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Posts Tagged ‘Central Highlands’

Cranford Villa

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

Cranford Villa location
Cranford Villa is located in scenic Diyatalawe [157km from Colombo; altitude: 1500 meters above sea-level] of salubrious climate encompassed within Sri Lanka Health Triangle of the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka. Diyatalawa, the military canton town of the Central Highlands is also in the zone where Ceylon Tea of Sri Lanka, the finest Black Tea is produced.

Cranford Villa, Sri Lanka Holidays Health Triangle Ceylon, Central highlands

Reaching Cranford Villa
Reaching Cranford Villa in Diyatalawa can be reached from Colombo by Sri Lanka’s Highland Railway line [ Diesel Electric Locomotive Engines] as well as by motor road.

Cranford Villa Diyatalawe,Sri Lanka Holidays Health Triangle, Central Highlands

Setting of Cranford Villa
Cranford Villa is set amidst the misty mountains and tea plantations.

Sustainable tourism (Green i.e., eco) credentials of Cranford Villa: to be edited.

Cranford Villa, Diyatalawe

Architecture & Interior deco of Cranford Villa
The renovated building retains its British colonial architectural beauty intact beginning with the very entrance that features a flight of stone steps, leading to a wide colonial-style spacious veranda facing the garden, to all sections, not to forget the quaint fire-place.

Cranford Villa Diyatalawe, Ceylon Health Triangle, Central highlands

Type of the Hotel & Star rating of Cranford Villa: a renovated and refurbished British colonial bungalow.

Accommodation at Cranford Villa
Cranford Villa consists of five newly refurbished bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms. The two deluxe rooms feature their own televisions set up with local and international channels.

Cranford Villa Diyatalawe, Ceylon Health Triangle, Central highlands, Sri Lanka

Facilities at Cranford Villa
Cranford Villa takes pleasure in arranging barbecue, outdoor breakfast and Candle-lit dinner in the landscaped garden or in the summer house. Meals, prepared of fresh vegetables grown in the Cranford Villa’s garden, are served at timings suited to the guests.
Hot water Jacuzzi
Cranford Villa Diyatalawe, Ceylon Health Triangle, Central highlands, Sri Lanka
Leisure at Cranford Villa
Stroll in the extensive garden of Cranford Villa
Outdoor games of basketball or badminton.
Indoor games of carom & darts
Extensive DVD library of Cranford Villa

Excursions off Cranford Villa
The central location of Diyatalawe makes it easier to visit most of the surrounding Sri Lanka Holidays attractions
Horton Plains National Park [a UNESCO World Heritage Site]
Lipton’s seat [a vantage point in a tea estate where Thomas Lipton used enjoy the surrounding views in the mornings] in Sri Lanka Holidays Haputale
The magnificent opening amidst the mountain ranges called Ella Gap in the paradise village of Ella
Ravana Ella & Diyaluma Ella waterfalls
Dambatenna Tea Factory
Demodara railway loop
16th century Bogoda Wooden Bridge


Black Tea

Monday, November 12th, 2012

Two main forms of Black tea in consumption
High quality loose leaf Black Tea packed in metal containers comes in two forms: pure teas & blended teas. Paper sachets of Black tea, popularly called tea bags (one bag for cup) packed in light cardboard cartons aren’t for those who love high quality Black tea.

Blended Black tea
Blended Black tea is precisely what the name carries with it: a blend of Black teas grown & manufactured in different areas of the world. Low quality Kenyan Black tea is often blended with Ceylon Tea, the finest tea in the world. If you go for high quality stuff in life, such blends aren’t what you would enjoy.
Then again there are high quality blended Black Teas marketed by the blenders by blending Black teas from Sri Lanka (Ceylon Tea-finest tea in the world) & Assam of India. Assam of India produces high quality Black Tea too. You would definitely go for the blend of Ceylon Tea from Sri Lanka Holidays should you love the finest stuff under the sun.

