The story of Ceylon Tea

Sri Lanka with one of the largest tea markets in the world though it is a smallest island. Pure Ceylon tea, both black tea and green tea, is a resource of rejuvenation, refreshment and good health. From the first stage of hand plucking the leaves to individual packaging of each bag is done with traditional tea making process while incorporating international standards into the manufacturing process. Sri Lankan heritage is passed into a cup of tea held around the world with the attention to detail by tea blenders and other professionals.

The country first started tea plantations during the British colonial era. The industry began to thrive with the efforts and development of the plantations and the infrastructure for transport. Since then Sri Lanka has throughout been maintaining the highest standards of tea required by the world over. The Pure Ceylon Tea logo is a standard depiction that the tea is of Pure Sri Lankan origin.

Types of Ceylon tea

black tea


This Ceylon black tea which is popular around the world for its refreshing taste and aroma has a stronger flavor and is more oxidized than regular oolongs, green teas or white teas. It is both of which can vary depending on the blend of tea created by the professionals in the industry. All teas come from the plant known scientifically as Camellia Sinensis and various leaves are plucked by hand. The process begins the fermentation process and when it’s ready for fermentation the rolling is stopped. After this in order to stop the fermentation process the cooled leaves are blow dried until the leaves turn black. Sifting them in the final process to separate the various graded.

green tea


Green tea is made from the leaves of Camellia Sinensis plant and are made from leaves which don’t go through the process of oxidation described in Black Teas. In order to prepare the green tea leaf, they must be steamed in order to stop the process of fermenting by eliminating the enzymes required for the tea leaf fermentation process. Following which the leaves are rolled traditionally or mechanically and then fire dried to dry them. This process is cycled several times until the leaves are entirely dried up. The method of drying leaves and rolling them is highly volatile because fermentation has to be avoided at all times. Green tea can be infused with various flavors.

white tea


White tea makes from leaves of the Camellia Sinensis which have been incompletely processed. The plucking method of the leaf is very specific. Two leaves and a bud are plucked just before sunrise to maintain the moisture in the leaves which has built up over the night. The processing method give this tea a very distinguishable flavor and appearance. After the destruction of the enzymes the leaves are either sun dried or mechanically dried. It is usually light in color and has a light green hue and the flavor is rather distinct. However, they are ranged higher in price since the volume of white tea is limited. It is considered as a higher valued tea in the international tea market.


Tea growing regions

The seven tea growing regions of Sri Lanka produces the best of Ceylon Tea. They are Kandy, Nuwaraeliya, Uda Pussellawa, Uva, Dimbula, Sabaragamuwa and Ruhuna. Eeach of the regions are known for producing teas of a particular character, unique to it's own regional conditions.


Nuwara Eliya

Delicately Fragrant

As Nuwara Eliya is unique, so is its tea, the fragrance of cypress trees and the menthol of wild mint and eucalyptus float through the air and contributes to the teas characteristic flavour. Recognized by tea connoisseurs, it has been said that Nuwara Eliya, at 6,250 feet (1,900 meters) above sea level for Ceylon tea is what champagne is to French wine. Brewed light it makes for a very smooth cup of tea that can also be iced for a refreshing difference.


Distinctively Unique

These teas uniqueness begins with the low elevations of its plantations. The southern part of Sri Lanka, though now traditionally known for its tea growing does produce an exceptional tea. Grown from sea level to about 2,000 feet (600 meters) above sea level, the particular condition of the soil gives the leaves blackness and imparts in the brew a strong and distinctive taste. A perfect cup for those who like there tea thick and sweet, with or without milk.

Uda Pussellawa

Exquisitely Tangy

Located east of Nuwara Eliya, the tea grown on the Uda Pussellawa mountain range experiences two periods of superior quality. The traditional eastern quality season from July to September is the peak but the dry, cold conditions of the first quarter of the year yield a range of rosy teas. Of medium body and subtle character these teas produced a majestic flavor.


Refreshingly Mellow

One of the earliest areas to be planted after tea took over from coffee in the 1870’s, Dimbulla is, perhaps the most famous name associated with Ceylon tea. The plantations, located at 3,500 to 5,500 feet (1,100 meters to 1,700 meters) above sea level, cover the western slopes of the district.

The monsoon rain and the cold dry weather produce a range of teas, from full bodied to light and delicate. Enjoy with or without milk.


Exotically Aromatic

Grown at an elevation between 3,500 to 5,500 feet (1,100 meters to 1,700 meters) above sea level, on the eastern slopes of Sri Lanka’s central mountains, the Uva teas have a truly unique flavour. These teas are commonly used in many different blends but, with there different characteristics, they can also be enjoyed on there own.


Intensely Fullbodied

An ancient capital of Ceylon, Kandy is also the first place where tea was grown in Sri Lanka. These mid country teas, grown on plantations at 2,000 to 4,000 feet (600 meters to 1,200 meters) produce a full bodied tea. Ideal for those who like their tea strong and bursting with flavour. Best served with milk



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History of Ceylon tea

James Taylor a Scottish nationalist who embarked Sri Lanka in 1866 was known as the first tea seed planter in a land called Loolecondera situated in Kandy during 1867. He had used his verandah as the factory and the tables to roll the tea leaf by hand. He sold his first teas locally which were popular as delicious among the locals.

By 1872, Taylor possessed a well-equipped factory and in the consecutive year he could sell his first quality teas at the London auction. His crop increased from 23 pounds in 1872 to 22,899.8 tons in 1890. He gained an unblemished fame through his dedication and diligence over the success in the Tea cultivation in Sri Lanka. The authorities of Sri Lanka built a museum at Loolecondera in 1992 in order to commemorate him.

In 1981 the Sri Lankan government introduced a land reform act and as a result 80 percent of the British owned Tea estates came under the control of the government leaving 1/3in private hands. This state-owned plantation was restructured in 1990 to involve the private sector as the Managing companies. Thus, the financial responsibility and control of the estates remained with the private managing companies retaining the ownership with the government.


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