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NEWS: The World’s First Draft-Style Tea Wins a Sofi™

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posted Sunday Aug 30, 2020 09:30 PM

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3 Mountains, a woman-owned and Fair Trade certified company, has won the new product award in the Ready-to-Drink Coffee and Tea category for it's Silverback Classic Silver, as part of the Specialty Food Association’s (SFA) 2020 sofi™ Awards.

Silverback Classic Silver is made with pesticide-free black and silver tea sourced directly from Rwanda, blended with organic lemon juice, a touch of raw organic sugar and lightly carbonated (under 40 calories). Using a proprietary Whole Leaf Brewing Technology™, 3 Mountains founder, Sara Stender Delaney, originally created the drink in kegs to offer local breweries a nonalcoholic option, and to increase social comfort for nondrinkers. She wanted a healthier option, with less sugar and calories than soda and juice, but more fun that water; something that felt celebratory and energizing. This product was one of only two winners in this category, selected in a blind tasting by a panel of specialty food experts, including buyers from Whole Foods and National Coop Grocers, celebrity chefs and more. Products are judged on taste, including flavor, appearance, texture and aroma, ingredient quality and innovation. 

“We are honored that Silverback Beverage has won a New Product Award,” says Sara. “My first job as a teenager was with a Vermont maple syrup company that was a member of the Specialty Food Association, and I have admired what this award stands for since then. It is a full-circle experience to be awarded a sofi™, and as a social enterprise, this award represents achievement for everyone involved in the process. From the people in Rwanda who make it possible for us to source such an exceptional and clean tea, to the retailer partners and consumers in the U.S. who have taken a chance on a new brand, we are so grateful!” 3 Mountains is committed to the triple bottom line, using premium, organically-grown loose leaf tea as a catalyst for change.

The high levels of polyphenols offer support for strong immune systems and provide L-theanine, theobromine and essential amino acids, among other naturally-derived vitamins and minerals. You can find Silverback now in cans up and down the East coast, including The Fresh Market and independent retailers. Learn more.

“The sofi™ Awards highlight the best of the best within the specialty food industry,” said Ron Tanner, vice president, Education, Government and Industry Relations at the Specialty Food Association. “This achievement of conducting the sofi™ Awards under these challenging circumstances truly honors and celebrates our membership and our industry, and our 2020 winners exhibit a level of excellence that excites specialty food buyers and consumers across all channels.” The awards have been given each year since 1972.

To purchase our products, use our store locator or order online.  Wish your local grocery store carried our products but they don't yet? Please make a quick request here and we will do our best to make that happen!  Just by taking a moment to do this we will enter you to win a monthly giveaway for $25 worth of product.  Thank you!

About 3 Mountains
Headquartered in the mountain town of Asheville, NC, and with roots in the mountains of Vermont and Rwanda, 3 Mountains was founded in 2016 by Sara Stender Delaney, who is also a Ted speaker and the founder of a nonprofit Africa Healing Exchange. After living in Rwanda for a year and experiencing the impressive resilience of Rwandans, Sara was inspired to create a program that would connect Rwandans and Americans, to share stories and tools for overcoming trauma, and to build a cross-cultural community. She developed 3 Mountains as a catalyst for economic change, and to help support programs to prevent and combat violence and addiction. Their line of loose leaf tea is called Tîma Tea (“Umutima” means “heart” in the native language of Rwanda), and this serves as the primary ingredient in Silverback Beverage. “With all of our products we are attempting to capture the ‘Spirit of Resilience’ that I found so healing in Rwanda. 3 Mountains will soon be releasing two new flavors, including a second keto-friendly flavor and a decaf option made with immune-boosting botanicals. The company is certified Fair Trade and certified Women-Owned Enterprise.

About the Specialty Food Association
Founded in 1952 in New York City, the Specialty Food Association (SFA) is the leading advocate for the $158.4 billion specialty food industry. Representing makers, importers, entrepreneurs, retailers, distributors and others in the trade, the SFA aims to champion, nurture and connect its members to deliver traditional and innovative products to consumers that expand consumption of specialty foods.  With over 4,000 member companies, SFA helps its members by providing information, research, educational events, and celebrating the industry through its awards programs. The SFA is known for hosting the Winter and Summer Fancy Food Shows and presents the sofi™ Awards honoring excellence in specialty food. Learn more at specialtyfood.com.

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