David Burton of the Evening Post (New Zealand)
takes a sip of the Pinot Noir of tea

Johannes van Dam, Dutch Food & Wine Critic talks about Watte

Trade Release:
Like Chateau Bottled Wine, Single Region Tea

First commercial production of Watte:
A dream come true

The Launch of Watte Single Region, Boutique Tea in The Netherlands

In the style of the finest Grand Cru wine, Single Region Tea, from Dilmah

It is the 30th October, 2002, a cold and moist Autumn morning in Amsterdam, as we enter the intimate atmosphere of the Blakes Hotel, beside the Keisersgracht Canal. Patricia Cleveland-Peck wrote in The Observer (London) of this luxurious hotel ‘I've never stayed in a more stylish hotel.’ This morning, the understated elegance of this Anouska Hempel design Boutique Hotel, is complemented by an event of equal elegance : an appreciation of Boutique Tea, the Watte Teas from Sri Lankan family tea company, Dilmah.

Merrill J. Fernando, Founder of Dilmah is joined by Dutch wine connoisseur and writer, Hubrecht Duijker who together raise their long stemmed wine glasses and sip - not wine, but tea. Johannes van Dam - gourmet, tea aficionado and food writer exclaims, ‘these teas are like single malt whiskies, each with very individual character,’ as Hubrecht Duijker joins Merrill in commenting on each of the four Teas.

Ran Watte (pronounced run-wat-the), meaning Golden Gardens, from tea estates set high in the mountains surrounding Nuwara Eliya, is compared to fine champagne, and commended for its elegant structure and hints of spiciness.

Uda Watte (u-der wat-the), the Pinot Noir of tea comes from the Dimbula region, and is admired for its lush, supple nature.

Meda Watte (mad-er wat-the), our Shiraz picked on tea gardens near the last Kingdom of Sri Lanka, in Kandy, is labeled firm, full, lively with hints of caramel.

Last, but certainly not least, Yata Watte (ya-ter wat-the) is grown at sea level in the region around Galle, thought to be the biblical city of Tarshish. Yata Watte is acclaimed for its expressiveness, just like a good Cabernet Sauvignon, with spiciness and hints of bayleaf.

And then the appreciation of these four unique teas moves to a different form. The Chefs at Blakes evidently enjoyed the teas as much as the audience today for here was an assortment of gourmet fare, each dish complementing a Watte Tea. Salmon sushi, tea smoked Duck, Crème Brulee, chocolate Truffles and a buffet of other creations – a meticulously planned repast fit only for the finest teas on earth.

The Dilmah Tea Appreciation in Amsterdam marks the first launch in the world of an unique range of Teas – Single Origin, Single Region, Boutique Tea. The Watte Teas are original garden teas from selected Dilmah Tea Gardens in Ceylon.

Their launch marks the culmination of a 5-year programme of research and development, major investment and expertise with the objective of delivering to consumers around the world, a selection of truly exceptional teas. It also marks a dream come true for Founder of Dilmah, Merrill J. Fernando whose 50 years in tea were driven by a desire to bring quality, real tea back to consumers.

 

 

Resources:
www.dilmahtea.com is the Dilmah Tea site. An information-driven tea site, with reviews of research on the health benefits in tea, Dilmah Online has a wealth of information about the wonderful world of tea.

www.blakes-amsterdam.com is the website of The Blakes Hotel, Amsterdam. One of the few hotels in the world which can claim to be ‘boutique’ The Blakes Hotel was designed by Anouska Hempel to reflect the heritage of the Dutch. The dramatic black & white theme is softened by flowing fabrics in oriental tones, representing the seafaring past of the Dutch. The cuisine – it has to be experienced to be believed. Each room is different, and unlike most designer hotels, this is one which by its warmth, can genuinely be called ‘home’ in Amsterdam. Blakes Hotel Keizersgracht 384 Amsterdam (+31 20 530 2010)

www.observer.co.uk is the website of The Observer newspaper (UK) whose edition of Sunday, September 1st 2002 featured a review by Patricia Cleveland-Peck of Blakes, Amsterdam.

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