Ceylon, now known as Sri Lanka, may no longer carry its original name but not to worry because the name is still used in its major produce, the tea. Ceylon tea remains to be popular worldwide owing to its unique taste and richness.
Sri Lanka today boasts of a wide expanse of tea plantations spanning more than 188,000 hectares that produce some 298,000 tonnes of tea. Interestingly, the country’s tea produce makes up 19 percent of the world exports.
Ceylon tea, unknown to some people, come in different types. The most popular is the black tea followed by the green and white or the so-called silver tips.
Types of Ceylon Tea
The black tea has been Sri Lanka’s most famous tea for more than a century now. Producing this requires several steps such as the withering of the plucked leaves to lower its moisture content by 50 percent and rolling of the mechanical tea rollers to break them into parts. This black variety is considered the most oxidized and has more caffeine content than the other types.
Being close to the equator, Sri Lanka is the most ideal place to grow teas owing to its climate that is hot and moist. Its temperature which does not go beyond 95 degrees Fahrenheit and not below 55 degrees Fahrenheit is another plus.
Many people are now fond of the green tea owing to its health benefits and this reality has also prompted Sri Lanka to grow such product. In fact, the country now exports its green tea to the Middle East, Europe, North America and East Asia.
This variety is now produced in several estates in the mid-grown and high-grown districts. Green tea varieties produced in these estates include the longevity tea, rolled ‘gunpowder’ tea, green tea fannings and sencha gannings. What differs this tea from the others is its rich flavor.
White tea is the least processed of the Ceyln teas but still provides health benefits to people. It is also called ‘silver tips’ owing to its color after undergoing the manufacturing process. It has a mild and sweet flavor which make it popular among tea lovers around the globe.
Despite its name, the white tea is actually produced from the same plant as the black and green tea. The only difference is that its leaves and buds are left to wither in natural sunlight. It is also lightly processed to avoid oxidization.