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Dilmah Tea offerings are displayed at the Sri Lankan company's main Jakarta distributor. (Photo by Simon Roughneen)
Business

Healthy versus hip: A Sri Lankan tea boss takes on coffee

Dilmah Tea's CEO sees millennials embracing the ancient elixir

SIMON ROUGHNEEN, Asia regional correspondent | China

JAKARTA The tea industry has watched in envy as coffee's cachet has skyrocketed across Asia, and now it wants a piece of the action. But it faces a difficult challenge: How to convince people that something they've been quaffing like water all their lives can be a premium product.

Eliawati Erly, vice president of David Roy Indonesia, the local distributor for Sri Lankan brand Dilmah Tea, recognizes that developing a culture of cool around tea won't be easy. "People are accustomed to having tea and teh botol (bottled tea drinks sold in shops) since they are young," she said. 

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