An online tea merchant has won awards at the ‘Oscars of the food and drink world.’

Talisman Teas based in Colliers Wood picked up gold medals for five of its artisan loose teas in the 2014 Great Taste Awards.

Company founder Andrew Cunningham said two of its teas beat thousands of other products to receive the highly coveted three gold star awards in this year’s competition.

Only 153 products out of 10,000 entries were awarded this special accolade, he said.

Two more teas received two gold star awards with another receiving one star following lengthy blind-tasting sessions by a panel of judges that included chefs, industry experts and restaurant critics.

Both three gold star winning teas - A Grade Iron Buddha Oolong Tea and Imperial Golden Bud Black Tea - are from China.

Mr Cunningham said: "We are a nation of tea lovers.

"Most people like black tea but there are hundreds of varieties.

"It is fantastic to win so many awards in this highly prestigious competition."

The company sells 50 types of tea, from green tea to specialist blends. It is stocked at Coffee in the Wood in Colliers Wood High Street.

The Great Taste Awards follow previous success last year when two teas entered by the company were also awarded gold stars, including one that also received the ultimate three gold star award.