Ceylon Tea

One of the reasons that Ceylon teas are regarded as some of the finest in the world is due to the unique and varying characteristics of teas such as taste, flavour, colour, strength, aroma, and appearance produced in each of the different tea growing regions.

Tea growing areas are categorized into different regions according to the elevation from sea level of a particular growing area as ‘High Grown’, ‘Mid Grown’ and ‘Low Grown’ regions.

The elevations are further differentiated by various districts as Kandy, Dimbula, Nuwara Eliya, Uda Pussellawa, Uva, Sabaragamuwa and Ruhuna and are identified by all leading tea buyers and traders of the World.

High Grown (3800-7000 feet above sea level) 

The High Grown regions consist of mainly large ‘Tea Estates/Plantations’ with resident worker populations and its own tea manufacturing factories. These plantations are owned by large companies based in Colombo, all listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange and also by few privately held companies. The high grown teas at present account for 30% of Sri Lanka’s production and these teas are generally bought by North American, Russian, German and Japanese buyers.

  • Dimbula Region

This agro climatic district is the most famous name in Ceylon Tea and is considered the prime planting district in Sri Lanka.
The district receives the south western monsoonal rains which has an impact on the quality of the Dimbula Tea. The cold nights and dry weather from January to March bring about a rage of teas from full bodied to light delicate flavor in different valleys.

  • Nuwara Eliya Region

Nuwara Eliya is a plateau at an elevation of 6240ft above sea level. The cold weather and freshness of the air always scented with the fragrance of cypress trees that grows in abundance in the area helps in producing a tea that is sought after by connoisseurs of tea world over. The tea itself is light in cup with exquisite flavour and aroma.

  • Uda Pussellawa

Uda pussellawa mountain range rise up from the boundary of Uva district at the lower end and joins up to Nuwara Eliya planting district at the highest point. It receives the north east monsoon rains as in the Uva district but does not produce teas of same flavour as in the Uva region.The estates closer to the Nuwara Eliya benefit from the cold weather conditions and is famous for producing a tea with a “rosy liquor”.

  • Uva Region (Mid to High grown)

Uva agro climatic planting district is situated in the eastern slopes of the central hills of Sri Lanka. The district is famous for its distinctive flavour and pungency during the ‘Uva quality season’ from July to September each year.

Mid Grown (2000-3800 feet) 

The Mid Grown region along with its large tea estates also has many privately owned tea factories operating solely on leaf purchased from leaf suppliers. The Mid Grown region is also seeing fast growth of “Tea Small Holder” plots thereby resulting in increased volumes of manufactured tea from this region. The mid grown tea production accounts for 10% of Sri Lanka’s production which produces orthodox Leaf y, Rotovane and CTC (Cut Twist and Curl) types of teas.

  • Kandy

The district boasts as the origin of the plantation industry in Sri Lanka starting with Coffee and thereafter Tea. Teas from this region are full bodied with colour and strength.

Low Grown (Sea level up to 2000 feet) 

The Low Grown regions consist of mainly “Tea Small Holder Plots” of land (extent ranging from a few perches up to 50 acres) and with privately owned factories purchasing the raw leaf for manufacture from small holders & suppliers. Here, tea growing is almost a home Industry. However, there are a few company owned large estates in the Low Grown regions as well. The Low Grown regions which produce orthodox large leaf are strong coloury teas which account for 60% of Sri Lanka’s tea production. These teas are generally headed to the Russian and Middle Eastern markets which are the two biggest buying regions of “Ceylon Tea”.

  • Ruhuna Region

The uniqueness of the Ruhuna tea is the blackness of the leaf and the strength and character in the cup. It offers a stylish range of leafy teas. The district is in the midst of the national heritage forest reserve “Sinharaja”, a congenial atmosphere is created by this forest reserve for the plantations bordering the reserve. The region mainly receives South West Monsoon rains. The tea bushes thrive in the warm weather conditions and the fertile soils of the district.