Pure Black Tea
Pure Black tea is plucked in the same country. Then again, you could have a tin container of Pure Ceylon Tea with its metal printed label indicating it’s a blend. Very true, that’s definitely a blend, but with the unmistakable Lion logo of Ceylon tea, there’s no need for you to get upset. You have just bought a blend of Ceylon Tea grown and manufactured in different parts of the island of Sri Lanka exclusively. You are someone who would go for nothing less than The Real McCoy.
Blended Ceylon Tea brings off the best in the distinctive flavors & aromas of all the teas involved in the blend. The concept would a ring a bell: Blended Scotch Whisky.

Tea Factory Hotel, Nuwara Eliya

Tea Factory Hotel, Nuwara Eliya

Black Tea branding by the region of origin
Flavor, aroma & quality of Black Teas, as in the case of wine, vary on the climatic & geographic conditions of the area of cultivation. Pure Ceylon Teas grown & manufactured at different elevations in the beautiful tropical island of Sri Lanka are called after the area: Nuwara Eliya (2000 meters above sea level), Dimbula (1200-1700m), Uva (1000-1700m), Uda Pussellawa (1200m), Kandy (650-1300 m) of Central Highlands of Sri Lanka and Ruhuna (sea level to 600m) each have its own distinctive taste & aroma.
Among the varieties of Black tea from all tea producing countries, quality & popularity of Ceylon Tea from Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka is akin to the standing of Champagne among wine.
High quality Black teas are grown & manufactured in Indian provinces of Darjeeling, Assam, and Nilgiri too are known by their respective provinces of cultivation & manufacture.

Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka Holidays

Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

High Grown Ceylon Tea, Medium Grown Ceylon Tea & Low Grown Ceylon Tea from Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s tea plantations are mainly located in the Central Highlands of the island stretching from Kandy of Mediterranean climate to Nuwara Eliya of salubrious climate. Black tea is grown in Ruhuna of Sri Lanka too. Dimbula, Uva, Nuwara Eliya & Uda Pussellawa of higher altitude produce High Grown Ceylon Teas of Sri Lanka. While Black Tea produced in Kandy is called Middle Grown Ceylon Tea, Black tea produced in Ruhuna is called Low Grown CeylonTea.

Ceylon Tea, Sri Lanka

Ceylon Tea Growing Areas Of Sri Lanka

Ceylon Tea:The Finest Tea in the World- Black Tea to suit every pallet
Sri Lanka’s production of varieties of Black teas to go with every pallet has been the hallmark of Ceylon Tea, the Black Ttea industry of Sri Lanka. Dimbula & Nuwara Eliya teas are sought after by blenders from all over the world; Uva Black teas too are used for high quality blends mainly in West Germany & Japan; medium grown Ceylon Tea is popular in Europe, Australia, Japan & North America; low grown Ceylon Tea from Sri Lanka is popular in Western Asia & Middle Eastern countries.

Black Tea from India
The main areas of Black tea cultivation in India are Darjeeling, Assam & Nilgiri. Black teas produced in these areas vary with one another in terms of aroma & flavor. In India Black tea is also grown in Arunachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Sikkim, Orissa, Bihar, Nagaland, Mizoram & Meghalaya Tripura, Manipur Dooars and Terai of West Bengal.

Black Tea gradings By the processing method
The main products of evergreen tea plant (Camellia sinensis) are fermented (black tea), producing an amber-colored, full-flavored beverage without bitterness; semi-fermented (oolong), a slightly bitter, light brownish-green beverage; and unfermented (green tea) a mild, slightly bitter, pale greenish-yellow beverage.

Black tea gradings by the size of leaf processed by orthodox method as well as CTC (crush, tear & curl) method
Teas are also classified by the size of the processed leaf. Orthodox manufacturing method as well as CTC manufacturing method produces larger leafy grades and smaller broken grades. These grading terms are usually used for teas from Sri Lanka & India. The system is based solely upon the size of the processed and dried Black Tea leaves. The size of the processed Black tea leaves is determined by the means of sifting teas on wire meshes.

Orange Pekoe (O.P) is the main grade in tea production. Orange Pekoe consists of long wiry leaf with tips (buds). The High Grown Orange Pekoe consists of long, thin & wiry leaves containing tip or bud.

Broken Orange Pekoe (B.O.P) with superior color & flavor consists of smaller leaf & tip.

