Buy Ceylon Tea Online From Sri Lanka
When people think about Ceylon Tea, images of vast landscapes with high plateaus and bustling towns come to mind. It is the lifeblood of the island nation, a symbol of Sri Lanka’s tenacity in the face of perilous odds. You can find out more below or, simply, buy Ceylon Tea from The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company. We pack each type fresh to order, ensuring quality and consistency.
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What is Ceylon Tea?
Ceylon Tea is Black Tea from Sri Lanka (known officially as the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka). While other types exist, including Ceylon Green Tea, the name is tied almost exclusively with fully-oxidised leaves. The country - formerly called Ceylon - is today the fourth largest Tea producer globally, accounting for over 20% of the world’s total output.
The lush, green, fertile island, situated in the Bay of Bengal below the southeastern tip of India, boasts extraordinary Tea-growing conditions. However, unlike Chinese Tea, which dates back some 5,000 years, Sri Lanka’s Tea production has only been taking place for the last two centuries. And its relatively young history arguably began not in its own highlands, but those of Scotland.
Best Ceylon Black Tea - Where it Began
Scotland was where James Taylor, who would eventually become a famous Tea planter, was born in 1835. His influence would come later. In the meantime, with British rule fully established in Ceylon following the defeat of the last native holdout in Kandy in the 1820s, a new industry was created. It was not Tea, however, but Coffee, which went well initially - until disaster struck.
The first signs of a plant-based disease called Coffee-Rust appeared in 1869, decimating crops and, in turn, the livelihoods of countless people. Ceylon was heading towards economic ruin. Yet, hope came in the form of a Scotsman who, 18 years earlier, had moved to the colony and purchased the Kandy-based estate, Loolecondera. He had already planted 19 acres of Tea when Coffee-Rust took hold.
In 1872, just three years after the outbreak, Taylor established a fully-equipped Tea factory. That same year, he made the first sale of Ceylon Black Tea. The year following, in 1873, the Scot sent a shipment to an auction in London, marking the first international sale. Planters eventually came from across the island to learn the art of cultivating it. And their endeavours didn’t go unnoticed.
The world-renowned author of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, wrote of the struggles: “a rotten fungus drove a whole community through years of despair to one of the greatest commercial victories which pluck and ingenuity ever won… the tea-fields of Ceylon are as true a monument to courage as is the lion at Waterloo.”
Why is it Called Ceylon Tea?
The word “Ceylon” is a remnant of the British Empire. The country attained independence from its former colonial overseers in 1948, although it didn’t change its name to “Sri Lanka” until 1972. The government was then faced with a potentially dire logistical issue: “Ceylon Tea,” as it was still known, was popular worldwide. Could the nation risk changing the name of the product, too?
Sri Lanka decided to maintain the phrasing associated with what had become an economic staple. They hoped that, in doing so, it would avoid the fate of falling into obscurity. It worked. Few people today know this infusion as “Sri Lanka Tea,” however accurate it might be. They instead use the term, Ceylon Tea. But where is Ceylon Tea from, exactly? Which regions grow it?
Where Does Ceylon Tea Come From?
Tea Estates cover an estimated 4% of Sri Lanka’s landmass. Such is their abundance that the country has become known as the “Island of Tea.” Growing areas find themselves primarily on flat plains, particularly in the south. In other regions, mountains rise to heights of up to 2,400 metres above sea level. It is here, connoisseurs say, that that most-prized Tea comes from.
Overall, around one million people - nearly 5% of the population - work in the industry. They harvest and process the leaves between June and August in the east and from early-February to mid-March in the west. Ceylon Tea characteristics differ significantly depending on its origins. The primary districts are Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Uva, Dimbula and Ruhunu / Ratnapura.
- Kandy: This is the original home of Ceylon Loose Tea. It lies on the northern side of the Central Highlands at altitudes some 1,200 metres above sea level. Tea from Kandy is what people would classify as “mid-grown,” with most estates located on the western slopes of the nearby hills. These infusions tend to be strong and full-bodied.
- Nuwara Eliya: Located at elevations of around 1,800 metres, Nuwara Eliya is the highest part of Sri Lanka - which shows in the Tea it produces. An infusion from here often has a delicate, floral fragrance and a light, brisk flavour. Many connoisseurs consider it the best of the best, with popular choices including Ceylon Lovers Leap Tea and Ceylon Tea BOP Nuwara Eliya Alton.
