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Beverage Industry
Reporter at tea taste contest wonders: Who am I to judge?
Reporter at tea taste contest wonders: Who am I to judge?

Five hours, 122 cups of tea and a dimly lit room. That might sound like the beginning of a bad joke or a fraternity hazing ritual. The reason I'm here, pencil in one hand and a matcha brew in the other, may be nearly as ill-advised. I'm judging iced tea at the North American Tea Championship, a competition that draws entries from vending machine regulars such as Snapple as well as smaller boutique brands such as Mellow Monk. Most of what I know about the beverage — which is not much — I learned from my father. The man drinks it all day long. He feels for a good oolong the kind of passion guys usually reserve for football and Kate Upton. But he has nothing on my...

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