Tea Tales

තේ – Ceylon Tea 

“Sri Lankan Tea” Vs. “Ceylon Tea”

tea1Sri Lanka was formerly known as Ceylon, controlled by the British Sovereignty, and it was the British who started cultivation of tea for the first time in this soil. Tea manufactured in Ceylon attained the reputation of being “the world’s finest tea”.

Worldwide the name of the country “Ceylon” became a trade mark of supreme quality & unique flavor. Independence of Ceylon expanded new horizons as in 1965 Ceylon became the world’s largest exporter of tea.

The country changed its name from “Ceylon” to “Sri Lanka” in 1972. But the deluxe industry; “Ceylon Tea”, faced with a complicated problem. “Ceylon” was not only the former name of the country, it was the world’s leading brand name. Since abandoning it and financing to promote a new brand “Sri Lankan Tea” would be disastrous, “Tea from Sri Lanka” was decided to be marketed as “Ceylon Tea” by the governing body.

History of Ceylon Tea

Ceylon Tea Tales begins with coffee. In 1815AD British took control over the entire island, but the cost of maintaining the military forces and infrastructure necessary to security was high-priced. Thus, attempts were made to raise revenue by vicious taxes on nationals; how to make the colony pay for itself and its garrison was a problem that had troubled successive governors since the first, Frederic North, took office in 1798.

To make the colony pay for itself, the first solution tried out was Coffee Experiments with coffee in 1824 by Governor Edward Barnes. The plant grew naturally in the central hill country. Barnes provided the infrastructure; road networks, railways enabling coffee-planters to get their produce to town. By 1870s Ceylon experienced a boom in the coffee industry, being the world’s largest coffee producer; “Ceylon Coffee”. But this fortune was to be momentary, as a coffee plant disease wiped out the entire Ceylon Coffee industry within the next decade.

JamesMeanwhile Scottish planter James Taylor had been experimenting with a new plant, planting along the edges of cross roads in his coffee-estate; “Loolecondera”. It was “Tea”. In 1866 he had prepared tea from the first leaves at his bungalow, following the process used by tea-planters in Assam, India.

Soon, planters from all over were visiting “Loolecondera” to learn how to grow and manufacture tea. Within a decade a new plantation industry was built upon the relics of the old. Ceylon Tea saved the day!

The World’s Finest Tea

estateCeylon tea was esteemed for its unparalleled quality and variety. The topography of the land, sunshine and rainfall intensities presented the ideal climatic conditions for tea plantation. Ceylon invented a new paradigm to tea by manufacturing distinctions in flavor, class, personality and looks, based on environmental context of the regions grown in.

Ceylon tea with its perfect flavor and personality

Won over tender hearts, in the tenderest of ways

In the simplest of ways

Humbly in a cup of Hot Water!

Tea Leaf Grading of Black Tea – OP, BOP, BOPF, Dust 1 ???

Tea leaf grading is the process of evaluating products based on the quality and condition of the tea leaves and is only applicable to Black Teas specially “Ceylon Black Teas” (not a universal grading system). The highest grades are referred to as “Orange Pekoe (OP)”, and the lowest as “Fannings (F)” or “Dust (D)”.

Pekoe; a word having a Chinese origin means “leaves of the Camellia sinensis” or simply “leaves of tea plant”. When tea leaves are crushed to make bagged teas, the letter “B (Broken)” is added, as in “Broken Orange Pekoe (BOP)”. The grades; Fannings and Dust, are tiny fragments created in the sorting and crushing processes, and the letter “F” is added at the end as in “Broken Orange Pekoe Fannings (BOPF)”.

Ceylon Black Tea grading is important because learning how to read these abbreviations (OP, BOP, BOPF etc.) and their meanings provide a information for you in choosing a flavor to suite your taste.

Small pieces of leaf give strongteaser liquor than whole leaf teas. Hence, if you require a black tea in a breakfast style blend, then go for a broken tea (look for the “B” at start) or Fannings (look for “F” or “D” at end). If your requirement is a mellow black tea, select one with high quantity of buds (Without “B” at start and “F or D” at the end).