Something about Ceylon Tea

Ceylon beauty

Exactly 10 years ago, we have travelled through Sri Lanka aka Ceylon, the island of spices and tea. We have visited one tea packing factory, we climbed to famous Adam´s Peak etc. We have also visited famous Nuwara Eliya, the town of same name as an area, where high grown (mountain) teas are produced. One of those teas was in our offer short time ago.

Today tea, formerly coffee

Originally, coffee trees and sometimes cocoa trees were grown on Ceylon. However, the plantages were destroyed by a rust Hemileia vastatrix. The farmers found a fast replacement in tea. The environment and climate provided very good conditions for tea growing, tea bushes have spread in very few years and replaced coffee fully.

Three zones

Ceylon is world´s fourth largest producer of tea. Tea is grown on 187 thousand hectars mostly in middle and southern parts of the island. According to the elevation where the tea bushes grow, we distinguish three different zones:
high growns – high mountain teas above 1200 m
medium growns – middle zone 600 to 1200 m
low growns – from a see level to 600 m

What´s the tea like

Most of local production is processed as so called broken teas (BOP), fannings and CTC and is used for tea bags and tea mixtures. Whole leaf teas create a very small part of the production, green teas and oolongs are very rare.
Typical Ceylon tea has a full, spicy, honey-sweet or quite astringent flavor with fruity sweet or citrus aroma and gold-orange infusion. Citrus aroma is probably the most typical sign, that makes Ceylon tea so recognizable.

We imported

Ceylon New Vithanakande FBOPXExSp, as traditionally high quality, tippy tea. It comes from Ruhuna district nearby legendary Ratnapura town, that is well known as a diamond mining area. Teas from Ruhuna are defined as low grown.

Another one is Ceylon Shawlands OP. This trully sparkling tea comes from southern slopes of Mandulsima mountains in Uva district. Teas on Shawlands garden grow in 792 – 1173 m elevation, so we can call them as middle (or medium) grown.

Newcomer is a well balanced tea blend Ceylon Pour Mousselines. It has a regularly rolled brown-silver leaf with sweet vanilla aroma. Golden brown in a cup with full, brisk and sweetish spicy flavor with tones of cinamon, citruses and a hint of a lavender. It is a blend of high grown teas, it means they grow above 1200 m.

Just try them out. Time to time, even an experienced tea drinker fancies a classical Ceylon tea from a  beautiful porcelain set.

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