“Lots of people tell me ‘Corporations have the abilities and resources’, but all those resources come from individuals. So whether you need to redesign your business, whether you need to redesign your alignment, brain storm where you are heading, you need to do it. A lot of businesses unfortunately remain fossilised in what they believed at the outset …” – Dilhan Fernando.
With the proliferation of merchants who offer High Tea today, there developed an association with tea that conjures up images of rich, fancy, frilly, pinkish tea accessories, and I don’t think this liaison has necessarily benefited the tea industry. At High Tea the tea chaperones the iced cakes.
Yet, as I write, someone in the tea industry works to transcend this nostalgic typecast by experimentation with new concepts in mixology and gastronomy. Mixology is the art of preparing mixed drinks. Gastronomy is the study of food and culture, the art of food and the science of good eating. Where we are concerned mixology is: Tea in drinks and tea in food.
Dilmah’s journey in gastronomy began by marinating a chicken in tea. Now, as you can see for yourself by visiting this link, the journey has already attained breathless altitude and in a relatively short time, by tea industry standards. There are not many tea-drinkers who would discourage a Dilmah Tea Lounge from setting up in their neighbourhood either.
My low altitude gastronomy journey began with the humble tea loaf. This is an old recipe which involves soaking the dried fruit overnight in tea. The tea gives the loaf a less doughy taste and the fruit will not dry out the loaf while baking. My grandmother measured the remainder of the ingredients, set them overnight on her kitchen table beside the bowl of tea infused fruit, and in the morning the tea loaf would be the first of many offerings made to her oven.
This version came from: The Book of Tea by Louise Cheadle and Nick Kilby of Teapigs. It is the same recipe my grandmother used.
375g (13oz) mixed dried fruit and peel
250ml (8 1/2 fl oz) strained cold tea – strong, no milk or sugar
150g (5 1/2 oz) soft brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
250g (9 oz) plain flour
1 heaped tsp baking powder, a pinch of mixed spice, grated nutmeg or ground cloves (optional)
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Begin the night before with soaking the fruit. Put the dried fruit and cold tea in a mixing bowl. Cover and leave to soak overnight at room temperature.
Next day preheat oven to 160 C (310 F) and grease and line a 22 x 11 x 7 cm (8 1/2 x 4 1/4 x 2 3/4 in) loaf tin.
Add the sugar and egg to the soaked fruit and mix well with a wooden spoon or flexible spatula. Sift in the flour, baking powder and spice and mix well until thoroughly combined.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and level the surface with the back of the spoon. Bake in the centre of the oven for 1- 1 1/4 hours until a metal skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Remove from the oven, transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool before turning out of the tin. Serve in slices with or without butter, whichever you prefer.
Enjoy this loaf with a sturdy cup of Assam or Ceylon tea.
Now also … while we are enjoying our cup of tea … or coffee ..
I would really like to know what brand of everyday tea is available at your local supermarket or speciality tea store – if you live near one. Is it Yorkshire? Newman’s, Tetley’s or maybe Kusmi Tea? Or some other brand with an exotic name I have never heard of? Please do let me know in the comments below. 🙂 What brand of tea are you drinking right now? I have a cup a Dilmah Premium blend. It looks awfully glum because I have let it go cold. 😦