We would like to introduce a very special customer to you. Caroline is one of our most loyal customers or as she says herself: a relative of Dilmah Tea. We asked her to introduce herself to other Dilmah tea drinkers and explain why Dilmah is so important to her.
Who are you and where are you from?
My name is Caroline Neela Fritzsche and I was born in Sri Lanka. 34 years ago I came to the Netherlands because I was adopted. My parents have always kept me connected to Sri Lanka. They always told me where I came from.
My first trip back to my native country was in 2000. We went there with my parents and brothers. There I really experienced where I came from for the first time. The smell, however small I was when I came to the Netherlands (7 weeks) has always stayed with me. I smelled it the moment I got off the plane.
My father went back a few years later. When he came home, I wouldn't let me open the suitcase. I did that to smell the scent of Sri Lanka. That's what I miss the most when I'm back in the Netherlands: the smell. And yes also the spices and the delicious food.
In 2017 we went to Sri Lanka again. Unfortunately, my father and mother could not be there. My father passed away just before the trip. He wanted us as kids with partners to really go. That was his wish. We have made a wonderful tour.
When did you & Dilmah first get to know each other?
During my second trip I arranged a meeting for one of the first days with the founder of Dilmah Tea: Mr. Merrill J. Fernando. After all those years of contact by e-mail, I was able to take a closer look at how they work.My contact with Dilmah Tea started when I sent an email to Mr. Fernando about 10 years ago. I did this after I first bought Dilmah tea at De Tuinen. Dilmah Tea was not available at many other stores at the time. I received a response to my email and that is how the contact continued.
Why do you choose Dilmah tea?
After my meeting with Mr. Fernando, I started to learn more about tea. I was already a tea drinker but now even more so. In Sri Lanka I experienced what it is like to drink real tea. In my opinion the best tea comes from Sri Lanka. I drink Dilmah tea for two reasons.
1: the taste, purity and versatility.
2: to support my homeland by buying this tea.
I am now in contact with many Dilmah employees. It may seem strange to an outsider, but they are my second family.
How would you describe your tea taste?
There is so much I like. It's hard to pick a favourite. My kitchen is full of different kinds of tea. My visitors always suffer from choice stress. They can choose from many different types. My closet is now overflowing with tea glasses, cups, tea tips, teapot, tea infuser, ect. This way I can give myself but also my visitors a real tea experience.
Are you familiar with the MJF Foundation?
Mr. Fernando founded the MJF foundation. With this foundation, Dilmah Tea gives children and adults a better future. For example, they provide free education, ensure that adults can retrain or retrain so that they learn 'a real trade' such as woodworking, computer programming or can work in the Dilmah t-Lounges. This is just a small sample of what they are doing to help the local community create a better life for themselves.
Unfortunately I was not able to visit a project up close myself. I do, however, regularly donate money and things for the children (pens, notebooks, stickers, erasers).
So by drinking Dilmah Tea you do not only take good care of yourself. You also ensure that others have a better future. Dilmah is therefore more than a cup of tea.
November 13 is World Kindness Day. Dilmah's heart's desire is: "To infuse the world with kindness" Do you have any tips for others to provide the world with more kindness?
Kindness does not stand as 1 day for me. Ask a friend, colleague, or family member how he or she is really doing. Ask an elderly neighbour if you can go shopping or have a cup of tea together. Kindness is in the smallest things. Especially in the times we live in now.
You have a food blog, can you tell something about it?
I have been a hobby food blogger for about 7 years now. My dishes come from all over the world. I don't need thousands of followers. Hopefully I can inspire other people with my recipes, which I make with passion and love. I now have followers from 53 different countries.
My roots, that is where I excel and that is what I love to do the most. I love how my kitchen smells like the cuisine of Sri Lanka.
How did you came up with the idea to use tea in your dishes?
Tea is a product that can be used in many ways. Tea is not only made to drink. That's how I started to use tea in my dishes. I use it in the seasoning of stuffed chicken breast. Or combine tea with wood chips to smoke salmon for example. You can use tea in pastries or sauces. I even made caramel once with tea.
You can also use tea to infuse milk or cream. You can use the milk to make pancakes. If you heat tea infused cream you can make chocolate ganache. With the ganache you can make chocolate truffles or use the ganache as a filling for chocolates.
What else do you want tell our readers about tea?
I say: drink Dilmah! It takes you back to the origin of tea. The real taste of Sri Lanka, the savour and experience. Look what else Dilmah does. They take care of the hard working people who harvest the tea, produce and develop. The people in the villages, children, elderly, disabled etc.
If you drink Dilmah tea you support the MJF Foundation. Dilmah donates a minimum of 15% (pretax) profit to the foundation. With every cup of tea that you drink, you give a bit of kindness to the word.
Curious to Carolines recipes? Like her Facebookpage.