Ceylon Tea From Sri Lanka

Ceylon Tea From Sri Lanka

Pekoe Fannings which are smaller than B.O.P. brew quickly & give a liquor of good color when the beverage is prepared.
Dust, the black tea with smallest particles is very useful for quick brewing. The liquor produced by the Dust gives strength as well as color.


Black Tea

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Everybody loves Black Tea, Coffee & Chocolate, the premier beverages. Of all of them Black Tea (oxidized tea) is the most consumed & healthiest beverage. While Green Tea (minimally oxidized tea) from Japan & China has become fashionable, Oolongs tea (semi oxidized tea) from Taiwan too has achieved its rightful place among the beverages. Meanwhile White tea (unoxidized tea) has been reaching out for a fair share in the tea market. All of them are products of a leaf from single specie of plant: Camellia Sinensis, popularly called tea plant.

Ceylon Tea from the Resplendent Sri Lanka is the finest Black Tea in the World.

Ceylon Tea from the Resplendent Sri Lanka is the finest Black Tea in the World.

Sri Lanka and India are the leading producers of high quality Black Tea. Of all the Black Tea produced in the world, the finest Black Tea is from the tropical island of Sri Lanka branded and marketed “Ceylon Tea” with unmistakable logo of a stylized, upright lion bearing a sword depicting justice in a steadfast stand. Go for unadulterated Pure Ceylon Tea.

Ceylon Tea from Sri Lanka, the finest Black Tea in the World.

Ceylon Tea from the Resplendent Sri Lanka is the finest Black Tea in the World.

Black Tea by another name: Red Tea
Black Tea when prepared and served plain without milk is called Red Tea in some of the Middle Eastern countries & Asian countries in view of the reddish tint of the beverage.

Ceylon Tea from the Resplendent Sri Lanka is the finest Black Tea in the World.

Ceylon Tea from the Resplendent Sri Lanka is the finest Black Tea in the World.

Rooibos Tea aka Red Tea is not Black Tea
To mince no words, Rooibos Tea aka Red Tea is no Black Tea. To pull no punches, Rooibos Tea aka Red Tea has nothing to do with Black Tea or White Tea or Green Tea. To hit the last nail on the coffin, so called Red Tea aka Roobios Tea is not manufactured from the tea plant Camellia Sinensis. Rooibos Tea is a bush tea manufactured in the wilderness of South Africa & marketed mainly in U. S. A. As Such, herein we pay last respects to Roobias Tea aka Red Tea. We make a steadfast stand and tolerate no fakes when it comes to Black Tea.

Ceylon Tea from Sri Lanka, the finest Black Tea in the World

Ceylon Tea from the Resplendent Sri Lanka is the finest Black Tea in the World.

The finest Black Tea in the world: Ceylon Tea
Ceylon Tea, the finest Black Tea in the world has been a cornerstone of the economy of the island since the beverage from Sri Lanka rose to prominence in the world with the entrepreneurship of Scotsman Thomas Lipton [1848 –1931], who closed ranks with the pioneer tea planter, Scotsman James Taylor [1835 -1892] at Loolecondera estate in Galaha, Sri Lanka Holidays Kandy. The consummate combination of Lipton and Taylor took Ceylon Tea to the Top of the World with a kind of hush. A hush reserved for awe.

Ceylon Tea from Sri Lanka, the finest Black Tea in the World

Ceylon Tea from the Resplendent Sri Lanka is the finest Black Tea in the World.

Today, Sri Lanka, the 3rd largest producer of Black Tea in the world, has a total extent of 202,347 hectares of Black Tea plantations, with most of it running along the highland motorway and railway line from Sri Lanka Holidays Kandy, the gateway to the Central Highlands and the medieval capital of Sri Lanka Holidays to Badulla of the Central Highlands of resplendent tropical island of Sri Lanka. Badulla is the terminal point of Sri Lanka’s highland railway line laid out to transport tea from the highlands to seaport of Colombo by the British colonialists [1815-1948]. Highland railway line and highland motorway twisting, winding and ascending hill after hill are overwhelmed with immaculately cultivated vast seamless Black Tea plantations that follow the contours of the land with incredibly trim, short and tight bushes of tea plants. So trim, so tight, so neat, so vast so green hill after hill lulls you all into a dreamy world in the salubrious climate of the Central Highlands, the one and only mountain mass of Sri Lanka. Then the bubble, babble and gaggle of streams and waterfalls awake you to the reality. It’s for real.

