“I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea,” writes Fyodor Dostoyevsky on Notes from Underground. Ceylon was always known for the world’s finest tea. As a country known for our specialty for tea, anybody would assume that Sri Lankans are tea experts. There is no doubt about our consumption of tea. There are those who drink tea more than water. Yet, how concerned are we of the real taste of tea? Has tea become totally taken for granted that it has lost its speciality?

Not only as an answer to this question but also to assure that Sri Lanka very much remains Ceylonese in our love for tea, Dilmah has stepped in with a unique tea experience. Cinnamon Lakeside, Colombo hosted the launch of “Dilmah Silver Jubilee Gourmet.” What Dilmah offers under their Silver Jubilee Gourmet is a spectacular range of fresh, single origin 100 per cent pure Ceylon Tea. The range is what they call an exploration of diverse varieties of tea. Yet, they remain faithful to its true origins. The attempt is to give this ‘5000 year-old herb a touch of the 21st century.’ In this exploration, Dilmah experiments in something different, while remaining true to their trademark. The experimenting would come as Silver Jubilee Earl Grey, Organic Sencha, Blood Orange, Eucalyptus and Mandarin and Marzipan Pekoe.

Speaking at the launch, CEO of Dilmah, Dilhan Fernando spoke of the selection of Eucalyptus Teas which reflect the characteristics of where they come from. Dilhan Fernando spoke of the secret that makes these combinations a success. He said that they ‘respect the tea’ and whatever they combine the tea with, the natural flavour of tea should be highlighted and felt. Fernando said that due to this very fact they use the natural flavour with a dosage of one per cent when they mix it with tea. Natural Jasmine, Ceylon Full Leaf, Natural Jasmine Green Tea, Organic Leafy Green Tea, Organic Sencha, Pure Darjeeling Single Region Tea, Almond Infused Ceylon Pekoe, Ceylon Original Breakfast Tea, Nuwara Eliya Afternoon Tea, Elderflower and Apple Infusion, Pure Chamomile Flowers, Blood Orange and Eucalyptus Tea and Natural Infusion of Blueberry : the names sound exquisite. Having tasted some of it, we got to know for real that the taste lives up to the exquisite names. It is no wonder that Dilmah continues to possess the local and foreign ‘tea-lover.’ Dilhan Fernando also said that the cardinal aspect of this tea is how the freshness is preserved due to ‘hand-picking.’ “Hand picking is critical to quality. According to my tea-expert father, the level of moisture if acquired at any point after the factory, bacteria would develop. Hence, it has to be prevented. Tea is rich with anti oxidants and the quality should be preserved.

As a child, growing up reading very “English” novels and even children’s stories, I have always wondered what was called High Tea. The very English experience is now brought to the local customers with Dilmah’s Revolutionized real High Tea. What they have named as the Afternoon Tea for the 21st Century boasts of ‘luxurious indulgence in fine tea.’ Dilmah tags it as the ‘tea inspired rebirth of the occasion of afternoon tea.’ Unlike the tea-drinking majority of the island, this range is an invitation to enjoy tea in a more elite manner. They specifically call the afternoon drinking experience a ‘tea inspired rebirth.’ Highlighting their specialities, they drew attention to Ceylon Ginger, Honey and Mint tea.

Their after-dinner teas come with what they call a ‘Lankan twist.’ If you wondered why anybody would go for an after dinner tea, the reasons are many. “What we are not aware of, is the incredible synergy tea has with food. This enhances digestion. For those who are more sensitive to Caffeine, they offer the range Tea for Any Weather and also Tea for Any After Meal”.

Nuwara Eliya tea has a citrus tone, with a balance achieved with strawberry. The experts said that pairing food with tea should be done carefully. After all, a black tea would destroy all the beautiful food combinations you had. Did you know that a good tea should appeal to three key senses: eye, nose and palate? If you thought brown sugar is a wiser choice with tea, you should change your mind. “Brown sugar is caramelized and the ambiance is changed. Therefore, you fail to make the best out of the tea.”

If you are asked, ‘How do you take your tea?’ and your answer is ‘Very seriously’, Dilmah tea is surely what you should go for.

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