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A Celebration of Sri Lankan Traditions

From the ancient dynasties of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa to the colonial era of the Portuguese, Dutch and British, our beautiful island of Sri Lanka has a long and rich history. Dubbed as the home of pure Ceylon tea, each era of Sri Lanka’s past has shaped the country uniquely and irrevocably and has given rise to several religious, cultural and social traditions.  

One such famous tradition is the Esala Perahera. Also known as the Kandy Perahera or Dalada Perahera, this ten-day-long festival commemorates the first teaching given by the Buddha after he attained enlightenment. Held between July and August in the mist-laden city of Kandy. With drummers, dancers, musicians and elephants carrying precious objects like the sacred tooth relic, the perahera is a sensory experience.

Another important tradition that has gradually been intertwined with the country’s culture, is the tradition of growing and making tea. In 1824, Scotsman James Taylor planted the first 19 acres of tea in Loolecondera Estate near Kandy, Ceylon. Since then, tea has become a thriving industry and is a part of everyday Sri Lankan life. 

Zesta’s Perahera Elephant is the perfect amalgamation of these two beloved Sri Lankan traditions. This novelty tea gift contains Zesta premium black tea presented in a rich wooden box and a porcelain tusker donning its traditional perahera costume. Much like the perahera, the tradition of growing, preparing and enjoying tea, whether it be English Breakfast tea, Earl Grey black tea or even green tea, is a sensory experience. 

Ignite the senses as you celebrate Sri Lankan traditions with Zesta Ceylon Tea.

The Sense of Touch 

Tactility is one of the most important parts of our sensory systems, and it is especially important when grading loose-leaf black tea. In Sri Lanka, black tea is sorted and graded depending on its appearance and size. For instance, Orange Pekoe (OP) is a term for the highest grade of black tea consisting of many whole tea leaves of a specific size. Read our blog to find out what makes OP special. Another tea grading is Broken Orange Pekoe (BOP) which consists of the dustings, or fannings, of OP tea which produces a stronger brew. 

The Sense of Sound

Any tea connoisseur would relish the everyday sounds of making a cup of tea. The gentle rustling sound of the dry leaves as you scoop them out from the caddy; the bubbling of the boiling water in the kettle; the hushed streaming sound as you pour the water – the sounds of comfort! Delight in this beautiful, soft symphony whenever you make yourself a comforting cup of Ceylon tea. 

The Sense of Smell 

Our olfactory sense is perhaps the most powerful of all the senses. A certain scent can remind you of a forgotten memory in vivid detail. Smell is also one of the primary senses in relation to tea. The aroma of a tea reveals the type of tea bush and even certain growing conditions such as elevation! It will also be more pronounced in flavoured teas, for instance, Earl Grey loose leaf tea will have stronger floral and citrus notes than malty English Breakfast black tea

The Sense of Sight 

Whether it be appreciating the grandeur of an action-packed perahera to distinguishing the different types of tea leaves, the sense of sight allows you to appreciate the finer details a little better. Brewing a cup of tea is almost hypnotic; watching how the dried leaves tinge the clear water, which turns from a pale yellow to deep amber. It’s also lovely to see how the colour and consistency of tea immediately change with the simple addition of milk when making black milk tea. 

The Sense of Taste 

Regardless of whether it is consumed as a morning pick-me-up or served as a welcome drink, one sip of tea can instantly make you feel better. It has the unique ability to both calm down as well as revitalise the senses and it is always a welcome treat. Each tea type has different complexities and tasting notes, ranging from the earthy flavour of green tea to the delicate flavour of white tea, enjoy the rich flavour of pure Ceylon tea. 

In these trying times, find comfort in a sensory experience with Zesta Ceylon Tea.