Ceylon Tea from the Resplendent Sri Lanka is the finest Black Tea in the World

Ceylon Tea from the Resplendent Sri Lanka is the finest Black Tea in the World

Above rare poster is reproduced herein by kind courtesy of Getty Images.

Fine plucking Ceylon Tea
Sri Lanka’s seemingly seamless shimmering Black Tea plantation, that if left untended shoot up to become tall trees, are immaculately pruned to waist height so that manual fine plucking of two tender leaves and a bud are carried out with great swiftness. Plucking is done throughout the year except for the short period following pruning. No less than 300,000 plantation workers, the descendents of the indentured labor force brought down by the British colonialists in Sri Lanka pluck millions of superior quality Black Tea by hand day after day. The swift hands of the women tea puckers collect the youngest leaves of tea with both hands as if all of those thousands of women are equally ambidextrous. Their busy bee, butterfly swift mode of nipping off the youngest and topmost leaves (to maximize the flavor and aroma of the beverage) by snapping the stem with index and middle fingers, then tossing their pickings into large baskets hanging over the shoulders to the rear takes you by surprise. It takes the plucking from some 150 tea bushes to make one pound of Black Tea. The small and swift feminine hands coupled with the superior temperament in womanly virtue of patience are instrumental to great extent for high yield plucking. What would you do without them? In Sri Lanka, we say we can do without them, and then on the same breath that we say, we cannot do without them. The human condition is same all over the world from west to east, from east to west.

Ceylon Tea from Sri Lanka, the finest Black Tea in the World

Ceylon Tea from the Resplendent Sri Lanka is the finest Black Tea in the World.

Black Tea processing; as green as you would like
In Black Tea processing leaves and flushes from the tea plant Camelia sinensis are transformed into the dried leaves for brewing tea. Processing Black Tea consists of important stages: oxidizing the leaves, stopping the oxidation, forming the tea and drying it. That’s it: not overly complicated; still better, no artificial additives at all. Black Teais as green as you would like. Of these steps, the degree of oxidation plays to a great extent in determining the final flavor of the beverage, with rest of the process being instrumental to a lesser extent.

Ceylon Tea from the Resplendent Sri Lanka is the finest Black Tea in the World.

Ceylon Tea from the Resplendent Sri Lanka is the finest Black Tea in the World.

Black Tea manufacturing process: withering
Each and every major tea plantation of Sri Lanka has its own airy fairy factory by the side of a stream. On wide lofts one above the other with abundant space the Black Tealeaves are spread on long tables to wither in warm waves of dry air for twelve hours.

Ceylon Tea from the Resplendent Sri Lanka is the finest Black Tea in the World.

Ceylon Tea from the Resplendent Sri Lanka is the finest Black Tea in the World.

Black tea manufacturing proceeds: rolling
Then the leaves are subjected to a slow rolling process by means of heavy machinery making the tea leaves roll over and around in a twisting and crushing action till each leaf end up with an attractive twist. After all, everybody love a twist. The rolling process break up the cells of the tea leaf, releasing moisture, enzymes [the flavenoids and alkaloids] & Tea tannin. The distinctive flavor of the beverage comes out in rolling.

Black Tea manufacturing process: roll breaking
Roll breaking process breaks up the twisted balls or lumps of leaves and allows them to cool. The roll-breaker is a long mechanized sieve that vibrates while pushing the leaves over sloping mesh from one end to other.

Ceylon Tea from the Resplendent Sri Lanka is the finest Black Tea in the World.

Ceylon Tea from the Resplendent Sri Lanka is the finest Black Tea in the World.

Black Tea manufacturing process: fermentation
Then the mass of twisted green wisps are sifted according to the size & placed in a very cool room to ferment for a short time. Since there is no growth of yeast in the process, fermentation is a misnomer. The process herein is oxidation. Following the release of chemical enzymes from the ruptured cells, the mass of twisted & crushed ea leaves undergo an oxidation of the tea tannin. Oxidation changes the leaf to a coppery red-brown.

