The Teamaker’s Private Reserve is an eclectic collection of rare, fine teas, each handpicked by Merrill J Fernando, Founder of Dilmah, to represent the finest in tea.
Showing myriad flavours, textures, and colours, the teas in this collection represent the finest in the teamaker’s world of tea. Experience the elusive elegance of Ceylon Single Estate Silver Tips, the intellectual tease of smoky Ceylon Souchong and the energetic personality of the Lover’s Leap Estate Pekoe I.
A deliciously authentic Ceylon Artisanal Spice Chai extends the tea experience with a traditional fusion of the spices that brought the early explorers to Ceylon; a Single Estate Tea from Nilagama is infused with luscious mango aromas, and a mellow flowery Broken Orange Pekoe from Doombagastalawa is imbued with the romance of rose petals.
Finally, pure chamomile flowers, unadulterated with stalks and leaves, complete the collection with a naturally caffeine-free, herbal infusion.
Merrill J Fernando dedicated his life to tea when in the 1950s, he saw the concentration of ownership in the tea industry in the hands of a few large corporations which was leading to the commoditisation of tea. He decided that in the interest of tea drinkers around the world, and the crop that his country produced with so much care and artistry, he would fight this process of commodification.
It is the simplicity of this principle that the ‘Dedicated Founder’ has built his business on, that makes it so very remarkable. As a young Tea Taster, he experienced everything that is special about tea – the diversity of its taste, its purity, the sublime influence of nature on every aspect of tea, its natural goodness, and importantly the millions of lives that depend on tea.
It took him nearly four decades and in 1988 he launched his own brand – Dilmah. Dilmah was the first producer-owned tea brand, and offered tea ‘picked, perfected and packed’ at the origin. Unlike the multi-origin blends that monopolised supermarket shelves, Dilmah brought tea that is freshly packed at the source and therefore rich in flavour and natural goodness.
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. This is what makes Dilmah the first ethically produced tea.
Merrill J Fernando has been felicitated for his determination in bringing the finest tea to the world, for his commitment to genuine ethics and his perseverance in encouraging his peers to share his belief in both. His success in advocating broad international acceptance of his enlightened philosophy may be mixed as it contradicts convention so dramatically, but in quality and ethics, it is undisputed.