- Sri Lankan plantations
- How to choose Ceylon tea by region
- How to choose Ceylon tea by variety
- Original Ceylon Road Signs
- Useful properties of Ceylon tea
- How to brew Ceylon tea
- History of Ceylon Tea
Sri Lanka (until 1972 - Ceylon) is a small island, its area is only 65,610 square meters. km. But at the same time, as many as 200,000 hectares of tea plantations are located on its territory. By comparison, India, 50 times larger, has only 560,000 hectares set aside for plantations. The most valuable among these lands are, of course, highlands. On the second place of the ranking are averagely high and on the last place are flat. Accordingly, the price of a tea leaf varies depending on where the raw material was collected.
Experts distinguish seven main tea areas: Nuwara Eliya, Uda Pussellava, Dimbula, Uva, Kandy, Ruhuna and Sabaragamuwa. The taste and aroma of tea leaves collected in different territories is different, but the average consumer is unlikely to notice this difference. For the most part, all Sri Lankan tea has average characteristics: it is of consistently good quality, without pronounced characteristics. However, if it is important for you to get closer to buying the ideal, choose packages that show the "elite" areas of the Nuwara Eliya and Dimbula highlands. The classic tea in terms of taste parameters is harvested in Sabaragamuwa, where the most extensive plantations are located.
Sri Lanka has adopted a global tea classification based on the type of leaf and its processing. On the package you can see the label Orange Pekoe, OP or "Orange Pekoe", which in this case means tea consisting of medium-sized whole leaves. Among many varieties, teas consisting of whole leaves are valued higher than others, and teas with a high content of tips and unblown upper leaves - FTGFOP - are considered truly elite.
Richard Royal Ceylon Tea is a premium OP tea blend from the highlands of Sri Lanka.
It is believed that only the tea that was packaged in Sri Lanka with the traditional Sri Lankan coat of arms depicting a lion can be called genuine Ceylon tea. There used to be. At the same time, in order to get the coveted coat of arms for their products, manufacturers had to work hard to prove that their product met all the country's quality standards.
However, everything has changed. There are many plantations and producers on the island, moreover, a significant part of the raw materials are exported, on the basis of which such products as Richard Royal Ceylon, Ahmad Tea Ceylon, Dilmah Ceylon, etc. are created.
Today, Ceylon tea is any tea that is 100% made from raw materials grown in Sri Lanka. It can be black, green or even white. It may be a mixture of different plantations on the island. The main thing is that there should not even be a mixture of leaves from other regions in this tea mixture.
As for the lion logo, it's more of a tribute to tradition. If you're wondering exactly how to get and use the manufacturer's coveted crest, here's a quick reminder (it hasn't changed over the years):
- the lion logo may only be used on consumer packaging;
- the product must contain 100% pure Ceylon tea;
- the packaging must be manufactured in Sri Lanka only;
- A brand using the lion logo must meet the quality standards set by the Sri Lankan Tea Board.
In Sri Lanka, as in any tea region, the harvested leaves are processed in different ways to produce several types of tea. In this case black, green, white and oolong. But Ceylon green and even more white and oolong are quite rare. The classic black tea obtained by full fermentation is most often sold. Therefore, talking about the useful properties of Ceylon products, we can safely mention those related to black tea.
- Ceylon tea is rich in antioxidants (quercetin, myricetin, kaempferol, theaflavins, thearubigins, tannins).
- With regular use, tea can protect us from chronic cardiovascular diseases, as well as from oncology and the development of diabetes, lowering the blood sugar level of people in a pre-diabetic state.
- There is a possibility that it also balances the level of "bad" cholesterol (but research is still ongoing).
- In addition, black tea gives a feeling of energy, because it contains caffeine, and thanks to L-theanine, a pleasant feeling of relaxation.
Side effects of drinking Ceylon tea can usually only be caused by an overdose of caffeine:
- fast heartbeat,
- sleep disturbance,
But you have to drink a lot of hard liquor to get those effects. But that won't happen to you, because we'll tell you how to make Ceylon black tea the right way.
If we talk about classic black tea, then it must be brewed "according to the classics" - by pouring, using as hot water as possible, so that the dry leaf fully gave its beneficial properties.
Boil clean filtered or bottled water so that small bubbles just begin to rise to the surface..
- Rinse the teapot with hot water, then add 1 teaspoon of dry tea. per glass of finished drink (200 ml).
- Rinse the tea: Pour some boiled water into the teapot and strain immediately.
- Fill the teapot with as much water as needed (for 1, 2 or more servings) and let steep for 1-2 minutes.
- Pour the resulting infusion into glasses or cups without residue.
Enjoy a fresh, fragrant drink!
Ceylon tea goes well with milk, it can also be drunk with lemon and a little sugar.
Important to remember
It is extremely undesirable to leave the finished infusion in the teapot "for next time".
It is not recommended to infuse the tea for more than 5 minutes and then drink it undiluted (there may be an overabundance of caffeine).
It all started in the 16th century. It was then that the belligerent Portuguese conquered the beautiful island in the Indian Ocean, which the natives divided into several small kingdoms, called it Ceylon, and turned it into a huge cinnamon plantation, which was then in vogue.
In the 17th century, the Dutch anchored in the azure waters of their new colony: they not-so-politely asked the Portuguese conquerors to vacate the fertile lands. Not to bring them back to the native people, of course: the Dutch citizens themselves craved a tip.
But they didn't last long either: in the 18th century, the Dutch were replaced by the British, and until the end of the 20th century, all of Ceylon was a colony of the British Empire from edge to edge. And since the demand for cinnamon has long since declined, the British decided to grow coffee on the island.
They say that this coffee was good and in high demand in Europe, but by the end of the 19th century all the plants died due to pests. Just then Her Majesty's Road came on the scene. Thanks to well-established trade chains, the British were able to quickly develop the tea business on a ready-made infrastructure. It turned out to be even more promising than coffee. Soon, the brand "Ceylon tea" became known all over the world, and the phrase always stood for high quality.
And in 1972, the country got a new name - Sri Lanka, which means "blessed land". Passionate about breaking with the colonial past, its inhabitants were eager to get rid of all things "Ceylon", but in relation to the road, this would entail the loss of the world brand and the cost of new promotion. would be destructive to the industry. Fortunately, reason won over feelings: the name of the product remained the same. And although the name Ceylon has sunk into oblivion, the Ceylon tea still exists today.
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Author: Yelena Kocheshkova, journalist
Expert: Andrey Skidan, tea tester, tea technologist of the Richard brand
Translator: First name Last Name