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

First commercial production of Watte:
A dream come true

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

Boutique Tea — Watte from Dilmah

Like Chateau Bottled Wine, Single Region Tea

Tea lovers will be forgiven for corking their teapots and storing them on the wine rack, when Dilmah releases its latest range of boutique teas, the Watte series.

The launch of Watte (pronounced – ‘what-the’ and meaning garden in Sinhala, the main language in Sri Lanka, formerly Ceylon), is more significant than just another new line. It represents a radically different and innovative approach to tea, specially made to suit the discerning palate. The tea is produced at 18 Dilmah tea gardens in four different plantation regions of Ceylon (Sri Lanka), offering pure, authentic tea and retaining the distinct flavour and character of each region.

"Ceylon is recognised by discerning tea drinkers as the home of the world’s finest tea. We grow tea from sea level to over 7,000 feet elevation with the flavour, aroma and taste of tea changing almost every 250 feet. Sadly, the commoditization of the tea category in the last 30 years has meant that consumers have not had an opportunity to savour this wonderful variety. Watte changes all that by bringing to supermarket shelves genuine Single Region Tea, garden fresh and individually wrapped in foil." says Dilhan C. Fernando, son of Founder Merrill J. Fernando, and Marketing Director of Dilmah.

Tea is similar to wine with climate, soil and elevation affecting the character of the tea. The tea plant Camellia Sinensis is grown at varying altitudes in Ceylon, long considered the home of the world’s finest tea, and it is specially hand picked. It is then withered, rolled, fermented, fired, and sorted before being packed.

The Watte series took the most part of five years in preparation and is the dream of Dilmah founder, Merrill J. Fernando. The launch of Watte represents a concerted effort at Dilmah to craft a selection of unique teas and to develop the perfect packaging to deliver Watte in perfect condition and freshness, to tea drinkers around the world.

"Watte allows you to choose a tea to suit your taste. When you look at a cup of Watte tea, you will immediately notice the difference in colour. Ran, meaning Golden is grown at around 6,000 feet elevation in a cool climate and its appearance is light with a wonderful bouquet, compared to Yata, meaning low elevation which is grown in warmer conditions at sea level and is darker in infusion, being strong."

By following the simple guidelines that are in each pack on the type of water and brewing process, every tea drinker can enjoy a wonderful new experience. Watte is an appreciation of the uniqueness of character, aroma and flavour that these four regions of Ceylon offer.

The Watte series took the most part of five years of preparation and experienced tea taster Merrill J. Fernando invested in tea gardens, specialist tea manufacture and state of the art packing technology to follow his dream of genuine Boutique Tea, for tea lovers worldwide to enjoy.

Adding to their Gourmet appeal, the Teas are exquisitely presented, individually foil-wrapped to retain freshness and flavour. A Limited Edition Watte Tea Presenter (left) is also available for the true Tea Aficionado.

"I wanted to share with tea drinkers my enjoyment almost every day for the past fifty years in tasting a variety of unmistakably different teas, each with its own subtle flavour, scent and mouthfeel. Whether your preference is for strong, or light and delicate tea, I guarantee you will find a tea to delight amongst my Watte Teas," says Merrill.

And to fully enjoy each tea, Merrill suggests, "Carefully follow my brewing guidelines when preparing Watte. Having prepared the perfect cup, savour the delicacy of the aroma of each Watte Tea and after you take each sip, allow the lingering aftertaste to swirl around your mouth to appreciate the flavour to its completion".

The Dilmah Watte series of Boutique Teas will be available at speciality and gourmet shops, and fine dining establishments in Europe and Australiasia initially. Given the limited availability of these very special teas, the line will have selective distribution. For tea connoisseurs in areas where Watte is not available, the Watte website – www.watteseries.com offers a Tea Sommelier service which will ship Watte on special order. Dilmah Tea can be visited online at www.dilmahtea.com.

Dilmah’s Watte range includes:
Ran Watte (meaning Golden garden, in the style of Champagne! From the roof of the paradise island at 6000 feet, it contains rivulets of flavour that linger and refresh, enliven and delight. This beautiful golden orange tea boasts an elegant lemony flavour.
A lively cup. Light and delicate in character. A light refreshing palate with a mellow after-taste. Perfect with petit fours.

Uda Watte (meaning high garden), in the style of Pinot Noir! This tea grows at 4000-5000 feet. The crisp, cool air creates a distinctive high grown full bodied, rounded and refreshing blend. It brings out brilliance of creamy richness and layered depth, with intense aroma.
More structured and well defined, while retaining a bright flavoury tone. An intense nose with a splendid finish. Outstanding with baklava.

Meda Watte (meaning mid garden), in the style of Shiraz! This tea grows at 2000-3000 feet and is renowned as a mid grown strong, pungent, full-bodied tea.
Strong and rich with greater depth. Full bodied and grippingly pungent. Decadent with truffles.

Yata Watte (meaning low garden), in the style of Cabernet Sauvignon! This tea grows beside the Indian Ocean up to 1000 feet. Black in appearance, it is readily recognised as low grown heavy, robust, deep colour tea. Plenty of personality, and dark and creamy in taste. Great colour, drinks well. Brilliant with black forest cake.

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