Sri Lanka came to be known as a tea country by a fluke of nature when all the coffee plantations in the country were wiped out by a fungal disease. Tea was introduced to its shores from China when a tea plant was brought over to be planted at the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens. It was commercialised later in time by James Taylor, who is also known as the Father of Tea in Sri Lanka. From there the rest is a tea-story.
True tea is all derived from the Camellia Sinensis plant. Depending on the different amounts of processing that the leaf undergoes, the differing types of tea are produced. The main types of tea are Black, Green and White. Each of these teas have their unique properties, tastes and aromas.
Black tea undergoes the most amount of processing and this is what gives it its unique black leaves. The teas itself are dark in colour, a reddish or orangish hue, when brewed and has a strong malty taste with a hint of a nutty flavour. It has a deep and satisfying aroma. Black tea is most famous in Sri Lanka and a cup of black tea with milk and sugar are a staple for any occasion.
Zesta’s Range of Black Teas
- Earl Grey
- English Breakfast
- Range of Flavoured Black Teas
- Vanilla Black Tea
- Apple Black Tea
- Orange Black Tea
- Ginger Black Tea
- Masala Chai Leaf Tea
Green tea goes through less processing compared to its counterpart black tea. It is not fermented and therefore retains most of its antioxidants. Due to this, it is the tea that is famous the world over for its health benefits that includes its weight loss properties as well as improved brain function, diabetes prevention and heart health. When the tea is brewed it takes on a light yellow to greenish tinge. The taste of green tea is a mix of sweet bitterness. The rule of thumb to remember in relation to green tea brewing is that if the temperature of the water used to brew is very high, the tea will take on a more bitter taste and if the temperature is lower the tea will taste sweeter. Green tea should be consumed without sweeteners.
Zesta’s Range of Green Teas
- Jasmine Green Tea (Connoisseur range)
- Flavoured Green Tea
- Peppermint and Lemon Green Tea
- Peach and Apricot Green Tea
- Green Tea with infused with Natural Jasmine
White tea undergoes the least amount of processing. It is also unique in its manufacturing process because only the buds of the Camellia Sinensis plant are used to make this tea. It is also known as Silvertips and Golden tips. The tea is hand rolled and as it retains almost all of its nutrients and antioxidants, this tea is known to have more health benefits than green tea. This tea is also a favourite of tea connoisseurs the world over. When brewing this tea much care is taken so as to retain its natural taste and to avoid “burning” the delicate leaves. White tea has a very floral like taste compared to its counterparts. Sri Lanka produces some flavoursome white teas that are unique to its regions.
Zesta’s Range of White Teas