The mixologist and the tea maker

Tea Inspiration for the 21st Century

Tea Inspiration for the 21st Century - Ti21 - is a global contest designed by Ceylon Tea growing family Dilmah, to express the natural sophistication and taste in fine tea through gastronomy and mixology. TI21 challenges Chefs, Sommeliers and Tea Aficionados to present the unique goodness in tea as well as the fingerprint of nature that are both beautifully expressed in the terroir in handcrafted Tea. It is a demanding challenge that tests the skills of every contestant with the emphasis on respect for tea while requiring expertise in understanding tea as a herbal beverage, as a complement to food, and as an ingredient in mixology and gastronomy. The contest is exacting in its emphasis on crafting a contemporary, tea inspired experience that honours the seven dimensions on which the contest is judged, including Sustainability, Cultural context, Heritage and of course Taste. Tea Inspiration for the 21st Century is the evolution of the revolution in tea that Dilmah sparked through its pioneering Real High Tea Challenge; that contest involved 710 contestants in 14 countries and challenged dated concepts of afternoon tea. TI21 continues that spirit in taking the message of great Taste, natural Goodness and ethical Purpose in fine tea, to a new generation with 21st Century style.


There are seven principles that we are asking you to honour as you compete in this tea inspiration for the 21st century

  1. Culture
    Present the culture and the heritage of the nation that you represent or the nation in which you are presenting.
  2. Personal
    Tea is something that is emotional and very personal and everyone has a tea story
  3. Culinary dimension
    Treat your ingredients with respect, choose each of the different elements in order to make sure that you fulfil the primary requirement of great taste, an afternoon tea that tastes really good.
  4. Mixology
    Different juices, different fruits, different ingredients also representing the heritage, the cultural dimension and presenting a harmonious combination of taste and flavours in a beverage complementing tea.
  5. Sustainability
    What is the sustainability rationale behind your choice of ingredients, behind your presentation
  6. Tea
    Because ultimately this is a tea competition and why is tea so critically important today - The different terroirs , textures , colours
  7. Harmony
    Ultimately sustainability, the beverage mixology, the culinary aspects, the personal story, the cultural aspect every dimension needs to come together harmoniously