Friday, September 24, 2010

Special K's Corner

Dilmah Italian Almond Tea and Almond Cupcakes

  Dilmah t-series Italian Almond is the perfect tea to food pair with Almond Cupcakes Kasia has for us a healthy way to enjoy a scrumptious cupcake with an alternative flour and sweetener that has nutritional value.   
Health Facts:     -Almond flour is glutenfree, protein rich and it is a ideal flour to use for baking.  Almonds are known for their healing power for the stomach and they provide the good unsaturated fats that are perfect for beautiful skin
 - Coconut flour sugar is low in GI, which means it has a positive effect on the sugar release in your body, instead of causing a sugar peak.
- Organic Eggs are a perfect ingredient in cakes and bakery, and you choose for organic ones, you are sure to have the best essential vitamins and minerals in it, instead of antibiotics or hormones.
Almond Cupcakes
155 to 160 grams Organic Almond Flour
5 to 6 teaspoons coconut flour sugar (low GI)
2 Organic eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
Almond flakes
2 or 3 teaspoons Poppy seeds ( they need to be soaked a whole night beforehand in water)
1 Bourbon Vanilla stick
 Preheat the oven at 175 degrees.
Mix the almond flour, the coconut flour sugar and the poppy seeds ( first drain the water after soaking) together with the baking soda. Mix it well, so all the ingredients are spread even.  Cut the Vanilla stick length wise and take the black seeds out of it, then mix in into the rest of the ingredients.
Then break two organic eggs and mix it into everything, until all has turned into a nice texture.
Place the cupcake paper forms on a baking trail.  Then fill them with the mixture you just had made 2/3 full.  The other 1/3 part that is left you fill with almond flakes.
If you are using a silicone cupcake mold for the oven, you will have to put a little coconut oil in it with a brush, so they come out easy when ready and baked.
Place the cupcakes in the oven, in the middle, and bake them for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Let them cool down well.
Serve Dilmah Italian Almond tea.
Italian Almond tea, brings out the best with these tasty almond cupcakes, and no need to sweeten the tea as the Cakes are a deliciously sweet.

A medium strength Ceylon Tea, fragrant and with a slightly sweet almond finish. Mid-elevation Ceylon Tea from Dombagastalawa Estate fused with the bitter-sweet flavour of Italian Almond. The slightly malty Ceylon Tea produces a deep amber infusion which is enveloped by a deliciously piquant aroma of amaretto. The tea has a nutty, sweet edge with a rich body. Ideal taken with sweet cakes and pastries, or for something different, as a t-Shake, brewed strong, cooled and poured over vanilla ice cream.

Dilmah 100% Ceylon Single Origin Tea harvested and packaged at the source with ultimate freshness and twice the antioxidants.    Return to Real Tea!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Dilmah Watte

Dilmah Watte series SINGLE REGION TEA

High Grown 6,000 above sea level
  Sri Lanka has over 200 thousand acres of tea gardens on this beautiful island from the lush cool mountains of Nuwara Eliya to the finest low country of Ratnapura District each elevation hold its unique qualities that make tea a specific personality.
  What gives the tea its personality? They call it "terroir".  Terroir in tea is the climate, soil, and topography.
  Humidity, cool temperatures, and rainfall are all the elements needed to produce a fine high quality tea in higher elevation. For lower elevation, exposed to more sunshine, dry, warmer and an moist conditions are the elements that give its personality to a lower elevation.
High Grown 5,000 feet above sea level
Mid Grown 3000 feet above sea level
A common mistake when brewing a high elevation tea, the characteristic is a light honey color, would call the tea weak in its brew only to think it should perform as a lower elevation to be a full strength, full bodied, and dark mahogany liquor, when in fact should be a delicate, light and mellow tea. Another mistake is to be accustomed to a quick brew CTC (Cut Twist Curl) process that is developed for fast brewing, higher caffeine content, losing the character and real taste of tea.  
Dilmah offers the traditional and orthodox process that has been perfected for generations.  Quality and taste is consistently maintained tasting 6,000 cups of tea each week to select only the finest for Dilmah.
Dilmah offers the 
Dilmah WATTE means "estate".  Merrill J. Fernando had the tea aficiando in mind a selection of pure Ceylon tea from four main tea growing regions that was crafted with care, pride and passion.
Low Grown upto 1,000 feet above sea level

WATTE Single Region comes in loose leaf.  All Dilmah's teas are harvested and packaged at the source, a guarantee garden freshness and the key to locking in higher antioxidants than competitors.

