COUNTRY - LOW GROWN TEAS
Most of the low grown
teas hail from the South of the Island, or more precisely, South
West. The bushes are cultivated from sea level up to at least 610
meters above sea level.
The fertile soil of
this area yields a quality to the leaf of the low country teas
resulting in a robust malty, sweet flavour. Often, the Low Country
teas are used in blends, but they can be lovely on their own and some
are highly prised and sought after by connoisseurs from the Middle
East, especially the teas of Galle.
The Low Country teas
have a splendid show of golden and silver tip, a robust sweet malt
flavour which can be taken with or without milk.
Low Country Sub Districts
This is where one
finds the beautiful Sinharaja Rainforest, a protected reserve and one
of Sri Lanka's most pleasant refuges of natural beauty. It is really
quite breathtaking here. The rich aromas of the jungle are certainly
prevalent in the teas.
The area is subject to
the South West Monsoon, which could very well inflict a lot of damage
to the tea bushes here if it were not for the protective forest belt
which keeps the winds at bay.
Some of the brighter
varieties of tea from this sub district are also quite popular in the
from the Deniyaya district have similar, if not the same,
characteristics of teas from Ratnapura/Balangoda. Deniyaya lies south
of Ratnapura, and the liquors of the teas from this area are not so
dark as some of their southern counterparts, but lighter and brighter
in the cup, and are gaining popularity in the European market.
lies on part of the most southerly tip of Sri Lanka, notfar from Dondra Head, where Blue,
Humpback and Sperm whales can be sighted often between the months of
November to April.
tea plantations around Marata lie practically at sea level, where the
Nilwala Ganga and mountain springs descend to feed and
the finest teas that are sought after in Eastern and Western markets
Galle. They often tend to be rich full bodied and malty with lots of
chocolate and sweet fruity notes . They do take milk well, but to be
fully appreciated, we recommend you try them without. Our Wijaya
Estate FBOP Ex Sp comes from Galle. And it really is a marvellous
COUNTRY - MEDIUM GROWN
is the Ancient Royal capital of Sri lanka, and it is here that the
Sacred Tooth Relic resides, in the Temple of the Tooth, by beautiful
Kandy Lake. The fabulous Esala Perahera takes place here in the
months of July or August, depending on the lunar calendar, or Poya (
full moon) day.
is a splendid event and not one to be missed if visiting at this
time. The citu comes alive with lights, music, elephants decked out
in the highest of finery, dancers, singers, and drummers. The Eslala
Perahera was established by King Rajasinghe in the 18thC. for the public to venerate the relic, as it was the kings own
private relic for the rest of the year. Kandy rests in a small valley
surrounded by hills with roads of hairpin turns and dotted with
numerous guest houses with lovely views over the town, especially
from the Rajipahilla Mawatha.
area about Kandy is known for its Mid Country teas which
are grown at elevations between 600
– 1200 meters above sea level.
hills are a range of the Central massif that extends to Nilambe,
Kotmale, and Gampaha.
in the hills and valleys where tea is grown, is an area guarded from
the the stronger monsoon weather, and is not so exposed, which
results in a stronger, darker tea.
plantations near Hewaheta, though are exposed to weather changes
brought by the South East monsoon, and the teas acquire a flavour
characteristicof what is known as the Eastern QualitySeason, which lasts from July to September and yieldsa good full bodied strong tea with earthy Muscat notes.
Loolecondera Estate is located in the hills near Hewaheta.
teas grown about the area of Matale are strong, with a good colour to
them. Matale is a town situated on the road south of Dambulla, when
coming into Kandy from the Cultural Triangle. If you have not been
before, it is the area between Matale and Kandy where you first enter
the 'tea hills', and where
carpeting the landscape with their gardens, first become visible. It
is also in this area where you will encounter the peaks of the
Madukelle, Knuckles, and Rangala Mountain ranges.
HIGH GROWN TEAS
teas from Uva are characteristic of a distinct pungency and flavour
associated with the drying 'cachan' winds that sweep across the area from the East,
especially during the months from July to September. The tea bushes
here lie exposed to the drying winds which causes an alteration in
the chemistry of the leaf, which tends to close up when exposed to these winds, sending a chemical reaction to the base of the leaf whcich lends the title 'Uva
Quality' to the teas. But these flavours are prevalent throughout the year, only,
during this season, between July and October, are they more pronounced and the teas yeild their finest 'Uva Season' crops.
Uva teas that grow outwith the months of July to September are
blended, but this is not necessary for they are still beautiful teas on
their own. If you purchase a blended Ceylon tea you will often find an Uva has been added to it, and some blends do have these distincitive wintergreen notes.
Uva district boasts of some of the most dramatic mountain scenery on
the Island, where the town of Ella lies nestled among the hills are
some incredible views across the Ella Gap looking south.
Our Amba Estate teas come from Uva.
teas from Uva have characteristics of full flowery pungency, and are
strong flavoured and beautifully smooth. There is something earthy
about them but not spicy like the strong low grown teas; these are
not so dark in the cup but their perfume is very heady and wonderful with the distinctive wintergreen notes that Uva teas are famous for.
