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History of Tea
The first tea plant was discovered in China and earliest records suggest that tea was consumed around the 10th century BC. Camellia Sinensis is the Latin name for tea plant with Sinensis meaning Chinese in Latin, referring to the place of its discovery. Early production of tea in China was carried out in remote areas and was a painstaking process. During the Ming Dynasty processing techniques improved resulting in an increase in loose tea production. Tea was introduced to Europe a few centuries later. Portugal had established a trading port in Macau in the 16th century AD and the use of the word ‘Cha’ (Chinese for tea) was widespread. Tea leaves were brought to Amsterdam for the first time by the Dutch East India Company in early 17th century. In Britain tea was introduced through coffee houses and appeared publicly for the first time during the 1650s. Thereupon tea was introduced to the British colonies around the world including Ceylon (known as Sri Lanka today).
Tea in Sri Lanka

Coffee was the main crop grown on the island of Sri Lanka until the 1860s when a fungus wiped out most of the coffee plants. Owners of estates had to then turn to other crops and interest in tea began to grow. Sri Lanka, then known as Ceylon, was under the British rule and a Scott named James Taylor was responsible for planting the first tea seeds on the island. Using some of the basic knowledge Taylor had acquired in North India he sold his tea locally which was declared as delicious. A few years later he set up a factory and sold his tea for the first time for a good price at the London Auction. He was largely responsible for the increase in production of tea on the island during the late 19th century.

Over 80% of the tea estates were owned and managed by British companies until 1971, when the government of Sri Lanka took control of majority of the estates. However, during the 1990s private sector companies were given control over many plantations as Managing Agents. Today tea production in Sri Lanka plays a vital role in defining the economy of the country and forms a major source of income to the labour market and a source of foreign exchange. Sri Lanka is the fourth largest producer of tea in the world, contributing 15% of the country’s GDP.

Majority of the Ceylon tea gardens are located in three areas; southwestern, southern and central parts of the island at elevations between 3000 and 8000 feet. Tea is picked and gathered throughout the year.

Health benefits of tea

Health benefits of tea have been known from the time of its first use thousands of years ago. Some recent studies have showed that tea has various health effects as it contains high levels of antioxidants, some of which are referred to as catechins, flavonoids and polyphenols.

Therefore, research has shown that tea can lower blood pressure and cholesterol and in turn help heart disease patients. Harvard Medical School (2004) has said that green tea could help curtail esophageal cancer. In addition to this, Center for Human Nutrition at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine in 2004 has said that both green and black tea can slow down the spread of prostate cancer. Studies have also shown that drinking tea helps with inflammatory bowel disease and diabetes. Tea also contains fluoride which has bacteria killing properties and helps control the formation of plaque around the teeth and prevents bad breath.

To get the most out of drinking tea, high quality loose leaf teas should be chosen. Drinking tea can help develop an atmosphere of sociability, friendship, leisure and harmony. Therefore, sip, savor and enjoy the many benefits of drinking tea!!!

Ceylon tea exporters in Sri lanka
Ceylon tea exporters in Sri lanka
Nuwara Eliya
Ceylon tea exporters in Sri lanka
Delicately Fragrant
Tea, grown at 6250 feet above sea level, is at times referred to as the “Champagne” of Ceylon tea by tea connoisseurs. Tea is grown all year round, but the best tea is usually produced after the monsoon in January and February. The tea is bright and smooth, giving high quality liquor and a wonderful perfume. It can be drunk at any time of day with or without milk. It can also be iced for a refreshing drink. .
Ceylon tea exporters in Sri lanka
Refreshingly Mellow
The plantations are located at 3500 to 5500 feet above sea level. The tea grown here is well known for their body, strength and a powerful aroma. The best tea is produced during dry months of January and February as Dimbula usually experiences monsoon during August and September. Dimbula was one of the first areas of tea plantation during the 1870s. .
The leaves are long wiry and beautiful giving an exquisite taste. Its best drunk with milk in the afternoon.
Intensely Fullbodied
The former Royal capital of Ceylon was where tea was first grown in the country. A full bodied type of tea is grown here on plantations at 2000-4000 feet above sea level. The tea produced is strong and has a powerful flavour. Best served with milk at any time of the day.
Exquisitely Tangy
This region in the south of the country is hugging the coastlines and is famous for its Orange Pekoe tea grade and Flowery Orange Pekoe. Tea is grown on low lying gardens with regular sized leaves. It produces an amber, gold liquor and a subtle taste with a scented aroma. Can be drunk in the afternoon with or without milk..
Exotically Aromatic
Tea, grown between 3500 to 5500 feet above sea level, is usually plucked during the months between June and September when dry wind blows across the region giving the tea its fine aroma and taste. The tea grown on the eastern slopes of the central mountains is world renowned for its unique mellow flavor. The tea usually produces a copper coloured and smooth infusion. Best had during breakfast with a little milk.