- Uva: Although some call Uva a “district,” it is, in fact, a Province. Nevertheless, it remains sparsely populated and, as a result, relies heavily on Tea production to sustain the economy. The area itself lies to the east of the country’s high plateaus. Most estates are at elevations between 900 and 1,500 metres above sea level. The Tea, meanwhile, is sweet and woody.
- Dimbula: This particular region finds itself between two high plateaus in Central Province. Its name comes from the valley that lies in its heart. When it comes to the general taste of Ceylon Loose Tea from here, which is “high-grown,” you can expect refreshingly mellow notes. Such is the case with our ever-popular Ceylon Tea BOP Dimbula Gouravilla.
- Ruhuna / Ratnapura: Boasting low hills and plains, good soils and a favourable microclimate, this district is much underrated. Although Ceylon Tea from Ruhana / Ratnapura doesn’t have the same fame as those from Kandy, say, they have a great deal to offer. Production first started here in the 20th century. Since then, its Tea has become known for its punchy flavour.
Does Ceylon Tea Have Caffeine?
Caffeine is a stimulant found in around 60 plants. Most famous, perhaps, is Fresh Coffee. Is Ceylon Black Tea caffeinated as well? Any so-called “real” Tea from the Camellia sinensis (Tea) plant contains caffeine, be it Black, Green, White or Oolong. The difference between each variety happens at the factory, whereby the processing of the leaves changes the amount within.
Ceylon Black Tea caffeine is the highest as it undergoes the most oxidation. You can expect around 45-mg per 8-oz cup. Then there is Oolong, which has approximately 35-37-mg, Green Tea with 30-mg and Ceylon White Tea with 15-mg. Yet, it prompts another question: can you have Ceylon Tea during pregnancy? Is it safe, or should it be avoided at all costs?
Is Ceylon Tea Safe During Pregnancy?
Ceylon Tea’s caffeine amount might raise concerns in expecting mothers. According to NHS Choices, pregnant women should not have more than 200-mg of the stimulant daily. This is typically the equivalent of two cups of Coffee, four cups of Black Tea, five cups of Oolong and eight cups of White Tea. The bottom line is that, while you can enjoy a couple of cups, moderation appears to be critical.
Ceylon Tea Calories
Then there is the question of whether it is a beverage to keep you in shape or an indulgent treat reserved for special occasions. The truth is that, in a way, it can be both. While delicious and so seemingly naughty, it has no more than two calories per serving. That’s great news among those who’re looking to cut down their intake or move away from sugary, fatty soft drinks.
Ceylon Tea Nutrition
A wealth of vitamins, minerals and other antioxidants exist in Ceylon Black Tea Leaves. Among them are Vitamins B-2, B-5, B-9 and D, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium, Sodium, Theaflavin and Thearubigin - to name but a few. These combined can slow oxidative stress in the body, thereby reducing the risk of developing a multitude of chronic conditions. And that’s only the beginning.
Ceylon Tea Benefits and Side Effects
Is Ceylon Tea good for you? You can count on it. Its constituents go further to support the immune system, aid digestion and even relieve mild anxiety. Additionally, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it can enhance cognitive function. The research concluded that those who drank 6-10 cups a day had a 63% lower chance of dementia.
Then there is its ability to promote weight loss. This happens because it boosts the metabolism of fat cells, enabling the body to burn fat quicker and more efficiently. The result is a greater capacity to drop pounds while exercising. And if that wasn’t enough, a US-Swedish collaborative study has found that it maintains healthy teeth by suppressing bacteria in the mouth. It couldn’t be better.
Ceylon Black Tea Side Effects
However, there are also Ceylon Tea side effects worth noting - namely from its caffeine. Most common are instances of jitteriness and sleeplessness following overconsumption. Other issues that might arise include headaches, increased urination, irregular heartbeat, nausea and vomiting, and ringing in the ears. Should you experience any discomfort after drinking it, we urge you to speak to a medical professional.
How to Brew Ceylon Tea
All that’s left is to learn how to brew Ceylon Tea. While making a cuppa from Tea Bags is relatively self-explanatory, using Loose Leaf Ceylon Black Tea might require a little more effort. You’ll first need to buy either a Tea Filter or Infuser to avoid unnecessary mess. Once you have one of these items to hand, as well as, of course, the Tea itself, please follow the instructions here:
1, Put Loose Tea in a Filter or Infuser.
2, Place the Tea-filled accessory in a cup.
3, Boil water and pour it over the Tea.
4, Allow it to steep for 3-5 minutes.
How to Serve: Milk or Milk Alternatives, sugar, honey or lemon - the choice is yours. Alternatively, serve black.