Black tea manufacturing process: firing
It all ends up with fire: following the fermentation is the torment. The leaves are fired and dried for 21 minutes in an enormous dryer on a series of trays exposing them to temperatures as high as 260 degrees Fahrenheit [120 degrees Celsius]. The tea leaf now goes black and brittle, the Black Teaas you know, is ready to brew in your kitchen.

Ceylon Tea from the Resplendent Sri Lanka is the finest Black Tea in the World

Ceylon Tea from the Resplendent Sri Lanka is the finest Black Tea in the World

Ceylon Tea: Premium Black Tea
The ordinary beverage of tea consumed from Colombo to London, Dubai to Moscow, is not necessarily premium quality Black Tea. Most of the products could well be blends of good quality Black tea with low quality Black Tea. Never be satisfied unless your beverage is brewed from premium quality Black Tea from Sri Lanka, branded Ceylon Tea. Always go for Pure Ceylon Tea. While the affluent society would enjoy premium quality Black Tea from Sri Lanka, Ceylon Tea, some humble folks too find themselves lucky to live in the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka where among the tea sold for everyday consumption is also the premium quality Black Tea though with a significant price disparity against the lower quality Black Tea. The well-to-do residents of hill country resorts of Sri Lanka Holidays Nuwara Eliya, Hatton, Haputale and Bandarawela etc. would agree, to the boot.

Ceylon Tea from the Resplendent Sri Lanka is the finest Black Tea in the World.

Ceylon Tea from the Resplendent Sri Lanka is the finest Black Tea in the World.

Ceylon Tea: High grown, medium grown and low grown tea
Sri Lanka’s varieties of Black Tea draw their distinctive essence and flavor thanks to the climatic conditions of the tea growing areas of the tropical island. Sri Lanka’s Black Tea, still branded and marketed as Ceylon Tea since the era of British Colonial period of Sri Lanka [1815-1948], is categorized high grown, medium grown and low grown in line with the altitude of the zone. For a small island with no more than 25620 sq. km in area, Sri Lanka has a pretty good range of altitude in the Central Highlands. High grown teas from Nuwara Eliya [altitude: 1800meters; distance from Colombo: 180km], the prime hill country resort produces the ultimate Ceylon Tea, the finest Black Tea in the world: rich, pure and fragrant.

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Coffee to Tea in Ceylon

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

The Turn of the Screw: from Ceylon Coffee to Ceylon Tea in Sri Lanka
Prior to the beginning of plantation of Ceylon Tea in Sri Lanka, coffee grew wild in the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka. Sinhalese Buddhist traditions that run into medieval era enlighten us of a time coffee flowers being offered at the Holy Temple of the Tooth at Kandy. But it was not until 1823 coffee plantations took root in Sri Lanka, then called Ceylon. During the Napoleonic Wars in Europe (1799-1815), when Holland was occupied by France, the Dutch East India Company [whose VOC Dutch Galle Fort at Sri Lanka Holidays Galle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is the best preserved colonial Dutch fort in Asia today], lost much of the Indonesian coffee-producing area to the British East India Company (1811-1816). The Dutch reclaimed Indonesian archipelago from the British in 1815, following the inevitable downfall of Napoleon. No “third Reich”, no “Grande Armee” would withstand Russian winter; no Napoleon, no Hitler would conquer great Russia.

In 1823 British colonial Governor of Ceylon, Sir Edward Barnes (1776-1838) & his friend George bird, a former cavalry officer, formed the first European coffee plantation in Sri Lanka Holidays Kandy, the gateway to the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka. In the same year the colonial governor established a government plantation of 200 acres near the Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens at Kandy. The quality of Ceylon Coffee was such the governor believed in a brilliant future for coffee in Sri Lanka Holidays Central Highlands. The Story of Ceylon Tea was yet to begin and unravel.

