Tea production is the largest industry in Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon. Besides the agricultural production of tea, Ceylon tea tourism has also emerged as a sought after experience for travellers. Sri Lanka has over 188,000 Hectares of land reserved for Ceylon tea cultivation that not only makes for amazing scenery but also accounts for 2.5% of the country’s G.D.P and 19% of the world exports. The world Tea Council determined that Sri Lanka exported 340 million kilograms of tea in 2012 coming in third after Kenya and China.
Tea & Tourism
The tear – drop shaped island draws numerous tourists annually who desire to witness the rich tea history in Sri Lanka, sample for themselves and carry a piece of the legend back home. Tourists pay many dollars for private tea tasting experiences with leading brewers and tea salons. Some of these exclusive sip and spit sessions, like those at Dilmah, can only be gotten through appointment.
Introduced to the island by the British colonizers in 1824 from China, tea growing in Sri Lanka has evolved through intriguing history into a billion dollar industry. In 1860s coffee plantations had temporarily overtaken tea but a widespread infection of the plantations with coffee rust disease, huge losses saw farmers refocus their attention on tea.
There are many types of Ceylon tea mainly differing in the altitude of growth; there are low, medium and high grown estates at 2000, 2000-4000 and over 4000 feet respectively. Each level grows teas of unique character and Sri Lanka offer a wide variety of Ceylon teas by blending teas from different parts of the island.
The most popular brand of Ceylon tea is grown 5000 feet above sea level on former coffee plantations and is light and bright in color offering a crisp full brisk taste.
- Saint James
A copper colored tea that has a good aroma with a smooth and pronounced taste that is perfect for daytime tea drinking.
This tea features long wiry beautiful leaves and has a good body and strength.
This tea is grown and medium altitude plantations and has a deep amber color when brewed. It has a strong crisp and brisk flavor.
- Ceylon Blend
Ceylon tea from different parts of the island is blended to provide a wide choice of flavor and characteristics in both appearance and taste.