I thought I knew tea. Until the elegant Dilmah event happened at the Queen Victoria boutique hotel at the V&A Waterfront last week. Before that, tea was quite ordinary to me, nothing too special. Now however, I’ve been enlightened, thanks to what I’ll refer to as Tea 101 – a pretty intense loose leaf tea tasting ceremony, hosted by one of Dilmah’s uber tea experts, Gero Olbeter. New tea names I learnt > Hyson, Nuwara Eliya Pekoe, Lapsang Souchong….impressive right?
The Dilmah brand was founded by Merrill J. Fernando in Sri Lanka in 1988. He and his family are passionate about tea and committed to producing the finest product, “from the tea nursery right to your teacup”…traditional, single origin tea (unblended), packed garden fresh. On an Eco note, Dilmah is very particular about sustainability, being conscious about water quality, waste management, bio diversity, renewable energy, and reforestation. This shows amazing business integrity and is a strong incentive for me when selecting Dilmah over other brands. And of course there’s the gorgeous packaging that’s so easy on the eye… Dilmah simply stands out in the crowd.
Tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world after water. It has more character and personality if the production process is orthodox and follows techniques perfected over many, many years. This is the Dilmah way. Tea is a complex and sensitive little leaf, and Dilmah have perfected the art of tea making and have captured the full spectrum of its flavours and textures, and unique tastes to suit every mood.
Tea is different things to different people – from the afficianodos in traditional tea houses, to the posh cucumber sandwich set, to the monk in a retreat or the worker on the street. Whatever your fancy, and however it is prepared -loose or in a bag – tea refreshes, heals and soothes. After my experience though, I’d say the best results come when tea is given time to brew, and savoured. A quick cuppa loses something in the rush…it falls flat, for me anyway.
Tea time is not to be rushed if one can help it. Serve it in fine glassware or bone china and sip it slowly, savouring the moment. Pinkies up, people!
“If man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth and beauty” ~ Japanese proverb
* High Tea with an exceptional menu (delectables like goats cheese & beetroot miniature apples, freshly shucked oysters with caviar, chocolate truffles, smoked scones with clotted cream etc etc) is now available at Dash Restaurant at the Queen Victoria boutique hotel (Portswood Ridge), 021 418 1466 – too fabulous!
Thank you to Laborie for the bubbly – the MCC Blanc de Blanc (2010), infused with Dilmah’s rose and French vanilla tea and garnished with a pink rose petal…a beautiful touch*