Handpicked artisanal teas are wonderfully blessed with the fingerprint of Nature, as their aroma, taste and flavour are crafted by Nature herself. On the eye, nose and palate, the character of fine tea is shaped by soil, rain, wind, temperature and sunshine. Amidst those however there is very occasionally a tea that is very, very special. It is the result of a specific and rare natural phenomenon. On Craighead Estate, at 1,000 metres above sea level and amidst the Gini Ella waterfall and Ceylon Clove, Nutmeg, Pepper and other spices, a very unique tea was nurtured by Nature on 22nd April 2017.
Chosen to symbolise the richness of the 150 year heritage of Ceylon Tea, our Craighead Estate 150th Anniversary Orange Pekoe Extra Special, is a beautiful tea - on the eye and on the palate. It was first tasted with President of Worldchefs, Thomas Gugler on 29th July 2017 and is launched at the t-Lounge by Dilmah in Dubai's Ibn Batuta Mall by Dilmah Founder Merrill J. Fernando and t-Lounge partner Ramiz Raja.
This tea is handmade with great care, just the most tender bud, where the natural goodness and aromatics in fine tea are most prominent, and first leaf. Picked at dawn from a partially shaded field at 1,100 metres above sea level, the tea is withered for 12 hours and gently rolled in a special method, designed to protect the delicacy of nature's influence on the bud and leaf in aroma, taste and character.
This unique seasonal tea has beautiful form, with the bud adding golden highlights to the wiry, rolled leaf. Preparation is an experience, yielding a complex floral fragrance with cedar, rose and plum aromas and a perfect coppery infusion. The liquor is reminiscent of a southern sunset, dark orange glowing with the brightness of the tea. This is a gentle tea, complex and expressive of the unique weather conditions that formed its personality. Fruity at first, it evolves on the palate with floral, woody and herbal notes and a lingering finish. A serene tea that extends its gentle character with a soft texture and refined and predominantly fruity flavours.
The fleeting climatic conditions that made this tea possible, also make it very rare, for just 12 kg., were made, enough for 250 tin caddies of the Craighead Estate Seasonal Flush. The teas will be offered at Dilmah t-Lounges around the world in limited quantity, and on the Dilmah Online Tea Boutique. It is a tribute to the historic Ceylon Tea Industry, being pure and solely the product of the favourable influence of Nature and the artisanship of expert tea pickers, teamakers and tasters. Sadly, it is also rare, but a true pleasure and luxury.
Sri Lankan family tea company Dilmah, founded by Merrill J. Fernando, today the world's most experienced teamaker, has championed quality, authenticity and variety in tea. Dilmah pioneered the concept of Single Origin Tea in 1988 when the family company went against industry trends to declare its commitment to authenticity. Garden fresh, unblended tea is a hallmark of Dilmah and offers a unique taste of unblended Ceylon tea packed at source - where it is grown.
Dilmah takes the lead in bringing innovation to a global tea category that has suffered decline as a result of commoditisation. Signature events such as the Chefs & the Teamaker and Real High Tea are innovations that seek to educate and inspire hospitality professionals to offer their guests a completely new tea experience. The events foster greater respect for this healthy, natural and versatile beverage.
The Dilmah School of Tea seeks to inspire passion in tea through knowledge of the artisanal aspects of tea amongst hospitality professionals, tea aficionados and consumers. The emphasis is on the importance of Real Tea and the versatility of this natural herb in Tea Gastronomy, food pairing and Tea Mixology.
Dilmah is Ethical Tea, in that all packaging profits are retained in Sri Lanka and fund the MJF Charitable Foundation and Dilmah Conservation. We believe that Business is a Matter of Human Service.