Sri Lanka is one of the most famous countries to produce tea and is one of the most fabulously
enjoyed beverages in Sri Lanka. Tea for us is literally second to water, every single person in our
Nation enjoys at least three cups a day, and that is just minimally. Every occasion is celebrated
with a cup of tea, and we would not substitute it for anything else. Its the poor mans' drink of
choice and the rich mans' as well. There is something about the wonderful beverage that leaves
you wanting for more. The unique tastes and the impeccable aromas of Ceylon Tea is what
makes it famous around the globe.
Sri Lanka (then called Ceylon) was introduced to Tea in the 1800's by James Taylor, he began a
tea plantation in Kandy and started manufacturing tea. He made his first sale in kandy and thus
began the growth of the tea industry in Sri Lanka.
The ideal climatic conditions play a major role in the success of the growth of tea in Sri Lanka.
4% of the country's land is covered by tea plantations. The main tea growing areas are Nuwera
Eliya, Kandy, Central Province, Bandarawela, Haputale, Uva Province, Galle, Matara, Southern
Province, Ratnapura, Kegalle, Sabaragamuwa Province. The best tea are gathered from late June
to the end of August in the eastern districts and from the beginning of February to mid March in
Skillfully plucking the tea leaf is essential to the final quality of the tea, the two leaves and a bud,
that is where the flavor and the aroma of tea is present, and this is plucked by women. Sri Lanka
id one of the few countries that each leaf is plucked by hand instead of machinery, if they were to
use machinery some of the coarse leaves as twigs would be mixed with the proper leaves which
could destroy the flavor of the tea. The skillful women pluck around 15 to 20 kilos of tea leaves
to be weighed and sent to the nearby tea factories.
Ceylon Black Tea is the most famously known tea around the globe. The high-grown black tea
has a honey golden liquor and light and is among the best teas which have a distinct flavor,
aroma and strength. The low-grown teas has a burgundy brown liquor and stronger in taste. And
the mid-grown teas are strong, rich and full-bodied. Ceylon black tea is famous around the world
and is used as the base for many blends such as Earl Grey tea, and many other fruit flavored teas.
Black tea is not the only tea produced, Ceylon green tea is mainly grown in Idalgashinna in the
Uva Province. The Ceylon Green Tea generally has a fuller body, and has a pungent, malty and
nutty flavor. Green tea in Sri Lanka has its own characteristics, they are darker in both the dry
and infused leaf, and has a rich flavor different from other green teas. Much of the green teas
produced in Sri Lanka has an acquired taste and are exported to the North African and the
Middle Eastern markets. Other than the Black and the Green tea Sri Lanka specializes in White
Tea which is also known as 'silver tips'. This is one of the priciest teas in Sri Lanka, price of a
kilo of White Tea in higher than that of Green and Black tea. White Tea was first grown in
Nuwera-Eliya. The tea is grown, harvested and rolled by hand and the leaves are dried and
withered in the sun. it has a delicate and light liquoring and contains notes of pine and honey and
a golden coppery infusion.
Sri Lankan tea is a great success in the international markets, and despite the ever growing
competition from India and China, Sri Lanka remains one of the world's top tea exporters. The
most important international markets of Sri Lankan tea are the Middle East, Russia, Iraq, Iran,
Egypt, the UK and Japan.
The 'Lion Logo' in the packages of the tea produced in Sri Lanka is an important factor. It is
closely monitored by the Sri Lankan Tea board and if a manufacturer is to acquire this particular
logo, they need to go through a series of inspections that are done by the Sri Lankan Tea Board
and if they pass these inspections they are allowed to use the Lion Logo which depicts as 'Pure
Ceylon Tea- Packed in Sri Lanka'.
Ceylon Tea is indeed exquisitely famous for its rich tastes and aromas, and it is made with a lot
of care and love, so that everybody around the globe has the privilege of tasting such a wonderful
History of Ceylon Tea
Tea has a rich and fascinating history. For hundreds of years people consumed tea for its
medicinal qualities. More and more tea plats were discovered and tea drinking became more
popular. All this paved the way to tea becoming one of the most sort after beverages around the
Sri Lanka was introduced to tea much later. Until the 1860's the main crop produced in Sri Lanka
was Coffee but in 1869 a fungus destroyed the crop so the estate owners had to diversify into
other crops. Firstly a tea plant was brought to Sri Lanka from China and was planted in the
Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya, this was planted for non-commercial purposes. In 1867 James
Taylor planted 19 acres of tea in the Loolecondera estate in Kandy, and there in on tea became a
commercially used crop in Sri Lanka. In 1872, James Taylor started a fully equipped tea factory
in the same estate and in the same year he made the first sale of tea in Kandy. In 1873 the first
international sale of tea was made, a shipment consisting of 23lb's of tea was sent to an auction
The production of tea rose rapidly in 1880's and by 1899 the area cultivated had exceedingly
grown to nearly 400,000 acres of tea. By that time British figures such as Henry Randolph
Trafford arrived in Sri Lanka and purchased coffee estates, his knowledge about coffee was
limited but his knowledge about to tea was vast and he is now considered on of the pioneers in
tea plantation in Sri Lanka.