We wonder if here is one tea in which one can 'taste the wind'.
is the heartland where the most famous of Uva Teas grow and the teas
from this sub district possess all the flower pungent flavours which
Uva teas are renowned for.
teas here produce a fine robust liquor , a round pungency and a
smooth mouth feel.
is also known as small Adam's Peak, and is one of Sri lanka's highest
mountains. The teas that grow on the slopes about Ella and Namunkuna
are a medium strength tea with a lovely mild Uva character.
teas come from here, with the same Uva pungency but not as strong.
area is famous for its spectacular views over the low country. The
best time to experience this is at dawn, to watch the mists rise with
what I have described as 'angels rising to kiss the mountains' .
is near Haputale where the great Thomas Lipton himself had, like
James Taylor, established his
over looking the countryside, which is a short ascent to witness some
of the most spectacular views. It is said that most of the Island can
be seen from this vantage point, and when next we are in Sri Lanka we
hope to do this climb.
in the foothills of Uva, the Estates yield a stronger more full
bodied, earthy liquor. A good morning tea to take one on the road.
region merits having a classification all of its own. Uda Pussallawa
lies between the fringes of the Uva District and Nuwara Eliya and
although the tea grown here is influenced by the same climate as Uva,
it experiences two periods ( or seasons) which yield superior quality teas.
area enjoys both what are known as the Eastern and Western Seasons,
due to its geographic location but I will need to confirm this).
The Eastern Quality Season falls between July to September, and
Western Quality Season , from January to April.
plantations which lie closest to Nuwara Eliya also experience the
same cold conditions as the Nuwara Eliya teas, which yield lovely
floral and rose notes .
TO HIGH GROWN TEAS
area of Dimbula rises as a vast area of mountains and valleys from
1'066 – 1'524 meters above sea level. These hills and valleys
stretch from Hatton and Dickoya to Talawakelle and Nuwara Eliya. This
area known, in general, as Dimbula, houses a number of some of the
best tea estates on the Island and a concentration of most of them,
which is one reason why we stock a number of different Estates from this area,
although each in its own right has subtle characteristic differences,
the same as would
from a particular region in
a wine growing country.
it's always delightful to draw comparisons while tasting and being
surprised with particular notes.
is one of the regions where tea was first planted in the 1870's,
where the quality of the tea is highly influenced by the South West
Monsoon rains, and the cold dry winds that affect the area from
January to March , bring changes to the teas which vary, from valley
Dimbula area is so vast that the teas grown here can range from full
light and delicate, and sweetly fragrant. Our Ratnapura FOP comes
from the Dimbula region, and is a Western Medium tea.
Dimbula Sub Disticts
area and towns of Hatton and Dickoya lie at the foothills of Sri Pada
( Adam's Peak) an which has been an important pilgrimage mountain for
at least 1'000 years. It is said that this is where Adam first set
foot upon the earth, and where the imprint of the sacred footprint of
the Buddha can be seen, but also, it is called Samanalakande, or the
Butterfly Mountain, a place where the butterflies go to die.
mountain can be accessed from here, at Dalhousie which is the
starting point for the shorter climb to the top. To see the sunrise
on Christmas morning, was our intention and we did see it; a dawning
which was bright, beautiful, and serene. I felt amazing.
teas that come form this area are mellow and cheery with a bright
liquor in the cup.
area is known as the 'Golden Valley' where the sun kissed green gold
of tea bushes can be shrouded in mists milk and warm or cool and thick, which rise from the humid valleys and embrace the hills. It
is really lovely here, not just for the full bodies morning cup of
liquid gold the teas that grow here are famous for, but that it truly
feels as though here one is in its Ancient place name, the 'Plains
of the Gods.' The Elysian Fields of Sri Lanka.
you will find the Leopard Rock, and the entire flora and fauna of the
area is resplendent with jungle life – where leopards roam, along
with wild boar, deer, elk, and a plethora of bird species make their
of the teas in this area yield a full bodied full flavoured liquor,
wonderful to greet the the morning with.
teas from this sub district are lighter and rosier, and grow at the
foot of Sri Pada.
full strength teas which are so characteristic of Dimbula.
OYA / LINDULA / TALAWAKELLE
teas grown here are full bodies, lively and refreshing but with
certain teas, such as the Bambarakelly FBOP which we stock, who's
gardens lie closer to Nuwara Eliya, tend to be lighter and more
area yields a very special class of Ceylon tea where the conditions
for growing tea here are so ideal that there is no rival. The
combined characteristics that emerge from the climate and soil are so
complete here that this sub district yields some of the finest
classic Dimbula Ceylon's.Our exceptional Dayagama FBOP and Clydesdale BOPF ( Clydesdale is a
selling mark for the Balmoral Estate), both
come from Agarapatana.
Eliya means 'City of Light in Sinhala and Tamil. It lies high on a
plateau in the highest region of the Central Massif and it is here
where the real 'Champagne' teas are grown. It is an area of great
scenic beauty of forest, hills and meadowland and wilderness. The
town itself stands at about 1890 meters above sea level and some of
the teas in this area are grown at 1'900 meters above sea level.
air here is salubrious, cool, and deliciously sweet with the aroma of
pine and cypress, and eucalyptus trees. The air too, has a rather
floral scent about it as well, and to my mind, that of Frangipani
flowers, and mint. What are called 'Queen of night' flowers bloom
here in abundance and it could be this aroma as well that permeates
the tea. This flower affects a rather 'rosey' nose to some of the teas. The floral and foliage notes prevalent in the
atmosphere, along with the monsoon rains and winds that affect the
area, are reflected in the flavours of the teas that grow and are
produced at this high altitude.
from Nuwara Eliya exhibit gorgeous rosy and floral notes with veils
of rich cedar and pine forest and sweet cypress, and some have even said,
that the wild mint that grows here also adds to the flavour of the
can get very cold here and the temperatures have been known to
plummet to minus three Celsius during the winter months.
These high grown teas are of what is known as 'Champagne Quality' due to the lightness and delicacy of their liquors and the terrioir in which they grow.
Inverness teas as well as Edinburgh and Pedro Estates come from this region.