Tea is one of life’s great companions – always urbane, gentle and understanding whatever one’s mood or circumstance – there are few other things that can ease one’s steps through the paths of life. The tradition of Afternoon Tea, or its more substantial alternative – High Tea – is a celebration of just that companionship, for tea is equally good at forging friendships, healing rifts and enhancing chatter amongst friends or family. That tradition is enjoying a resurgence like never before today. Yet there is something that the pioneers of the 21st century High Tea often miss.
In their haste to indulge their guest with an array of cakes, pastries and other temptetations, many Chefs have forgotten the most important element – the tea. The perfect Afternoon Tea demands a special tea experience – not only to offer a fine cuppa, but for the fact that when creatively combined with different flavours and textures in food, the tea enhances the whole ‘High Tea’ experience.
My family is committed to quality and authenticity in tea and so it was natural for us to make an effort at educating Chefs on the opportunity to bring quality, garden fresh tea to perfect their High Tea offering. The first Dilmah Real High Tea competition took place in 2007 at Culinary Art, Colombo in partnership with the Chef’s Guild of Sri Lanka and the World Association of Chef’s Societies (WACS).
Next on our High Tea agenda is the Dilmah Real High Tea Challenge in partnership with the Australian Culinary Federation. Chefs in Australia and New Zealand are invited to share our adventure in tea.