Ceylon (Srilanka) tea
When you think of countries that produce tea, most likely China, U.K and India come to mind. One great producer of tea that's often overlooked is Sri Lanka. While Sri Lankan tea is not as old as Chinese tea, it's commonly drank worldwide. The main tea that stands out above the rest is Ceylon tea.
A few facts about Ceylon tea
While Ceylon tea is native to Sri Lanka, it was actually discovered by a Scottish person! Alongside this, it has a range of different health benefits and is packed with many antioxidants. Regarding its benefits, though, it can vary based on the type of Ceylon tea.
What is Ceylon tea?
Ceylon tea is a form of tea produced in the Sri Lankan highlands. The tea was given this name because Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon before it was colonized. Today it's a key part of Sri Lanka's culture and identity. Just like other forms of tea, Ceylon tea is dried and processed leaves from a tea plant. Ceylon tea is renowned for its distinct flavor and large amounts of antioxidants.
Regions of growing
While the flavor of Ceylon is distinct, it can have different characteristics based on the area it's grown in. The main areas in Sri Lanka it grows are:
Ceylon tea is commonly grown in the central area of Sri Lanka in areas such as Nuwara Eliya and Kandy. In Nuwara, Ceylon is grown at a high altitude of 6,200 feet above sea level at a lower temperature. The tea from Nuwara tends to be a greenish-yellow color and is pale. At the same time, Kandy produces a range and different styles of Ceylon tea at a range of elevations. The teas from Kandy tend to have a copper tone with bright infusions.
Ceylon tea from Uva grows at an elevation of 3000-5000 feet. This type of tea is distinct and commonly used in different blends of tea. Mainly the tea comes from Bandarawela, Badulla, and Haputale.
In the southern province of Sri Lanka, Ceylon tea is grown at a low altitude at an elevation of 2000 feet or above. Due to the warm weather conditions, the teas tend to have a strong malty flavor and warm color.
Tea grown in this area tends to come from a wide range of altitudes. This type of Ceylon has a dark yellowish-brown hint of red and a sweet caramel aroma. They're not as strong as the southern Ceylon teas.
Types of every kind of tea
While Ceylon tea is popular all over the world, you can usually get it in three different types, which are:
This type of Ceylon tea has a unique manufacturing process: taking plucked withering leaves to help reduce the moisture content by half. This type of tea is the most oxidized out of them all and has more caffeine too. It's grown in a hot climate and has a honey golden liquor look; it will be browner if it's low grown.
Ceylon green tea is high in antioxidants and has a full body to it. Its flavor tends to be rich, malty, and nutty. These green teas tend to be different from others in the world and tend to be darker.
Ceylon White tea has a sweet flavor called "Silver Tips" as the color transforms during the manufacturing process. This type of Ceylon tea tends to be the most expensive in all of Sri Lanka.
What to look for in Ceylon tea?
When looking to buy Ceylon tea, you should consider the following:
Many companies nowadays tend to brand their tea as Ceylon. Due to the large amounts of teas being named Ceylon, it's become priceless invaluable, and questionable how pure the tea is. To know that it's pure, you will want to look out for a specific logo with the trademark lion. This has been made by the Sri Lankan trade board and is known all over the world.
All Ceylon tea has caffeine; however, based on your preference, you should look for caffeine levels in it. Most of the time, Ceylon teabags contain more caffeine than tea leaves. Plus, the steeping time can affect the caffeine too.
Best Ceylon tea
Overall, there's a range of tasty Ceylon teas available on the market. Ceylon tea is not limited to growing at a certain altitude. It can be grown at a range of different altitudes and temperatures. The best and most genuine Ceylon tea has a signature lion logo given by the Sri Lankan government on its packaging.
Does Ceylon tea have caffeine?
Yes, Ceylon tea has caffeine, around 14-61mg based on the serving. It's perfectly ok to consume this too, but make sure you don't have too much and consume it in moderation.
What does Ceylon tea taste like?
Ceylon tea tends to have a light and sweet taste to it. Compared to other types of tea, it's not that strong nor robust, but it's still enjoyable and not bitter.
What is an orange beak?
You might think that orange juice is a type of orange tea; is not. Orange pekoe is a type of black tea, and the main difference is that it has a different gradation. Orange Pekoe is a classification of black tea based on the origin of the leaf. The tea branch should consist exclusively of new flushes - the flush is the tip of the branch plucked from the two youngest leaves. (Any other leaves make bad tea.)
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