 Some years ago, Americans drank mainly Ceylon Tea, the world's finest.  Today, almost any brand you buy is a multi-origin blend that is a mix of teas from several countries, in order to lower cost. Dilmah, new to the U.S. is the number one brand of authentic 100% Single Origin Ceylon Tea in 94 countries.

Dilmah is the world's first ethical tea.  Ten percent of Dilmah's global sales remain in Sri Lanka to be shared with workers, the community and reinvested in the industry to make tea sustainable.  Dilmah is a family business with family values concerned for the Dilmah worker as the customer.  Dilmah Founder Merrill J. Fernando, established the MJF Charitable Foundation over 100 different projects which touch the lives of over 10,000 underprivileged  Sri Lankans. 
The more I drink Dilmah tea I can appreciate a Yata Watte in the morning for a good strong cup to make me alert and ready for the day and pick up my cup again around 4pm and have a higher elevation tea that is light and crisp just enough to recollect myself and ponder my day without feeling anxious but calm and serene to finish the day.

Dilmah WATTE will make you the discerning tea drinker to be enjoyed and appreciated in all elevations. RAN WATTE, UDA WATTE, MEDA WATTE, and YATA WATTE. 
Will be covering WATTE SINGLE ESTATE TEA The Most Exclusive Tea in the World  Stay Tuned

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Lindsey Loves Dilmah!

Lindsey has something to say about Dilmah:      
I was never much of a tea drinker until I moved from America to Australia.  My new friends would drink tea with their desserts and so when they made a cup I asked for one too.    I was Hooked!
  Not only did they serve me a cup of hot tea, but it was cup of hot Dilmah tea.

I have tried various generic brands of tea and for some reason it just wasn't the same.  I am no tea connoisseur, but I know what I like and Dilmah was it.

Nothing can compare to the smooth sweet taste of Dilmah made just right.  I like my tea with milk and sugar and with Dilmah I don't have to use as much.
With other teas, I've had to cover up the bitter inconsistent flavor with the milk and sugar, but not any more.
I am now a self proclaimed tea drinker, but not just any tea.....
      a Dilmah tea drinker!
Lindsey T.  Melbourne, AUS

 Dilmah is not any way linked to any of these positions or stance.

 Lindsey, is my niece. Her personal story is that she has had two heart surgeries at two weeks old and 9 years old.  She was diagnosed with Truncus Arteriosos. Surgery provided another babies conduit that created a 4th ventricle for her heart.  Surgery at 2 weeks old caused 10lb. Lindsey, at birth, to lose weight down to 7lb.. Her little body could not handle the weight loss and it made her fragile body to weak to roll over, sit by her self and she could not eat solids thus she was tube fed for two years.  She did not walk till she was 1 1/2 years old. At 2 years old she was prayed for at a healing crusade.  She ate for the first time by her mother taking a step of faith and giving Lindsey a donut to eat. Lindsey ate. The feeding tube was removed immediately. (The healing crusade had media coverage.  Newspaper and television.)   At 9 years old she out grew her conduit and a second surgery was performed. It was successful.  The third surgery would take place if she grew past 5'10".   
 Lindsey is a miracle child.  She eats all foods and loves strong, hot and spicy foods.  She is no longer on heart medicine. The doctor overlooked her  dosage and she was accidentally weaned off since she was 2 years old.  Lindsey is 5'11 1/2" tall and there is no need to have surgery, the conduit is still providing the blood  flow for her strong heart.  
Lindsey's parents are missionaries and she had the opportunity to live in China, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia.
Lindsey now in the US in a college program to become a respiratory therapist. Lindsey  frequently had to have a respiratory therapy as an infant.  This career will allow her to move back to Melbourne, Australia.      
The doctor has given Lindsey a clean bill of health.
 12 years later a newspaper reporter that was present at the crusade called the pastor for Lindsey's parents to ask if Lindsey was still healed.  Yes, she is.

Merrill J. Fernando devoted his life to tea.   Dilmah restates its commitment to the family values on which Merrill founded  Dilmah.  A family business built on quality, authenticity, ethics, integrity and sustainability.  As a family brand, with family values at its core, Dilmah believes that there needs to an objective beyond the purely commercial and that it is an obligation of every company to give back to its community and to the environment.