The rapid growth and popularity of tea, lead to it being sold at several auctions. The first public
auction of tea was held at Somerville & Co in July 1883. And then went on to being sold at
auctions held worldwide, a total sum of one million tea packets were sold in the Chicago World
Fair in 1893. The Ceylon Tea Traders association was formed in 1894 and today all tea produced
in Sri Lanka is conducted by this association along with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.
Later in 1896 the Colombo Broker's Association was formed and in 1915 the first Ceylonese was
appointed as the Chairman of the Planter's Association, his name was Thomas Amarasuriya. By
1927 the production if tea in the country exceeded 100,00o metric tonnes which was almost
entirely for export purposes.
By the 1960's the total production of tea and exports exceeded to 200,000 metric tones and
200,000 hectares, and for the first time in 1965, Sri Lanka became the world's largest tea
exporter. In 1963 the production and export of instant Tea was introduced and the first
International Tea Convention was held in 1966 to commemorate 100 years of tea industry in Sri
Lanka. In 1976 the Sri Lankan Tea Board was founded along with others such as the Janatha
Estate Development Board, Sri Lanka Estate Plantation Cooperation and the Tea Small Holding
Development Authority, these bodies played a major part when it came to supervising the estates
acquired by the state. And this same year tea bags were introduced to export.
In 1980 the official supplier of tea for the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympic Games was Sri
Lanka, and again in 1982 for the 12th Commonwealth Games held Brisbane and alter on in 1987
at the Expo 88 in Australia.
Subsequently in the years to come the production and the export of tea rapidly increased and was
introduced to variations, such as the production of Green Tea and also other flavored tea. In 2001
tea made it's first online sale at the Colombo Tea auctions.
Ceylon Tea is famous worldwide, the weather conditions in the country provides vastly to the
success of its growth and is made famous by the taste and quality that is only unique to Ceylon
Tea. Sri Lanka caters Ceylon Tea to a number of global markets and has become the most
favorite beverage among its consumers worldwide.
Regions of Tea Cultivation
Ceylon tea has a distinctive taste and it has qualities unique to itself, likewise the tea produced in each region in Sri Lanka has its unique characteristics, the taste and quality of tea differs from region to region. This is the result of the different climates and elevations present in the regions.
- Central Province.
Kandy is famous for mid-grown teas and is also responsible for producing flavorsome
teas. Kandy produces a variety of strengths and styles, and it all depends on the
elevation of which the tea is grown at, tea grown at a lower elevation produces a rather
large leaf and has a strong flavor when infused and tea grown at a higher elevation
produces a smaller leaf and has a mild and delicate flavor to it. The best tea is produced
in the first quarter of the year when the cool and dry weather sets in. Teas hailing from
Kandy produce bright infusions with coppery tones, and also has fair amounts of
strength and body.
- Uva Province
- Southern Province
- Sabaragamuwa Province
Tea grown in this region has a little variation to it than of the teas grown in southern
district, this is a result of the wider range of altitude at which it is grown and the varied
climatic conditions. They too produce a fast-growing bush with long leaves that are
rather black when withered and very well suited for rolling. The liquor too is similar to
that of the teas from southern district, a dark-yellow brown with a hint of red and during
the dry season a little bit lighter in shade. The aroma though is completely different with
a hint of sweet caramel and not quite as strong as southern teas and the flavor of the teas
are somewhat stronger.
Each tea grown in each region contributes to the quality and distinctive flavors of
Ceylon Tea that is famous all around the world among tea lovers.
ORTHODOX BLACK TEA GRADES
- PEKOE 01
- FBOPF SP
- FBOPF EXSP
OFF GRADE TEA
UN ORTHODOX TEA BLACK TEA GRADES
GREEN TEA GRADES
- CEYLON SANCHA
Health Benefits of Ceylon Black Tea.
Ceylon Black Tea has many health benefits. It is known that Ceylon Black Tea contains less
caffeine than coffee and is an excellent booster for your immune system. Black tea is known to
be an excellent defense against cancer, the theaflavins and the thearubigins present in black tea
are well known anti-oxidants that help to fight free radicals that can damage DNA which causes
cancer in your body.
