Fancy some Ceylon tea? Sri Lanka’s got you covered.
Sri Lanka tours don’t exactly show off the country’s tea plantations. Tea doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves. When the British saw that coffee plantations in the country were being ridden with disease, they came to the realization that the soil and the weather conditions are perfect to grow tea. And so it began in the early 1800s and Sri Lanka hasn’t looked back since. Sri Lanka contributes to 11% of the world’s tea production. This is by no means a small feat for a country of Sri Lanka’s size.
A cup of Tea
The types of Tea and what they mean for business
The most popular is black tea. The other two that are produced are green and white tea. The freshest leaves found at the top of the tree becomes white tea. The rest become green and black tea. This is why white tea is the most expensive type of tea. Tea flowers are also picked which gives a unique flavour to the tea.
A Sri Lankan tea plantation
Ceylon tea is sometimes referred to as just Sri Lankan tea. It has a specific taste that is easily recognizable in the world of tea. The leaves themselves are longer and thinner, so they stand out when compared to other tea leaves. Ceylon tea leaves are almost always processed by hand. This gives the tea itself a very personal touch that is unique in a world that has automated the production and processing of beverages like tea and coffee.
Ceylon Tea Leaves
Ceylon tea has many positive effects on the body ranging from increased immunity to better heart health all the way to weight loss and diabetes prevention. It can be consumed cold, hot, as black tea or even with milk. This makes it a very good type of tea for those who like variety in the way they consume it.
The Lipton-Lanka Connection
Sir Thomas Lipton is the well-celebrated founder of the popular Lipton Tea brand. Lipton Tea has a 26.5% market share in the US alone. This popular tea brand has its roots in Sri Lanka. When Sir Thomas started a chain of grocery stores in Glasgow, he noticed that his customers loved tea. He sensed an opportunity there and decided to buy his own tea plantation in Ceylon, Sri Lanka. He introduced a cable car system in his plantation that increased the speed of the transport of leaves from his plantation to the markets.
Sir Thomas Lipton
It is Sir Thomas’ genius in marketing that propelled Lipton to be the giant it is today. Sir Thomas was considered an entertainer in his own right and did all sorts of publicity stunts like issuing Lipton currency notes and much more. What Sir Thomas did best, however, was to change the way tea was viewed at the time. While most viewed it as a luxury, Lipton succeeded in changing this public mindset and helped them look at tea as a commodity that everyone could enjoy. This resulted in the larger public celebrating Sir Thomas and indulging in his tea which grew to be the brand we know today.
Only a small dip into the Tea
This article wasn’t written with the intention of helping its reader learn everything there is to know about Sri Lanka and its rich tea history. It is merely to show you a glimpse of what you may get a chance to explore if you get a chance to visit one day. Here’s to you exploring the many facets of Sri Lanka. Until then, sip safe.