Tea plantations & Colonial sanitariums
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 & Assam tea if you like superior stuff.
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 teas 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.
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), a Sri Lanka Holidays tourist destination, Dimbula (1200-1700m), Uva (1000-1700m), Uda Pussellawa (1200m), Sri Lanka Holidays attraction of Kandy (650-1300 m), 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.
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 [a Sri Lanka Holidays Tourist Attraction] is called Middle Grown Ceylon tea, Black tea produced in Ruhuna is called Low Grown Ceylon tea.
Ceylon tea: 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 tea 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.
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.
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.