Consuming black tea regularly can decrease your chances of heart diseases. The anti-oxidants
found in black tea can help in lowering cholesterol levels inside blood vessels, thereby avoiding
high blood pressure and strokes. These anti-oxidants can also help in reducing the size of tumors.
Like green tea, Ceylon Black tea helps in mental alertness and acuity which is a result of an increase of alpha-wave activity in your brain. The daily consumption of black tea is helpful in keeping you safe from viruses and bacteria and it also reduces the chances of you catching influenza and boosts your immune system to prevent you catching any other diseases. Ceylon black tea is also know to reduce stress in you system.
Health Benefits Of Ceylon Green Tea
As we now know that Ceylon Green Tea has a stronger flavor, it is safe to say that it contains
copious amounts of anti-oxidants, more than black tea for that matter. Green tea is famously
known to increase your metabolism which ultimately results in burning unwanted fat in your
Green tea has a vast amounts of anti-viral and anti-bacterial qualities. Its daily consumption has
proven to reduce osteoporosis. The anti-oxidants found in green tea has been proven to help
reduce bone loss and in turn increase bone building muscles.
Green tea is also known to reduce oral health problems. The catechins present in green tea can
kill bacteria and viruses that causes soar throats, dental cavities, gum diseases, and bad breath.
Green Tea improves brain functions and protects your brain during old age. The catechins
present in green tea has protective effects on neurons which in turn can reduce risk of
Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Green tea is also know widely to reduce risk of heart diseases and cancer. The catechins found in
green tea stalls cell mutation and reduces the risk of tumors being formed. Like wise these
catechins also help in relaxing your blood vessels and giving it an even flow and prevents clots
from forming which reduces the risk of heart attacks.
Health Benefits Of White Tea
The amount of caffeine present in White tea is less compared to green and black tea and has
more anti-oxidants. Since white tea is processed less it has all the nutrients in tact and is the
healthiest of teas. The health benefits are similar to that of green tea but its effectiveness is
doubled due it the nutrients present.
White tea can help you reduce stress and anxiety this is due to the amino acid called Theanine. It
can calm your nerves and is also well known o prevent depression.
Like Green Tea, Ceylon white tea is also a great fat burner, the rich amounts of poly phenols
help reduce fat accumulation and increase your metabolism. Just like green tea, it is also helpful
in reducing risk of heart disease, lowering levels of cholesterol, help build stronger bones, and
kills bacteria and virus present in you body. White tea has properties that help in reducing your
blood sugar which in turn reduces risk of diabetes.
Ceylon Tea has qualities and benefits that are essential to your life. Next time substitute your cup
of coffee for a delicious cup of Ceylon Tea and enjoy the benefits it has to offer.
- Only the young bud with 2-3 leaves are hand picked
- Leaves are plucked every 6-15 days, depending on the season/climatic conditions
- Each Kg will carry about 20,000 shoots
- Need 4kgs of fresh leaves to make 1kg of made tea
- Machine plucking is not done in Sri Lanka
- The object is to evaporate from the moisture slowly over a period of 18 to 24 hours dependent on temperature and humidity.
- Approximately 65% of the water content in the green leaf is removed at this stage
- It becomes pliable and will withstand the subsequent process of ‘rolling’, without
breaking up into flakes.
- The purpose of rolling is to achieve the final curved appearance and to break the leaf cell walls so as to release essential oils to start a chemical reaction of fermentation
- In this process the green colour of the leaf is replaced by a brown coppery coloured texture.
- When the leaf cells are ruptured, the enzymes in the leaf come in to contact with oxygen
in the air which initiates chemical reactions that are necessary for the production of black
- The finer particles collected after roll breaking, are fermented to bring about the changes necessary to make a tea liquor palatable.
- The leaf is thinly spread in a cool, well ventilated room to slowly oxidize (ferment).
- Flavanols combine with oxygen in the air develops the flavour as well as changes the colour from green to brown over a period ranging from 2 to 4 hours
- This is a fine art of the factory tea maker.
- The Tea Dryer is a chamber which exposes the fermented leaf to hot dry air at regulated, varying temperature within its parts, for a duration of 20 to 30 minutes.
- Once optimum fermentation has been achieved, the rolled leaf is taken for firing (or
drying) to arrest further fermentation by deactivating the enzymes, and to remove almost
all of the remaining moisture of the leaf.
- The separation of tea particles into ‘grades’ (different shapes and sizes) is required so as to conform to trade standards.
- Dried tea is sorted into different grades by passing them over a series of vibrating screens of different mesh sizes.
- The various grades of tea only denote a certain size and appearance of leaf; it has no reference to quality. Broken grades normally give darker liquor and a stronger tea. Leaf grades on the hand, are lighter coloured and less strong. The quality of tea is unrelated to a grade.