Kombucha Kup Awards of Excellence
Since KBI’s inception in 2014, brands have been asking for an opportunity to compete and be judged. Now that the Kombucha Code of Practice has been launched, we are ready to increase Kombucha’s profile across the globe. Kombucha Kup “Awards of Excellence” time is finally here!
There is no better way to celebrate, judge, admire, critique, and ultimately encourage excellence while creating marketing opportunities for our category like the launch of our awards program. Building on the Kombucha Flavor Flower, we are offering our first-ever “Kombucha Kup” which will be awarded at the end of KombuchaKon22 – Leveling Up.
We have world-class judges – a blend of tasting experts and Kombucha lovers – which means all entrants will receive vital feedback to improve their products. Gold, Silver & Bronze will be awarded for each of the categories outlined below. Since it’s our first year, entries and categories are limited and will expand in years to come.
Additionally, we will be including the opportunity to compete at KombuchaKon 22 in our “Best of Show” categories for those who bring samples to share. Together our community will unite around quality to reward innovation for categories like #faveflav, best packaging design, and most original concept.
Kombucha Kup entries will open for KBI Members in October and depending on how many participate, they will then open up to non-members to fill any remaining slots. Each brand may enter as many categories as they like and are limited to one entry per category to encourage robust competition.
Each category will have 16-24 slots available. For flavored products, the name(s) of the flavor elements will be listed on the entry form for the judges. If you are uncertain which category best fits your mixed flavor profiles, select the one that is listed first on the ingredients list.
Kombucha has 5 categories, each of the remaining categories does not have a flavor category at this time. We anticipate these will expand in future years.
- Tea is to kombucha as grapes are to wine!
- Ginger/Spice (Ginger, Turmeric, Galangal, Cayenne, etc.)
- Spice of life!
- The darker the berry, the sweeter the booch!
- Floral/Herbs (Lavender, Rose, Elderflower, Mint, Thyme, Oregano, etc.)
- Flower Power!
- So “hoppy” together!
KBI Member Cost:
- $119 for the first entry
- 2 entries for $219
- 3 entries $299
- $99 per additional entry after 3
Non-Member Cost per entry
Build the Ballot
Judging craft beverages and foodstuffs is a sensual endeavor. All of the senses are involved in the process. We have outlined the qualities that our judges will be evaluating to tease out the winners of the Kombucha Kup “Awards of Excellence.”
- Still, sparkling
- Filtered vs Unfiltered – better descriptor than “Hazy” vs Bright
- Mixture vs solution (how well mixed are the ingredients in the liquid)
- Become a desirable characteristic in beer
- Culture strands or not
- Nose is inside the cup
- Base tea – absent/present – attributes
- Specialty ingredients (flavors & additives)
- Fermentation attributes – esters
- Off flavors
- Related to base tea
- Related to fermentation
- Mouthfeel – tasting fizz
Do You Even Sensory, Bro?
Basic Sensory Program Development Guidance
Developing a Sensory Program is key to monitoring the quality of your brew. It can be as basic as grading your products on a scale of 1-5 or more involved including multiple team members. The most important factor is that you START to grade your own kombucha as soon as possible. While it’s not always easy to quantify the subjective nature of how your product tastes, doing so on a consistent basis will yield tangible results. Here are some tips to help you get started.
- Don’t discuss while tasting. People want to get the answer right and what is needed is unbiased feedback
- Write down observations and grades to maintain a track record that can be reviewed. Just talking about it may lead to forgetting what was said.
- Seek a wide range of feedback. Invite some friends or recruit volunteers to provide unbiased opinions.
- Create a baseline for every contributor. Some have an awesome palate for bitterness/diacetyl whereas others will pick up different notes.
- Create a baseline for every flavor. Generate a master flavor wheel for each flavor so that the results can be compared with the feedback from the tasters.
- Provide feedback to the tasters
BASIC SCALE (Free for KBI Members in Resources Library)
How to use this chart
- Fill out the top portion
- Distribute a copy to all tasters
- Fill in where each category ranks
- Add up each number from all testers for each category then divide by the number of testers to find the average score.
- Refer to the Kombucha Flavor Flower to define specific flavors detected.
|Batch or Lot Code||Tester Name|
|Like Extremely (9)||Like Very Much (8)||Like Moderately (7)||Like Slightly (6)||Neither Like nor Dislike (5)||Dislike Slightly (4)||Dislike Moderately (3)||Dislike Very Much (2)||Dislike Extremely (1)|
|Mouthfeel||Light (1)||Medium (2)||High (3)|
|Circle Any Off Flavors||Solvent||Stale||Rotten|
9-point hedonic scale for sensory
9-Point Hedonic Scale
Like Very Much
Neither Like nor Dislike
Dislike Very Much