Business is a matter of human service.
Dilmah is the world's first ethical made tea: earnings from its global sales remain in Sri Lanka and are shared with workers, making community and reivested in the industry to make tea sustainable.
The MJF Charitable Foundation established by Mr. Fernando, a pledge he made to himself for others. implements over 100 different projects which touch the lives of over 10,000 underprivileged Sri Lankans. Life of a Sri Lankan has a higher quality of life in a developing nation.
One cup of Dilmah Tea, you'll  never go back to ordinary tea.
A Tea with a conscience.     
Harvested and packaged within days and straight to the consumer. Ultimate Freshness and antioxidants higher than competitors.


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Chef and the Tea Maker Frank Van der Zande

Special K's Corner        Please scroll to playlist & Turn Music off/recommend headphones
We are honored to interview Frank Van der Zande , The Netherlands.    Founder of Umoja Restaurant. Food with sustainable and Organic Food Service& Kasia Vermaire ia Dilmah Tea Sommelier, The Netherlands.Frank took part of the Chef and the Tea maker program founded by Dilmah.   Frank and Kasia took part of the Dilmah School of Tea in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Jamie(Frank's Son) future Dilmah cricket player
When we first contacted Frank it was the last day to prepare for a culinary project at the National Concert in Amsterdam.  Closing the dinner with a Dilmah Tea inspired menu. Since then Frank has prepared a private dinner for a CEO of a broadcasting TV channels another tea inspired dish. Quickly invited to a Fair Trade dinner for the Mayor and Staff of Rijswijk, near The Hague.  
I love Frank's comment he stated to me when the interview was confirmed "Are you ready for the Dutch invasion in the states" Yes, Frank we are ready for the Dutch Dilmah Family.
Dilmah has impacted Franks culinary menus but most of all has created relationships around the world through Dilmah. The Dilmah Family.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Special K's Corner

Dilmah School of Tea

Did you know there is a school of tea?  I didn't, but by winning the Dilmah Tea Sommelier competition, I had the opportunity to visit Sri Lanka and to be able to get to know the world of Real Tea.
Before we actually can have and make are own nice cup of tea at home, there is a whole process that has to be accomplished beforehand, with surprisingly a lot of manual work as well.

The first two days in Sri Lanka we left with a group of over 80 people from all parts of the world working with Dilmah Tea, to the mountains to see the tea plantations and the tea factory.
The road was long, hot and sometimes frearful because of the small, narrow hairpin bends climbing into the tea fields.  The higher we got. the greener, more fertile and more beautiful the view was. The temperature dropped from 35 degrees to 15 degrees and the humidity increased with the number of  
meters we went up into the mountains.  The tea is growing massively in the mountains, a palette of fresh green tea fields that beautifully contrasts with the bright colours of the various tea pickers. A picture that I will never forget.

It is hard work for this petite but strong women.  Woven baskets with great bands on their heads and lifting their wicker baskets on their backs, collected the tea leaves  Between the fields it is so wet that a lot of leeches are sneaking around and cling to the thin ankles of the women, but the work must and will go on.  Meticulously picking tea takes work because they only can pick the first two leaves and the bud of the tea plant, this is done mostly by women.  The men are found in the factory.

Harvesting and processing the tea is an incredible process.  I now understand the comparison with wine: about the rank, the quality of the grape, the harvesting process, the fermentation and maturation.  It provides all the taste, texture and quality of the wine.  With tea it is exactly the same, the way of the bruising of the leaves for a perfect reaction with the well-known poly phenols (antioxidants) , the establishment of the time of fermentation, the packaging, everything affects the taste and the experience of tea.

And actually this is the Real Tea quality.      
The factory smells amazing, the smell of crushed poppy seed, of freshly mowed green grass, the smell of warmth, fullness, of a big forest in autumn season.  It smells really different that the tea we buy in a standard tea bag or steeped within one minute, and well, how can we actually describe that taste?

 You will not question mark, yourself this anymore, after having experienced and tasted a real cup of fresh quality tea, that has been processed with attention, knowledge, expertise, passion and above of all a lot of love for this product.  Dilmah got me, as a family business that stands for quality but also as a family that has love for their people and country.  This is reflected in the rate of 10% of the proceeds that go to the MJF Foundation, to be paid for the tea pickers, 
for children from slums that get an education to reach more in life; for Sri Lanka, its tea fields and to keep the authenticity of this product for a long time.

Soon more about the tasting of tea, I am a certified Dutch Dilmah Tea Sommelier, more to come.
Tip of the iceberg:  Get ready to enjoy loud sipping, because the louder the better!

Kasia Vermaire Website