Recently I attended the Dilmah Australia High Tea Event in Sydney. It was a chilly but fine day, and we started the afternoon with a tea-infused mocktail and meet and greet.
I met some fabulous new people, like Faye Delanty (left) who is the Salvos’ fabulous Eco Stylist and reconnected with old blog friends, like Seana (right) from Hello Sydney Kids. The dress I wore is from a little boutique in Brisbane called Martha’s Vineyard and I’ve had a few ask me about the necklaces I was wearing: they are from Mimco.
I love tea so I was excited about attending this event. There is something regulating about taking a moment to stop and have a cuppa. Over the course of the event, I had the pleasure of meeting Dilmah’s founder’s son, Dilhan Fernand (photographed below, left) and his son, Amrit (right) — the second and third generations. What stood out to me when chatting to Dilhan was his passion for three things: the importance of family, the beauty of tea, and the possibilities for social good in business. Dilhan had a quiet confidence about him and it was a pleasure to just listen to him share. I’ve been to a lot of press events in my time, and I noticed an effortless sincerity that’s rare these days.
See, I’m already a tea-lover, but I left feeling inspired by the Dilmah story and approach. Firstly, it’s still very much a family business and it was lovely that Dilhan brought his son with him on this trip. Dilhan explained that Amrit (18) knows A LOT about tea already, and he is starting to learn the business side too. As a parent of a child of a similar age, it made me happy to see father and son together.
Secondly, Dilhan’s love for tea was so infectious, I couldn’t help but see and experience tea in a new way. To him, tea is not simply a beverage, it’s an essence. It captures nature — crafted by sunshine, water and soil. Next time you have a cup of tea, close your eyes and imagine those elements in nature and how they translate into tea. It’s such a treat.
Thirdly, central to the Dilmah brand is the understanding that the business is about human service. So there’s a striving to give back to communities and create opportunities for others, especially those who are vulnerable. It’s encouraging to hear about businesses striving to do social good. It must be challenging to find the balance in this sphere, and having human service as a center is inspiring. You can read more in their recent Sustainability Report.
I’ve tried a lot of different tea in my time, however, I often fall back on Black Tea and Earl Grey varieties. I was surprised at other classic teas I had not tried before. Did you know they can produce different teas out of the same plant? In the first tastings, I tried White Tea, Green Tea, Oolong Tea, and Black Tea, as featured below. Dilhan demonstrated a new way to slurp (rather than sip) tea for its full flavour. You can see his demonstration and my poor atempt in the video at the end of the is post (at 0.26 seconds).
My favourite was the White Tea, which was incredibly smooth. I had never tasted White Tea before because it’s not available in the supermarket (need to order it online) but I loved it so much I have put an order in. Coming in at second was the Oolong Tea. I wasn’t sure when I first tasted it, but it grew on me…a lot. It has a slight honey after taste. Black Tea is classic and always a winner, and the Green Tea too, was lovely. It’s interesting, all the tea I tasted was served without milk (even though I usually have tea with milk) and I really enjoyed it, so I need to learn to brew it like it was done here. I usually use milk to take a little of the bitterness out, but all the tea I tasted was incredibly smooth so I’m working on that. There are brew guides on each tea on the Dilmah website. Just look for this search function at the top of the website and you can browse the range of different teas.
Another extra fancy tea I tried was the Ceylon Golden Pekoe Tea With Saffron. This probably comes in a very close second to the White Tea. It’s a little more bodied and fragrant than the White Tea, yet still delicate and refined. I have also bought this variety. Tea is one of those little everyday luxuries I enjoy, and it’s lovely to have those extra special blends for those little breaks you want to savour.
High Tea – Infused Range
After tea tasting, we moved to the high tea event, which was catered by Peter Kuruvita. I’ve met Peter before at a different event, and I knew I was in for a treat. The tea-infused inspired menu was seriously incredible! Dilmah has many different tea-infusion blends which are fabulous in mocktails or cocktails, and also work beautifully in food. My favourite would be the Dilmah Moroccan Mint Green Tea, which had just the right hint of mint.
Roast Duck & Charred Pineapple Hand Rolls | Dilmah Rooibos Cinnamon, Turmeric, Ginger & Nutmeg
Chicken Pani Puri Grilled Tomatoes, Cashew Cream | Dilmah Premium Ceylon Black Tea
Popcorn Prawn Skewers Aioli & Boondi | Dilmah Ceylon Green Tea
Pumpkin Scones with Coconut and Tea Cream | Dilmah Premium Ceylon Extra Strong
Chocolate Truffles | Dilmah Earl Grey Tea
Creme Brulee | Dilmah Rooibos Cinnamon, Tumeric, Ginger and Nutmeg
Tea Cake | Dilmah Bergamot, Orange, Peppermint and Lemon
This gorgeous plate of Sri Lankan Fish Culets, Curried Egg Sandwich and New Yorker Roll with Spicy Sirloin was paired with the Dilmah Dilmah Premium Ceylon Black Tea.
The Chocolate Spheres were paired beautifully with the Dilmah Moroccan Mint Green Tea.
We tried some mocktails made using the Dilmah Rooibos Cinnamon, Turmeric, Ginger & Nutmeg and Dilmah Rooibos Ginger and Peppermint as a base ingredient.
We also tried some fancy different ways to serve tea. My favourite was the Luxury Tea Leaf Brewer which you can see featured in the video below at 0.42 seconds. I have put that in my order too! Lots of good tea moments ahead!