About Sri Lankan Tea
A Fertile Island Gem
Tea was introduced by the British to Sri Lanka from China and became the dominant cash crop when coffee production was disrupted by coffee blight in the 1870s. Tea production is predominantly of Black tea and most is sold at auction for export. The geography of the island of rolling plains around a mountainous region towards the south-west provides multiple micro-climates offering different conditions for tea production and accounts for the variety of tea styles, from smooth and dark low-grown teas to light, bright citrusy high-grown teas. The western and eastern sides of the mountains benefit from different weather patterns and consequently there are different quality seasons for these regions, whereas tea production in low-growing regions is all year round.
Strong, Characterful Black Teas
Ruhuna lies in the far south of Sri Lanka and was one of the last areas in the country to be planted with tea, around 1900. Most tea estates in the region lie on a fertile coastal plain between sea level and 600m. The soil and the low altitude of the area allow the bushes to grow rapidly, producing strong full-flavoured black teas. Forests and nature reserves in the east of the region are home to an amazing array of biodiversity including elephants, leopards, bears and a huge variety of birds. Try our Ceylon, Earl Grey or Ceylon & Rose, all sourced from this region.
The Home of High Grown Tea
Dimbula is one of Sri Lanka’s oldest tea regions, with the first bushes being planted in 1870. Situated high in the Western Highlands, the area was previously heavily forested and uninhabited. Dimbula teas are categorised as “high-grown”, and estates in the region range in altitude from 1250m – 1600m. For most of the year, Dimbula is wet and misty, with the best growing period being between January and early April, before the monsoons in summer. Dimbula teas are renowned for their distinct fragrance, freshness and mellow character. Try our Chai, sourced from this region.