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Dilmah Watte Lover's Leap

Ceylon Single Estate Grown Tea from Sri Lanka

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Fine Ceylon tea 'picked, perfected and packed' at origin & 'ethically grown'

  • Sep 11, 2010
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This maker advertises his teas as "ethically grown." Dilmah, founded by Merrill J. Fernando, seeks to revive the tea trade in his native Sri Lanka, and to grow blends that favor local regions in this island rather than cheaper pekoe dust and mass-production methods that fail to move multinational profits back into the community. Similar to what some coffee exchanges are doing, Dilmah aims to do for tea-- to help Third World economies and sustain rural livelihoods.

I have liked their Ceylon Supreme and English Breakfast teabags;, and their Ceylon Estate fancier trapezoidally shaped net-bag brand. They have a clean, organic mouthfeel that holds up well to milk and sweetener, the way I prefer tea. They also have a line of green tea, and a pricier Watte estate line.

This gourmet Watte line seeks as with wine varietals from a single region to give, for the first time for tea, an appellation to bestow on a particular estate. These are more complex, aspiring to what a vineyard might seek to grow over decades to sell as its special concoction. So, I tried "Lover's Leap."

On the "WatteBoutiqueTea-dot-com" website, it's described:  "Sophisticated and fragrant, Lover’s Leap Ran Watte Tea is complex, with hints of fruit, honey and eucalyptus. Its light, golden infusion and greenish infusion beautifully conveys the delicate, yet firm liquor." I'd second that description. I favor darker, stronger, maltier tea, but the combination of an earthier tinge akin to green teas into this appealingly complex brew surprised me. I rarely rate five stars for anything, but this is fragrant tea.

After reading a depressing book, "No Man Is Vile," by William McGowan about the civil strife convulsing Sri Lanka in past decades, and after years not getting a sturdy Kandy black tea that I liked once when Trader Joe's carried it a decade ago, I made a note to try to support their devastated tea industry. Dilmah's line of tea comes with a little pamphlet that explains their mission to pack tea and sell it fresh and to control the whole process to ensure flavor, ethics, and quality. Their DilmahTea-dot-com website tells more of the good works they strive to share, and who can disagree?

Dilmah tea can be hard to find, and I only have bought it when three hundred miles away from my L.A. home, when visiting near Santa Cruz, California! The site says it's sold in 92 countries now. Perhaps other retailers carry it? If you have seen it around your neighborhood, please let us know.
Fine Ceylon tea 'picked, perfected and packed' at origin & 'ethically grown' Fine Ceylon tea 'picked, perfected and packed' at origin & 'ethically grown' Fine Ceylon tea 'picked, perfected and packed' at origin & 'ethically grown' Fine Ceylon tea 'picked, perfected and packed' at origin & 'ethically grown'

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November 06, 2010
Dj, it was at New Leaf around Santa Cruz, but my e-mail inquiry to its US distributor Unity Foods was bounced back and I never got a reply from Watte Teas that runs Dilmah, so I am worried. Not sure if it's still available in stores, and none down here I can find in LA that carry it. Mail order?
November 04, 2010
Wow! This sounds amazing! I'm glad I can find it near where I live (in Silicon Valley!), where in Santa Cruz can I find/try it? Thanks so much.
September 13, 2010
Thanks for the heads up on this tea, John. The tea and the company sound fantastic!
September 11, 2010
wow! All I knew about tea is the usual tea bags and stuff. I didn't know they can be quite complicated. Thanks for the review!
September 11, 2010
Thanks for the great review John! I would love to try this one :) I always try to seek out fair trade products.
More Dilmah Watte Lover's Leap reviews
review by . September 25, 2010
Trust the Source for Tea from Lover's Leap
I toured the Lover's Leap plantation and processing plant in Sri Lanka in early 2010. They sell to many other resellers.      It's a big operation, but still very simple in many ways. For example, they keep their records with paper and pen, measuring tons of tea leaves picked and processed.      They offer very nice tours with guides that speak English. Stay close so you can hear them and ask questions.      Having seen the process …
About the reviewer
John L. Murphy ()
Ranked #48
Medievalist turned humanities professor; unrepentant but not unskeptical Fenian; overconfident accumulator of books & music; overcurious seeker of trivia, quadrivia, esoterica.      … more
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