Apart from cricket Sri Lanka is mostly recalled as a country that grows tea. Pure Ceylon Tea as a beverage has captivated the palates of tea connoisseurs from around the world. The majestic essence of fine Ceylon Tea owes much to its body, strength, colour and pungency.
Sir Thomas Lipton the Scottish tea magnet who made tea a popular beverage must be a very happy man in his grave. His single-minded dedication to tea has become one of the key Sri Lanka attractions worthy of his vision even to this day.
Nuwara Eliya is one of the best places to visit in Sri Lanka to get a glimpse of the tea, how it’s grown, plucked and manufactured. There are many renowned tea factories in Nuwara Eliya that will afford visitors a guided tour of the tea making process. Due to its climate, Nuwara Eliya is best known as the tea country of Sri Lanka. Tea is also cultivated in Uda Pussellawa, located between Kandy and Uva districts. Known for its scenic beauty and charming terrain Uva Province cultivates its own blends of teas along with Dimbula, Sabaragamuwa and Ruhuna districts.
What Time is Tea Time?
Sri Lankans have a penchant for consuming tea as one gets up in the morning, in the office, after breakfast and at tea time. Some also consume tea just before bedtime as a nightcap. It is also very common to offer a visitor a cup of tea in the office or for guests who visit homes at any time of the day. Consuming tea transcends all classes of society in Sri Lanka. One can enjoy a good cuppa of tea from a wayside boutique or at a star class hotel incommensurate ease, albeit the price.
#YohoTip The older generation of Sri Lankans will tell you that if your tea is not sweet enough (unless specifically asked for) that it might be a sign of not being welcomed!
Why Ceylon Tea Tastes Great
Sri Lankan tea tastes great due to the crystal clear groundwater used to cultivate this crop. Also, the water quality used in the brewing process culminates with a superior tasting cuppa. However, pundits argue that their no equal taste of tea anywhere as it differs greatly on how it is brewed and the type of leaf used. It is not uncommon for a seasoned tea taster to tell the estate of origin by having a sip.
Types of Available Tea
Black tea is the most prevalent type of tea available to consumers. Plus there are different types of grades ending with the dust variety. For the layman, it is not easy to grasp what constitutes a good cup of tea. But leafy varieties like Broken Orange Pekoe (BOP) gives a good taste of the tea. This can even be enjoyed without sugar and milk. Green tea is gaining acceptance in the developed world. However, one has to buy a pack of green tea from a supermarket to taste it here. White Tea or “Silver Tips” is very pricey as the name suggests and considered the Rolls Royce of tea. This type of tea is plucked early in the morning and handmade. It is considered very healthy as it has more antioxidants. Speciality gift tea boutiques are the place to stop for if one want this type of tea.
Where To Buy The Best Tea
Speciality gift tea in attractive packaging is available in most gift tea shops. Scattered around large malls and hotels in Colombo, Nuwara Eliya and Kandy these are not difficult to find. Also, supermarkets carry a popular variety of tea from different manufacturers. Want to learn more about the tea experience? Mlesna Tea Centres and Dilmah t-lounge are definitely worth the visit.
Dilmah t- lounge also offers a tea-infused cocktails with food, giving a new dimension to the ultimate tea experience.
There are many bungalows in Nuwara Eliya where one can spend a few days to experience verdant tea estates. One such bungalow is Yoho Tea Garden Cottage affording visitors a cosy abode to relax while witnessing outstanding views of the surroundings.