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While coffee culture is slowly gaining grounds in Malaysia, tea seems to be a bit lagging behind. Many of us usually only drink tea (proper tea in which you don’t need to add sugar) while having bak kut teh and dimsum, I’m certainly guilty of this behavior.

A couple weeks ago we were invited to a Dilmah tea event at Le Meridien to learn a little more about the art of tea drinking.

Dilmah tea event at Le Meridien KL
Dilmah tea event at Le Meridien KL

As a tea company, Dilmah is relatively young, the Sri Lakan Ceylon tea company was founded in 1974 and has seen pretty rapid expansion lately to the local market, especially in premium outlets such as high end hotels and restaurants. One of which is Le Meridien KL, our host for the day.

I'd love to have me a fancy tea pot too
I’d love to have me a fancy tea pot too

The tea experts from Dilmah showed us how to brew a proper cup of tea. Never reboil the water, and only soaking the tea bags 2-3 minutes before tossing it off and start enjoying your tea. The habit of squeezing the tea bag with a spoon is also something you shouldn’t do. This is to ensure there isn’t any unwanted bitter taste to the beverage.

While temperature of 95-98 Celsius is good for most tea, green tea works best with water around 70 Celsius to allow the release of its delicate flavors. Needless to say, adding extra hot water to a tea bag that’s already used once is not something recommended here.

tea mixologist showing us how it's done
tea mixologist showing us how it’s done

For those who likes to be more funky with tea, the tea mixologist from Dilmah also showed us a few recipes in which tea is mixed with syrups to create stronger tasting (usually) cold beverages with tea flavor. To honest this would not ever be my way of enjoying premium tea, when I want syrup laden peach tea or something, I’ll have me a can of chilled St. Martin’s.

Using premium tea such as Dilmah for this purpose is a bit of a waste, it’s like wearing a tuxedo to fengtau disco outlets. I’m not saying the resulting drinks don’t taste good, I just think it is not appropriate.

tea paring with some sweet desserts, perfect combination
tea paring with some sweet desserts, perfect combination

We then moved on to have a few types of Dilmah tea paired with sweet delicious pastries and chocolates from Le Meridien. If you’re looking for a hi-tea session with fantastic cakes, macaroons, and a good cup of tea, this is a perfect place to be.

Different tea goes well with different foods though, the smoky Lapsang Souchong would go well with savory food such as bak kut teh, while lighter tea such as Earl Grey is fantastic with pastries. Just like wine/food pairing, this is an art in itself.

Haze enjoying a cup of premium tea
Haze enjoying a cup of premium tea

We tried a few types of tea over the session and I find myself really liking these tea. We have a couple tins of Dilmah tea at home from the event and I think we’d have to get some when they run out (probably in a few weeks time).

Address:
Le Meridien KL
2 Jalan Stesen Sentral,
Kuala Lumpur 50470

GPS: 3.135631,101.686476
Tel: 03-2263 7753

Discuss : KY drinks – High on Tea with Dilmah

  1. The only tea that I’m drinking most of the time now is Chatime and the ones from Chinese kopitiam. Time to give tea a chance.

  2. while i love tea (lynn and i drink a lot because it helps with our IBS), i’m not a big fan of dilmah teas. a bit meh. gryphon tea on the other hand… now that is some really nice-tasting tea.

  3. ooo, this would be quite educational. i’m a total idiot about tea. i rarely drink it, don’t really enjoy it, and don’t know how to appreciate it. but i wouldn’t mind learning (and maybe falling in love with it) :D

  4. maybe u may drop over this shop. tea nature s/b, same row as chow yang ss2 close to crockies restoran. This tea shop is aplenty of teas of course

    • ignatio: passed there many times, sadly the crockies restaurant stopped operating already.

  5. Love teas in general. And on my bad days with customers…a cup of good hot tea does wonders!

  6. I use to work as a teenager in a popular cafe in San Francisco that sell lot coffee drinks and tea and pastries and candies. All that time never drank coffee just milk tea drinks. I never got the hang of coffee at all. I like ice tea that is black Earl Grey plain.

    • Vickie: I like them both though, when needing something stronger I’ll go for coffee, but later in the days I love me some tea :D

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