About a year ago I stopped drinking dry cappuccino because I could not sleep, drinking too many of them, and too late at night. I switched to tea, and tried various brands and variants. It was at Peppertree Café on Kloof Street that I fell in love with Dilmah Earl Grey tea for the first time, and I haven’t stopped drinking it. Last week an amazing Giftpack of 16 Dilmah Teas was delivered to my home, possibly because Dilmah and I have connected on Instagram..The Giftbox is flattish and not overly big, yet neatly fits their sixteen tea bags inside it. The sleeve of the box uses every inch of space to inform the tea drinker about the Dilmah brand. It begins with the main visual on the box outer, describing Dilmah as a ‘family tea company established by a tea grower who devoted his life to tea. Dilmah Founder Merrill J Fernando’s passion and mission are to offer the finest tea with the assurance of integrity. Our teas are handpicked, mace in the artisanal style and packed fresh, for richer flavour, purity and natural goodness’.
Dilmah teas originate from Sri Lanka. The company website states that in 1988 it ‘pioneered the concept of Single Origin Tea’, going against industry trends, to ‘declare its commitment to authenticity.’ The company’s Ceylon teas are garden fresh, ethically produced, and unblended. Growing into an international tea brand sold in more than 100 countries from small beginnings thirty years ago, the company is run by Fernando and his two sons, bringing their customers flavourful and healthy teas grown in an environmentally sustainable manner. The Dilmah brand is a contraction of the names of Fernando’s two sons Dilhan and Malik.
The company is built on twelve values, according to its website: using Ceylon teas from Sri Lanka, with a reputation of being the finest in the world; offering unblended teas; making teas that are garden fresh, giving them improved flavour and aromas; teas are single origin, maintaining the purity of the teas; the teas are made by a family which is passionate about tea; it operates ethically, on the basis of ‘family values and humanity’; it uses traditional methods to make the teas; it does not compromise on quality; teas are natural; the teas are authentic; to retain its reputation of a company offering garden fresh tea direct from its origin to retailers and consumers around the world; and is committed to the sustainability and future of the Ceylon Tea industry. American Marketing guru Philip Kotler cited Dilmah as an ‘authentic local brand from Sri Lanka due to the quality perceivably lacking amongst other players. Starting from the founder’s personal commitments these in-built authenticities have eventually become the company’s Brand DNA’.
On the sides of the outer cover, the Dilmah School of Tea is described as ‘a tea program that seeks to inspire passion in tea through knowledge of the artisinal aspects of tea amongst hospitality professionals, tea aficionados and customers. The emphasis is on the importance of Real Tea and the versatility of this natural herb in Tea Gastronomy’.
On the other side of the outer cover is a description of Tea Mixology, a term describing tea used in food, bringing tea-infused masterpieces to life. Tea Gastronomy commenced at Dilmah in 1999, when roast chicken was marinated in Ceylon Tea, leading to sensorial and functional pairing of food and tea. ‘There is a tea for every moment, for every mood, and for every occasion. There is a tea for every fruit, vegetable and meat, a tea for every culinary style, and a tea whose unique personality matches every person’s Individual taste’.
On the back of the box Dilmah encourages tea drinkers to drink tea ‘slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the whole earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future’. Advice is provided as to the temperature of the water one should add to a cup of tea, how much water to add, and for how long the tea bags should be in the water, for Black Tea, Green Tea, and Infusions.
The Dilmah flavours in my Giftbox were the following: Premium, Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Natural Rooibos, Pure Peppermint Leaves, Special Green Tea with Lemongrass Lemon, Special Green Tea with Natural Jasmine, Special Green Tea with Moroccan Mint, Ginger & Honey, Pure Camomile Flowers, Naturally Zesty Lemon, Rosehip and Hibiscus, Tangerine Rose & Grapefruit, Liquorice & Strawberry, Moringa, Chilli, Cocoa & Cardamom, and Bergamot Orange Peppermint & Lemon.
My Dilmah teas taste even better now that I have been on a ‘Tea Trip’ to Sri Lanka, to get to know more about the company and its teas.
Dilmah Tea South Africa, 4 BP Road, Montague Gardens, Cape Town. Tel (021) 552-3068 www.dilmahtea.co.za Twitter: @dilmah Instagram: @dilmahceylontea @dilmahsa
Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein