Ceylon tea – history and heritage story

Ceylon tea – history and heritage story

Sri Lanka , a tropical island in the Indian Ocean, is known by many names around the world, such as Serendib , Taprobane and Ceylon . The name " Serendib " gave the English language the word " serendipity ", which meant " welcome surprise ". Nevertheless, " Ceylon Tea " was undoubtedly a key factor that helped make " Ceylon " a household name throughout the world.

How were the first tea plantations established on the island?

Considering how successful tea is grown in Sri Lanka , it may be surprising to learn that its birth on the island was completely accidental . It can even be said that they occurred as a result of the death of the coffee industry . The cultivation of coffee plantations was introduced in the 19th century by the British , when Sri Lanka was their colony. These areas flourished for only a few years until they were hit by a devastating disease . This was a disaster for the island's economy, as coffee was a key revenue generator . As a result, the colonial authorities were forced to look for an alternative. It was then that James Taylor planted the first tea crop on just 19 acres of land called " Loolecondera Estate " near the Hill Capital of Kandy. The new crops became a milestone that changed the country's economy and culture forever . Other planters followed suit , and by 1877 the first recorded shipment of tea was to England . Within a decade, a new , thriving tea industry was built on the ruins of the coffee industry .

A photo of British colonists

What are the hallmarks of tea?

The hallmark of Ceylon tea is its unrivaled quality . This gave rise to the premise that this infusion is the " purest tea " in the world. The key factors influencing the quality of the drink include unique hand-plucking techniques, passed down from generation to generation. Thanks to them, only the freshest buds are picked . Commercial machine harvesting cannot guarantee this quality. These high standards have helped Ceylon tea compare with the best teas in the world and gain a solid understanding of its global exports. It is currently one of the main pillars of the Sri Lankan economy , generating over 200 billion rupees in export revenues, providing direct and indirect income to thousands of people on the island of Ceylon.

In what conditions is tea grown?

It is produced in an unrivaled environment with ideal climatic conditions that enable year-round harvesting . Weather mix; rain , fog and periods of drought combined with hand picking have resulted in a range of distinct and delicious flavours . In Sri Lanka, tea is grown in 6 different regions across the country . Namely, they are Nuwaraeliya , Kandy , Dimbula , Radella , Ruhuna and Uva . Different climates, altitudes and soil types mean that each of these places produces teas with a different character and taste .

Black Ceylon tea in a decorative colorful tin

What makes Ceylon tea special?

Pure Ceylon tea stands out from other infusions in all its glory ! The hypnotizing taste will take you away from everyday stress ; just drink a small sip of it. In Sri Lanka, people drink tea as often as possible because everyone wants a fresh cup of tea. Therefore, the history of tea goes back to the famous past when proud members of the royal family experienced the wonderful taste of Ceylon essence .

The tropical island provides the best fertile soil and flowering tea bushes . This gives us the opportunity to drink several different varieties , such as black, green and white tea . The first one has never been a choice for Sri Lankans, but a necessity because it accompanies them from childhood to adulthood! Black tea with milk and sugar is the way they start the day, and complement their evenings with a cup of warm milk infusion , which brings relaxation. Strong black tea is simply called " plain tea " by locals. They usually drink it in the afternoon before lunch , holding some sugar in their hands to lick and sip. Simple practice is their delight .

The combination of Ceylon tea and Sri Lankan tropical fruits gives rise to a range of blends that are rich and juicy (fruit flavored tea). The demand for morning teas such as Earl Gray tea is constantly growing , which is why they are very popular . A distinctive , irreplaceable taste is obtained by using Ceylon tea , which explains its high quality and exquisite aroma .

The pride and joy of the country , tea that will not lose its reputation, is given special care. From carefully planted , harvested , produced to packaged , Ceylon tea reaches your hands after much care and attention . Ceylon tea remains true in our hearts and it is a great honor that we can still drink it today!

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