Thursday, September 30, 2010

Quality Ingredients Do Not Make A Bland Tea Better: Dilmah Ceylon Green Tea Disappoints.

The Good: Good ingredients
The Bad: Watery taste, Extraneous tea waste, Uninspired bulking
The Basics: A disappointing green tea, Dilmah Ceylon Green tea is virtually flavorless and not worth stocking up on.

Those who know my tea reviews know that environmental responsibility is very important to me. Even more important, though, is taste and a tea that does not taste good never gets high marks from me. Sadly, that is where I find Dilmah Ceylon Green Tea. This tea is so weak it is little more than hot water in nice packaging and it was a huge disappointment for me.


Dilmah Ceylon Green Tea natural green tea is a very basic tea-flavored from Dilmah and it is a rather bland tea at that. The tea comes individually wrapped in the box of twenty bags, each tea bag with its own string and paper tab, which is terribly unfriendly to the environment for a company trading on fair trade practices. The twenty bag box is generally found inexpensively and the bulking of six boxes simply puts a cellophane wrap around the standard Dilmah boxes.

Dilmah tea is a basic green tea designed to give the drinker the flavor of a very basic green tea and it is a surprisingly weak presentation of that.

Ease of Preparation

Dilmah tea is a remarkably easy tea to prepare. This tea requires one to open the box, remove the plastic/foil-wrapped tea bag, unwrap that, unwind the string from around the tea bag and then set it into the teapot. Dilmah tea is very easy to prepare. One need only place the tea bag in a mug or a steeping pot and pour near-boiling water over it. Let the steaming beverage steep for two minutes and the tea is ready. For my first pot, I let it steep the full two minutes to get the full flavor from it. That was weak, so I started letting my pots steep longer and I discovered that this did not make the tea significantly stronger.

For those who are tea bag misers, a second cup made by reusing the same tea bag resulted in a mug of tea that was, at best, a quarter strong as the first cup. The second steeping also resulted in a tea which was much more watery and that made it impossible to effectively reuse.


The aroma of Dilmah Ceylon Green tea is very bland and this is the first clue for consumers that the tea will be extraordinarily weak. Oddly, the smell of this tea is more like that of chamomile tea (with an almost rice scent to it) than green tea.

The taste is similarly weak. After five minutes of steeping, Dilmah Ceylon Green tea tastes like virtually every other brand's basic green tea diluted beyond recognition. The hot tea smells faintly of tea leaves, but when one tastes it, the dominant flavor is still water, the water one brews it in. At least it does not have much of an aftertaste, though there is a slightly grassy aftertaste after one swallows.

With a teaspoon of sugar, Dilmah Ceylon Green tea becomes sweet, but is more flavored by the sugar than the tea. Similarly, even milk overwhelms the tea flavoring of Dilmah Ceylon Green tea.

Cold and unsweetened, Dilmah Ceylon Green tea is dry, but similarly flavorless.


The ingredients to Ceylon Green tea are rather simple as Dilmah Ceylon Green is a simple green tea. The fact that this tea is so mild compared to other teas where the only ingredients are natural green tea leaves me fairly mystified.

In terms of nutrition, this tea is devoid of it. One 8 oz. mug of this tea provides nothing of nutritional value to the drinker. There are no calories (save what one adds from sugar, which I recommend), no fat, sodium, or protein. There are mild amounts of caffeine, but this is not a tea which will wake one up! One should not attempt to live on Dilmah Ceylon Green tea alone!


Because of the various layers of packaging, tea appears to stay fresh for quite some time. So long as it is kept dry, this tea has a decent shelf life. As far as cleaning up, one need only rinse out the steeping pot or mug to prevent it from staining. The tea bags may be tossed easily enough. For those - like me - who compost their old tea bags, it is important to remove the staple and string with the little paper tab before composting this. That's an annoying extra step, especially after years of Celestial Seasonings teas!

As for the tea itself, this is a surprisingly light tea, even for a green tea, and I would recommend cleaning up any spills on lighter fabrics as soon after they happen as possible. This does look like it might stain doilies!


Sadly, Dilmah Ceylon Green tea is not a tea worth stocking up on as its flavor, despite coming from fair trade sources, is not much more than flavored water.

For other teas, please check out my reviews of:
Twinings Herbal Revive Blackcurrants, Ginseng and Tahitian Vanilla tea
Celestial Seasonings Tropic Of Strawberry
Stash Earl Grey


For other beverage reviews, please check out my index page!

© 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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  1. Thank you for your comment. We read through your review to understand the source of your concern. Unlike the Candy Cane Lane Holiday Tea that you commented favourably on, our emphasis in all our teas is authenticity. Most of the teas in the... US and unfortunately many in Europe rely on flavour for their 'taste'. We are tea growers and therefore have a fundamentally different alignment - that is the purity of the tea. Hence our Ceylon Green Tea relies on the natural blessing of terroir, for all its taste and flavour. Therefore it is richer in natural goodness although possibly not the mint and other flavours that are added to the other green teas you have reviewed. We believe that good tea must be evaluated for the art in the tea teamaking and the quality of the tea, and not for what is added to it. I am sorry you did not enjoy our Ceylon Green Tea but hope you understand that purity and authenticity are more important than the addition of flavour.

  2. Interesting take on it. Thank you very much for responding to my review; I am leaving your comment visible because I like your philosophy (if not, necessarily, the result!) and will let my readers decide. Thanks again!