About Ceylon Tea

Sri-LankaThe production of black tea in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) began after a deadly fungus destroyed most of the coffee crop on the Island in 1860s. The coffee plantation owners realized that they needed to diversify. It was in 1867 that Scotsman James Taylor planted 20 acres (approx. 8 hectares) of tea on the Loolecondera estate of which he was superintendent, leading Taylor to be known as having planted the first tea estate in Sri Lanka.

The tea that James Taylor made was delicious and sold for a very good price in the London Tea Auction creating a tea craze in Ceylon. By 1890 tea production was at 22,900 tons, up from just a mere 23 pounds between 1873 and 1880.

Today, Sri Lanka ranks as the 3rd biggest tea-producing country globally, has a production share of 9% in the international sphere, and is one of the world’s leading exporters with a share of around 19% of the global demand. The total extent of land under tea cultivation has been assessed at approximately 187,309 hectares.

The tea growing areas are mainly grouped according to their elevations, with High Growns ranging from 1200m upwards, Medium Growns covering between 600m to 1200m, and Low Growns from sea level up to 600m.

High grown teas from Sri Lanka are reputed for their taste and aroma. The two types of seasonal tea produced in these areas Dimbula and Nuwara Eliya are much sought after by blenders in tea-importing countries. Uva teas from Eastern Highlands contain unique seasonal characters and are widely used in many quality blends. The medium grown teas provide a thick coloury variety.