The revolution is underway as our competitors set the stage to let tea ablaze. The teams have been preparing for months and 8 teams finally got to present their well-rehearsed 21st century high teas to the judges today.

The revolution is underway as our competitors set the stage to let tea ablaze. The teams have been preparing for months and 8 teams finally got to present their well-rehearsed 21st century high teas to the judges today. The first day of judging began with Restaurant Vermeer, Museum Art Hotel, The Langham Auckland, Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur, Shangri-La Bangkok, Radisson Blu Dubai Deira Creek, Joost Van Der Hoven & Rob Rademaker from Netherlands and Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa really blowing the judges away with their truly unique themes, elegant presentations and original and innovative dishes.

It was perhaps for the very first time in the competition that a team had used all 30 teas that were assigned for the challenge and Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur pulled this feat off almost effortlessly in butters, marmalades and various condiments. The judges also commented on how beautifully they had showcased modern culinary technique in a traditional setting and how comfortably the two contrasts paired.

Restaurant Vermeer was all about sustainability with produce and honey harvested from their very own rooftop garden. They were determined to not overpower their ingredients with complex flavours and let the ingredients sing for themselves. Creativity and innovation was apparent in the high tea presentation of The Museum Art Hotel as they first set the mood with a chamomile infused air spray that they have made themselves followed by a Dilmah Gentle Minty Green Tea infused tea smoke to accompany their Dilmah Pure Peppermint infused O'shibori. They ended their presentation with yet another innovative gift to the judges or a -Koha' as they put it- a hand cream made with Dilmah Almond infused Ceylon Pekoe Tea.

It was enlightening to see how Joost Van Der Hoven & Rob Rademaker from Netherlands derived the inspiration for their high tea presentation from their Dutch heritage. The duo took us on a journey by sea appealing not only to the sense of taste, but also, to the sense of hearing with the sound of the sea roaring all around the judges, even getting them to participate in a drinking tradition that was popular among the Dutch sailors of the day.

Passion and determination was apparent in how The Langham Auckland had put so much thought into their high tea presentation by crafting their own tea ware for the occasion to convey their high tea journey from New Zealand to Sri Lanka. Radisson Blu brought culture to the table with flavours that are unique to the Middle East with an exotic Arabian theme. It was also noted to be an unusual yet wonderful combination where Dilmah Vivid Chocolate Mint was combined with Arabian dates, merging contrasting flavours into a harmonious one.

Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa took us on a journey from Oman to New York, presenting the judges with courses that represented the culture and the cuisine of each region not only with the sense of taste, but also appealing to the sense of hearing with customized music representing each location. Our last team of the day, Shangri-La Bangkok brought the regal elegance of Thai culture to the table with a Thai themed high tea. The judges also noted that the 'Blue Mekong River' made with Dilmah Natural Infusion of Blueberry was one of the highlights of the presentations of the day.

In short, the creativity, the tea-inspiration, the stories behind it all- it was nothing short of mind-blowing.

Witness the action as Dilmah steers the path of tea to new dimensions with its contemporary take on the Afternoon Tea occasion once again tomorrow. The Tea Revolution has only just begun- stay tuned live on http://realhightea.dilmahtea.com/

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