About Tea

/About Tea
About Tea 2017-11-13T14:52:23+00:00

History of Ceylon Tea

History of Ceylon Tea

History of Ceylon Tea

Tea was first originated in China 5,000 years ago. There was a legend that a Chinese emperor, Shen Nung first claimed the health benefits of tea in 2737 BC. However, it was Ceylon (now: Sri Lanka) that made tea famous in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The first tea plants were imported from China and India. It was then cultivated on a trial basis in Sri Lanka (Ceylon). Scotsman James Taylor is attributed to planting the first tea estate in Sri Lanka. It was 1867 that Taylor planted 20 acres of tea on the Loolecondera estate (of which he was superintendent). It was here where he perfected the technique of fine plucking two leaves and a bud’.

Nowadays, tea is grown on tea estates and 70% of the tea that we are drinking is grown in Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Argentina and China. Ceylon tea became the front-runner of the industry and was much loved for its unmatched quality and variety.

The best climates for growing tea are those that are tropical or semi-tropical, it can be grown on soil that is not fit for growing much of anything else. The alchemy of land, sun, and rain in the Paradise Island of Ceylon was then known as the ideal climatic conditions for cultivation of tea. Ceylon added a new dimension to tea by producing variation in taste, quality, character and appearance, largely based on the region. Its tea is with distinct taste and character then became every consumer’s favorite cuppa.

When Merrill J. Fernando embarked on his journey in tea almost 58 years ago, he sought to bring the good quality of Ceylon tea back to consumers. Choosing to remain faithful to Ceylon Tea that is acknowledged as the finest tea on earth, Dilmah introduced lovers of fine tea to the pioneering concept of tea ‘picked, perfected and packed’ at origin. Single Origin Tea.

Dilmah Differences

Dilmah Differences

Dilmah Differences

Dilmah is unique; a brand that is founded on a passionate commitment to quality and authenticity in tea, it is also a part of a philosophy that goes beyond commerce in seeing business as a matter of human service. In 1988 Merrill pioneered three important initiatives which have today become hallmarks of Dilmah. Whilst commoditisation amongst big brands has continued, Merrill’s Dilmah is distinct in being Traditional Tea that is Single Origin Tea and packed Garden Fresh.

These are important because traditional tea, made in the ‘orthodox’ style – a production process that starts with handpicking the leaves and continues through withering, rolling, oxidation and firing – follows a technique perfected over centuries. It produces tea that are varied and sophisticated. The alternative is CTC, a relatively recent method of production designed to offer a quick cuppa and in the process sacrifices all that is special in tea. Merrill describes CTC as ‘tea without a soul.’

Single Origin Tea – unblended tea – is important because one of the most desirable feature sin tea is terroir – the sense of place. Terroir dictates that tea grown in the Uva region at a certain time of year, possesses the unique, signature taste that is the product of that unique climatic phenomenon. It gives each valley, each region and each country its unique identity in tea. The lower cost option though is to buy tea from wherever it is cheap – for tea varies enormously in cost – and blend it all together to produce a ‘multi-origin blend’. That may work for coffee, but certainly not for tea. Dilmah is Garden Fresh, for it is freshness that guarantees a rich, and satisfying cup, that is also potent in healthy antioxidants.

Merrill J. Fernando, his sons and the Dilmah Team today focus on offering tea aficionados around the world a truly different experience in tea. Dilmah presents an unmatched collection of teas, each tasted and selected with the benefit of decades of experience in tea, and most importantly marked by genuine innovation and a passion for quality.

Tea Categories

Tea Categories

Tea Categories

Black Teas

Black tea, known as “red tea” in China, is the category which is fermented before baking. Black tea undergoes withering (drying), left to ferment for a long while, and then roasted. Black tea leaves become completely oxidized after processing. Black tea is the most widespread type as people all over the world make their tea by dipping tea bags of black tea in their cups and enjoy the rich taste. Being a fully fermented tea, black tea contains about 20% of the caffeine in a cup of coffee. The health benefits include possible reduction of heart disease risk due to its partial prevention of cholesterol absorption. Black teas are good for blood sugar level and blood pressure regulation, for gingivitis and tooth decay prevention. Learn more about black tea or taste our Black Teas.

Oolong Teas

This represents a variety half way between the green and the black teas, being made after partial/semi fermentation. Oolong Tea leaves are withered and spread before undergoing a brief fermentation process. Then Oolong Tea is fried, rolled and roasted. Aroma ranges from light to medium. Beginners in Oolong Tea should be careful as even though flavor is only mild to medium, the tea could be very strong.

Green Teas

Green tea is the variety that keeps the original color of the tealeaves without fermentation during processing. Green Tea is the most natural of all tea classes. It’s picked, natural dried, and then fried briefly (a process called “killing the green”) to get rid of its grassy smell. Green Tea has the most medical value and the least caffeine content of all Chinese tea classes. Aroma is medium to high, flavor is light to medium. Part of this revival is due to the numerous health benefits that have recently been discovered in green tea ranging from lowering cholesterol, blood sugar levels and managing obesity to being a possible preventative of high blood pressure, certain cancers and neurological disorders.

White Teas

White tea is made from the buds and young leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant and sun dried or dried by steaming with no fermentation. As a result it has the least amount of caffeine of all the teas, about 1% that of a cup of coffee, and the most subtle flavours. A study in 2009 showed that white tea has high antiinflammatory, antioxidant, anti-collagenase, and anti-elastase properties which could potentially reduce the risks of developing rheumatoid arthritis, some cancers, heart disease and slow the enzymatic break-down of elastin and collagen, traits which accompany aging.