High Tea with Dilmah
So the Dilmah guys were back in town late last month. Knowing my tea-swilling habits (okay not as bad as others), Caroline of CTT PR always sends me a heads up for some of the events around their (now in its second year) High Tea competition. Conducted in conjunction with Emirates Culinary Guild, the (now) annual event is approved by World Association of Chefs Societies and offers chefs the opportunity to compete and produce tea cocktails and mocktails, among others. You can see some of the photographs from this year's competition here. I attended a session with some of the chefs and a few select tea swillers on an inside track to not only the different types of tea but also the pairing of teas with the right kind of food.
The session was hosted by Dilhan C. Fernando, the founder's son and the current global director for communications for the organisation. To say that he (and his team) are passionate is an understatement. There were lessons shared on the various types of teas (black, oolong, green and white) and that they all stem from one plant. The difference in tastes and flavours depend on the soil and the weather - he compared them to wine - even had tea served in wine glasses so that you could swirl, and swill and see the differences. Dilmah has a dedicated website on all of these details (though its undergoing a revamp and scheduled to be online mid October).
We learnt about the different temperatures and timings, and process of brewing the perfect cup of tea (even got a free timer - Yay). It was quite illuminating. Apparently just soaking the tea is not enough - you need to stir a couple of times to get the right amount of brewing. We also learnt about the pairing of some of the Dilmah teas with some food like breakfast tea (black) with a burger; a lovely Moroccan Mint tea with chocolate fudge (what's not to like about mint and chocolate) or Oolong tea with cheesecake or a camomile infusion (not a tea) with Apple Pie. IMHO, the first two worked well. Not sure about the latter two (combinations I mean).