Thursday, 14 May 2015


Differences among Indian teas from Assam, Darjeeling and Nilgiri are more prominent and more comfortable to observe than the conflicts amongst the various Ceylon teas. These are loosely classed as Low-grown (up to two thousand feet), Mid-grown (two thousand to four thousand feet), and High-grown (above four thousand). The five tea-growing districts are reduced in the central highlands and southern inland parts of the island. Aside from stricter limited amounts of an extraordinary silver-tip tea, tea from the steamy low country tends to be fast-growing, exuberant and sometimes vulgar, while that from the cooler uplands is the precise reverse.
The classic Ceylon teas, however, come from a great sweep of mountain land, planted almost solid, which stretches from Rhuna northeast over the central massif which forms Sri Lanka's backbone. Ceylon's reputation for quality rests on the 40 percent of her production from these airy mountainsides, teas with mild and pleasant liquors which are unusually fragrant.
Like all tropical teas, Ceylon is produced year-round. Unlike the Low- and Mid-grown, however, the quality of High-grown Ceylon varies with the weather. When and wherever it's raining, the tea grows like crazy, but loses its distinctiveness. The best teas are those built in the dry months preceding the monsoons.