Sri Lanka, a small island nation in the Indian Ocean also known as Ceylon, boasts of being one of the world’s largest producers of tea. The industry, which has a rich history dating back to the 1860s, was introduced by British planters who capitalized on the island’s favorable climate and soil conditions.
Today, Sri Lanka produces an impressive variety of teas, including black tea, green tea, and white tea. Among the most popular are the Ceylon black tea, known for its strong, robust flavor and widely used as a base for blends like the classic English Breakfast tea. The Ceylon green tea, on the other hand, is processed differently from the black tea and is renowned for its lighter color and flavor, as well as its numerous health benefits attributed to its high levels of antioxidants. The Ceylon white tea, made from the youngest leaves and buds of the tea plant, has the most delicate and subtle flavor and is prized for its light, floral notes.
Sri Lanka’s tea plantations are situated in the central highlands of the country, mainly in Nuwara Eliya, Dimbula, and Uva regions. Many of these plantations open their doors to visitors who are treated to tea tours and tastings, gaining insights into the history, culture, and production process of the country’s tea industry.
The tea industry is a vital component of Sri Lanka’s economy and culture, and its teas are well-loved and appreciated by tea lovers worldwide.