A Guide To Ceylon Tea and Sri Lanka’s Tea Plantations

Tea Plantation, Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a small island that lies in the Bay of Bengal, just below the southeastern tip of India. It was formerly a British crown colony known as “Ceylon”. Sri Lankan teas have been reputed in the world tea market for centuries as “Pure Ceylon Tea”. Over 150 years of history, Sri Lanka has produced some of the finest quality teas, representing its uniqueness by being single origin teas (not Genetically Modified). For those who wish to experience the in depth and variety of the finest quality tea, there is no better choice than pure Ceylon Tea. 

The teas produced in Sri Lanka vary from small dust type teas to long leafy teas. Pure-orthodox black tea production is the most widely used method of black tea processing in Sri Lanka.  After processing, teas are divided into various grades as an indication of size or appearance of manufactured leaf. 

BOP (Broken Orange Pekoe) is one of the main tea grades produced from the Sri Lankan orthodox black tea manufacturing process. BOP is the most popular leaf size, which helps to bring out a good balance between the taste and strength of the tea’s liquor. True-to-grade BOP teas have well-made, medium sized, neat leaves without excessive stalk or fibers. Absence of fine particles (fannings & dust) can easily distinguish the difference between BOP and BOPF (Broken Orange Pekoe Fannings).

Organic Black Ceylon Tea by Sydney Tea

Green and lushly fertile lands in the Sri Lankan countryside produces seven different regional flavours, namely Nuwara Eliya, Uva, Dimbula, Uda Pussellawa, Kandy, Ruhuna and Sabaragamuwa. These represent the diversity of different agro climatic conditions in the region.  Rich mellow flavours, a golden color and pleasant natural aromas are the common characteristics of BOP graded tea produced in these regions of Ceylon. In addition, specific unique flavors and aromas due to the production of biochemical compounds in fresh tea leaves are present in these regions.

Polyphenols are the major chemical compounds present in fresh tea leaves. When producing BOP graded tea, polyphenols are subjected to a process called “Fermentation”. Fermentation allows polyphenols to transform in to catechins, theaflavins and thearubigins.

Ceylon teas, especially the grade BOP grades, are a rich source of these compounds which offer a variety of health benefits because it contains antioxidants and compounds that can help reduce inflammations in the body. Consuming them can help remove free radicals and decrease cell damage in the body. This ultimately may help decrease the risk of chronic diseases. Researchers who examined the role of theaflavins in black tea have concluded that theaflavins reduced cholesterol and blood sugar levels in the human body. Also, regularly drinking black tea may help decrease systolic and diastolic blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease via a reduction of LDL levels. Moreover, polyphenols and antimicrobial properties found in black tea may help to improve gut health and immunity.

Although consuming black tea will not cure cancer, it may help decrease cancer cell development by containing natural antioxidants. The most abundant amino acid in black tea is called L-theanine. When L-theanine is combined with caffeine, it increases alpha activity in the brain, which can help improve focus and alertness. Ceylon Black tea is a great option for a low-calorie, non-sweetened beverage with less caffeine than coffee or energy drinks.

Ceylon tea is one hundred percent ozone-friendly because Sri Lanka has been grown teas and produced BOP graded black teas without the use of any ozone-depleting substances. Therefore, when you reach for a cup of Ceylon Tea from Sydney Tea, you’re not only refreshing yourself, but also helping to refresh and renew an environmental resource critically important to all life on Earth.

Click here to purchase Sydney Tea’s Organic Black Ceylon Tea.