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2023 - First Chinese Tea Brweing Contest in North America

“Upower Financial”  Title Sponsored 


About the Event

The 2023 "Upower Financial Cup" is the inaugural North American Chinese Tea Brewing Contest, drawing participants from diverse backgrounds who share a passion for Chinese tea. After a rigorous three-month preliminary phase from May to August, 10 contestants advanced to the semi-finals on September 9, with six proceeding to the grand finale on September 23. In the preliminary and semi-final rounds, participants identified sample teas, showcasing their knowledge and brewing skills. The final round required them to craft a "Golden Autumn" themed tea set, brew their favorite tea, and host a 20-minute tea ceremony, testing not only their brewing skills but also their understanding of Chinese tea, culture, and tea philosophy. Judges, chosen for their industry experience, adhered to principles of fairness and authority, providing average scores to determine the winners.


Third Place: Sharon Xiao Average Score: 93.25

Sharon's tea set featured a light blue ginkgo leaf pattern tablecloth with white porcelain teacups and saucers, adorned with red lantern flowers and orange miniature pumpkins, highlighting the "Golden Autumn" theme. She shared a Wuyi Rock tea called "Iron Arhat," with a rich aroma and a lasting aftertaste. Sharon's brewing technique was precise and elegant, showcasing a seamless and enjoyable tea-making process. Her profound understanding of Chinese tea, especially as a young tea enthusiast born after 1995, was commendable.

Second Place: Kurt Aydin Average Score: 94.25

Kurt's extensive knowledge of Chinese tea was impressive, reflecting his passion for Chinese culture cultivated over the past five years of dedicated study. In both the preliminary and semi-final rounds, he correctly identified the sample tea and brewed it perfectly. For the final round, he shared a Shui Xian Rock tea from Huiyuan Pit in Wuyi Mountain, emphasizing the tea's regional advantages, characteristics, and tasting points. Kurt's tea was smooth, sweet, and had a lingering aftertaste, showcasing professional-level brewing skills.

Champion: Adriana Li Average Score: 94.75

Adriana commenced her tea ceremony with a performance on the ancient Chinese instrument, the guqin, emphasizing its four-thousand-year history and its connection with Chinese tea. She chose to brew a rare Pu'er tea called "Man Song," a former tribute tea known for its exceptional quality and limited production. Adriana's skilled brewing technique highlighted the tea's sweetness and smoothness, creating a delightful sensory experience. Despite being a new tea from 2022, it exuded a robust tea essence. In addition to tea, Adriana shared her profound understanding of Chinese culture and her journey in tea studies, impressing judges and audiences alike. Adriana was an outstanding tea ceremony host, showcasing her love and pride for tea and Chinese culture.

Best Tea Set Award: Kurt Aydin

Kurt's tea set featured chrysanthemums and Canadian maple leaves, symbolizing the fusion of Chinese and Canadian cultures. He specifically chose a black vase with a Chinese chrysanthemum pattern, complemented by orange and yellow chrysanthemums on a gray-blue tablecloth, accentuated by freshly turned red Canadian maple leaves. Additionally, he used a large maple leaf as a background, highlighting the theme of "Golden Autumn."

Rising Star Award: Jessica Chen

Seven-year-old Jessica Chen showcased her talent and dedication by reaching the finals of the tea brewing competition. Despite having only studied tea for a few months, her performance demonstrated a natural understanding of tea and unwavering determination to learn. Her brewing technique was smooth and confident, and her Silver Needle White Tea tasted delicious. Judges and audiences were deeply impressed, unanimously recognizing her as a promising young talent.

Cultural Heritage Award: Lillian Li

Lillian is passionate about Chinese culture and tea. After years of studying traditional Chinese tea in China, she became a certified Chinese tea coach. Since moving to Vancouver in 2016, she has been dedicated to promoting and disseminating Chinese tea culture in North America. Her students include not only Chinese tea enthusiasts but also individuals from different cultures. Over the years, she has worked tirelessly to pass on traditional Chinese tea and tea culture to the younger generation, spreading it to tea lovers worldwide.


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