Two weeks ago, the world stood together and shed happy tears for the royal union between one simple Kate Middleton and His Royal Highness Prince William Arthur Philip Louis, Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn, Baron Carrickfergus, Royal Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Master of Arts (that’s His Royal Highness’ official title by the way). And regardless of what your feelings are on the monarchy, it is always nice to see a young couple in love. And a fairy tale ending like theirs is truly a testament that fantasies do come true and a universal tale of hope for many. The wayward world today is indeed much in need of a good old fashion love story.
While some are lucky enough to be married into the palace, the same can’t be said for the golden tea empire. Here, only a selected few were born with a silver (tea)spoon in their mouths and groomed to be for greatness as Royal-TEAs. Ronnefeldt TeaMaster® title holder, Mr. Andreas Aufmkolk, is tea drinker for as long as he can remember, and grew up in the northern regions of Germany where tea drinking is very much a way of life. In 1994 he kick-started his association with Ronnefeldt while working a property that served the tea. In 2007 he trained and achieved his TeaMaster® Silver qualification in Frankfurt where he successfully completed the course covering history, the processing of tea as well as a two-hour examination and blind tasting.
His recent visit to Kuala Lumpur was a rare opportunity for a few of us foodies and tea lovers to learn more about the various traditional and modern teas, get a qualified opinion on where the industry is heading to and what new blends and trends there are to watch out for. During the afternoon session at The Ritz-Carlton KL’s Lobby Lounge, Mr. Aufmkolk conducted a formal presentation and interactive tea tasting to introduce and explain the 40 different types of specialty teas that they sell. With over ten years of experience in the tea industry, he is easily a recognised authority on the beverage.
For anyone who has experienced the Traditional English Afternoon Tea at The Ritz-Carlton KL, the three tie Tea set over-flowing with freshly baked scones, quiches, mouth-watering finger sandwiches and delicate pastries is a sight in itself. The rumble of the tea cart containing over 40 different kinds of Ronnefeldt tea presents an altogether different sight and a luxurious challenge to those thinking they were just in for a simple cup of tea. Who knew tea drinking was such a chichi affair?
We were of course lucky to have Mr. Aufmkolk with us who started the edu-TEA-tion session by giving a short presentation on the history of tea and where Ronnefeldt started from. I know some are guessing that they are British. I thought so too, only to find out they are a German family-owned company. Mountbatten-Windsor comes to mind?
He then went on to introduce the different Ronnefeldt tea groupings, explaining the subtle differences between them and their origins. In honor of the head of the family who attended the tea session, here’s what the old man have to say:
Darjeeling Summer Gold – A black tea, though the name does not necessarily reflect the color of the brew. The brew is a gorgeous light golden color. Hails from the Mahanadi Valley India.
The High Grown Ceylon – Grown in Nuwara Elya (above the clouds) in Ceylon, it is a delightfully light but yet fragrant tea. My favourite of the lot.
Irish Whisky Cream – Another black tea, with guess what? A natural whisky flavour. Isnt that amazing. Thats like alcohol-less whisky. Lovely, but not for me. It’s cruel, tantalizing me like that.
Fancy Sencha – A green tea, very chinese, and very drinkable.
Jasmine Gold – Very chinese tea like. Palatable, and seemed to go well with the savouries.
Herbs & Ginger – I love this non-tea tea, an ayuverdic blend of ginger, verbana,very refreshing, and I suspect wind repelling. (though we wouldn’t say that in polite company).
Soft Peach – another infusion, with no real tea leaves. Very feminine.
* Blatantly copied and pasted from Ah Pa’s blog. You can read the rest of his post HERE.
Before concluding the afternoon affair, Mr. Aufmkolk also talke about his own life experiences, favourite types of tea (First Flush Darjeeling and Oolong) before ending with a blind tasting session for the everyone to put their newly learnt skills to the test all while complemented by the luxurious Afternoon Tea set of scones, sandwiches, quiches and pastries which were excellent with the teas.
Ronnefeldt is a partner of Ritz-Carlton globally and their teas are easily available at their esteemed properties. And rather unfortunately, they are not available on sale in the retail market. Special thanks to our British friend and PR Executive of The Ritz-Carlton KL, the handsome Oliver Ellerton, for having us over. This new-found knowledge would definitely last for an eterni-TEA.
The Lobby Lounge at the Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur
168, Jalan Imbi, Kuala Lumpur, 55100 Malaysia.
Traditional English Afternoon Tea is available daily except on Sundays.
For enquiries/bookings, please call +603-2142 8000.