of Italian tea.

«Unlike all other medicinal plants and herbs, of which the parts used are merely dried after harvesting, the leaves of the tea plant have to undergo several processes before they are ready for use. Depending on the kind of tea, these can take from at least two days up to several months for certain types of fermented teas.»

The secret of a good Tea lies, in fact, in the processing.

«Naturally», adds professor Bertona, «the botanical variety used, the growing techniques adopted, and the environment as well as the micro-climate, are all crucial for determining the quality of the green leaves. It is not until after the processing, however, that the primary aromas start to unfold and, together with the secondary aromas that then develop as a result of the different processes involved, these make that certain type of Tea so special and unique».

The alchemy of processing.

During the processing of the green tea leaves, a real alchemy occurs, and master Bertona seems to be a true expert in this field.

Indeed, he used the leaves harvested in Val D’Ossola, following very specific and highly technical procedures, to produce three different kinds of tea: a white tea, a green tea and a black tea. All three kinds of tea were prepared by hand using traditional Chinese methods, also with the aid of special equipment for the hand processing of tea that was brought in specially from China.

About Marco Bertona (马可·贝托纳)

Marco Bertona, professional Tea Taster graduate of the Tea Research Institute of the Guangdong Academy of Agriculture Sciences in Guangzhou (Canton), China. Received the Advanced Tea Taster diploma in 2006, issued by the Ministry of Human Resources of P.R. of China. He is the only European to be so highly qualified in the Tea sector.

Bertona is:

• Executive Director and Chairman of Italy Tea & Infusions Association (意大利茶业与花草茶协会 – ITA.Tea);

Board Member and representative for Italy at the World Tea Organization (

• Founder and President of the international Slow Tea Association (国际慢茶协会);

• Board Member and representative for Italy at the International Union of Tea Industry Cooperation (国际茶产业合作联盟) in Peking;

• Italian Delegate at the Intergovernmental Group on Tea (IGG/Tea) of the FAO (联合国粮农组织政府间茶叶小组 (FAO IGG/Tea) 成员意大利专员).

Bertona is frequently invited as a tea judge in international tea evaluation competitions, as well as to attend high-end meetings on tea around the world, and is also a guest speaker in the tea making industry.

Based on his outstanding contribution to the tea culture exchange between China and Europe, Bertona was honoured at the World Expo 2015 (Milan, Italy) with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award of Italian Ambassador of Chinese Tea Culture by the Organising Committee of the China Tea Cultural Week of the China’s National Pavilion at the World Expo 2015.

For contact:

Italy Tea & Infusions Association (ITA.Tea):

E-mail: [email protected]

Mobile: +39 3356611662

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