Ceylon Coffee Production during the British Colonial Era in Sri Lanka

Ceylon Coffee Production during the British Colonial Era in Sri Lanka: sifting coffee beans

The British Child Soldier
In 1825, the British colonialists in Ceylon began cultivation of coffee in large scale in the Central Highlands. Governor Barnes invested in a network of roads in Ceylon. At the forefront of the road building work was one Thomas Skinner (1804-1877), who enlisted in the Ceylon Rifles in 1818 at the tender age of fourteen. Thomas Skinner made roads and history in Ceylon. Such was his contribution, he was attributed to had his hand & heart in the construction of nearly every road & bridge in the tropical island of Ceylon. He gave British Ceylon 3000 miles of good macadamized roads. The remarkable growth of coffee plantations in Ceylon was more or less a result of the road building work of Major Skinner.

Sir Emerson Tennet (1804-1869), colonial secretary of Ceylon (1845-1850) was on the bull’s eye when he stated “to him more than to any living man the colony is indebted for its present prosperity”. One would wonder whether Emerson could have done still better to do justice to Skinner, had Emerson lived to witness the success of Ceylon Tea plantations.

Ceylon Tea Plantations, Central Highlands. Sri Lanka

Ceylon Tea Plantations, Central Highlands. Sri Lanka

Ceylon Land Rush Vs. California Gold Rush
The investment in the network of roads in British Ceylon caused a Land Rush, commencing in 1836, for a decade, in the Sri Lanka Holidays Central Highlands in the vein of the Gold Rush in California (1848-1855). Coffee was the latest craze that torched Ceylon ablaze. Fired up by the coffee craze, enterprising individuals across a wide spectrum of the populace took lock, stock & barrel (literally in view of the herds on elephants then populated the Central Highlands). Among those who swarmed to the Central Highlands were Ceylonese civil servants, soldiers, judges & clergymen with one ambition in common: to become planters. At the forefront was legendary Sinhalese Coffee planter, “Rothschild of CeylonCharles Henry De Soysa (1836-1890) of Moratuwa [of South-Western Coastal Belt of Sri Lanka Holidays].

And the authorities were only too ready to sell crown lands of British Ceylon and did so at the pace of about 40,000 acres per annum. With the abolition of slavery in the British West Indies in 1833 resulting in a decline of coffee production therein, coffee export from Ceylon was in ascendance, filling the gap in the world market. The success of Ceylon Coffee plantations was such it successfully transformed Ceylon’s economy from reliance upon subsistence crops to plantation agriculture. Coffee industry became a money spinner of Ceylon in the lines as tobacco, cotton, or sugar was in America albeit on a different scale of production. By the mid 1800s Ceylon was the world’s leading coffee producer. In 1869, coffee covered over 90,000 acres of Sri Lanka Holidays Central Highlands and had created a vibrant export trade. But then the wheel of fortunes was to turn & turn with merciless wrath.

Irish Potato Blight Vs Ceylonese Coffee Blight
In 1869, nature turned its wrath upon the coffee plantations of Ceylon through a leaf blight called Haemileia vastatrix, for which no control could be found as was the case in Irish Potato Bight during 1740-1741, a watershed in the history of Ireland which sparked Irish emigration to the New World. Alas, once vibrant Ceylon Coffee plantations of Sri Lanka, then called Ceylon was to become a footnote in the history.
The Los Angeles Time, June 30, 1899: The coffee of Yemen (Mocha) is esteemed the best in the world, but little Mocha coffee gets out of Arabia, or at least beyond Turkey and Armenia. Ceylon once had an excellent reputation for its coffee, but so many natural obstacles arose to impede coffee cultivation in Ceylon that Ceylonese coffee plantations have been largely converted into tea plantations…

Andrew Carnegie sees a brilliant future for Black Tea in Ceylon
In 1879, a decade after the coffee blight, American industrialist Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) wrote “there are more than twelve hundred coffee plantations, and the amount of coffee exported exceeds twenty millions of dollars per annum. Tea cultivation has been introduced recently, and the quality is said to be excellent. There cannot be any doubt of this, because it finds a ready market here. None has been exported. If it were not a remarkably good article the foreign would be preferred, as we all know a domestic article has a world of prejudice to overcome at first. I shall watch Ceylon Tea leaf may rival that of the coffee bean.”
On the ashes of once great Ceylon Coffee industry, was built the now world renowned Ceylon Tea industry of Sri Lanka.
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