JIFCO Tea Exports
Sri Lankan Tea
Sri Lanka, formally known as ‘Ceylon’ is the producer of one of the greatest beverages known to mankind. Ceylon Tea is one of the world’s most famous brands with a rich and rewarding history surpassing 150 years. The exquisite unique tastes and the impeccable aromas of Ceylon Tea is what makes it famous around the globe.
Scotsman James Taylor is the acknowledged pioneer of Ceylon Tea which evolved from the Loolecondera Estate, in the Kandy District in Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan tea is a great success in the international markets, and is one of the world’s top tea exporters. The care and dedication that goes into producing Ceylon Tea is what makes it extra special. Represented by the Lion logo and the ‘Ceylon Tea’ trademarks assuring that it’s a quality product of Sri Lanka, Ceylon Tea is mostly produced through orthodox and artisanal methods. It is also the freshest tea available in the global market, expertly packed within 3 weeks of harvesting, to preserve freshness, flavour, and aroma. Sri Lanka is home to over 188,000 hectares of land under tea cultivation which yields about 298,000 tonnes of produced tea and it accounts for more than 19% of world exports. The most important international markets of Sri Lankan tea are the Middle East, Russia, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, the UK and Japan.
The ideal climatic conditions play a major role in the success of the growth of tea in Sri Lanka. Moreover, skillfully plucking the tea leaf is essential to the final quality of the tea. Sri Lanka is one of the few countries that each leaf is plucked by hand instead of machinery, if they were to use machinery some of the coarse leaves as twigs would be mixed with the proper leaves which could destroy the flavor of the tea.
Ceylon Tea that is being exported around the world comes in several types, the most commonly and famously enjoyed is of course Ceylon Black tea, secondly Green tea and lastly White Tea or ‘ Silver Tips’. These teas are produced in different ways to achieve it’s quality and taste.
Grades of Ceylon Tea
During production, Ceylon tea is manufactured in a variety of leaf sizes. These leaves then graded according to their sizes. Grading does not indicate the quality of tea, but the size and the appearance of the leaf that is manufactured. These grades range from large leafy, to semi-leafy grades and the standard grades.
Silver Tip– The least processed tea. This grade contains the finest buds that turn velvety once dried, they are a long tippy leaf and is silver in color. Once brewed it has a very delicate mellow flavor.
Orange Pekoe– This grade is the highest grade given to manufactured tea. The leaf of this grade is delicate, long and wiry. It contains a light liquor and a flavor of refined taste.
Flowery Pekoe and Pekoe– They have a curly leaf with a shorter twist. Flowery refers to the slight show of tip. With a cup character slightly stronger than Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe, when brewed its flavor has a hint of bitterness along with a sweet finish and it is rich in color.
Dust1– It has the smallest fine grainy particles from the bulk of tea. This grade possesses the strongest darkest cup with the greatest astringency. it is ideal for commercial brewing.
Flowery Orange Pekoe– Well twisted leaf with a slight show of white tip. Light liquoring flavoursome cup.
Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe 1 and Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe– Leaves are shorter than Orange Pekoe. The latter grade is the smaller version with a slight show of tip and brighter in color. Flavoury light cup that is stronger than the previous grades.
Broken Orange Pekoe 1– A neat twisted leaf that is shorter than Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe. It has a pleasing stronger cup character.
Broken Orange Pekoe– Broken particles of the previous grades, it has a short twisted leaf with a stronger cup character.
Broken Orange Pekoe Fannings– It has smaller particles of a grainy nature. This is the leaf that is sifted out of the leafy grades. The leaves are suitable for use in tea bags. Possesses a strong coloured cup with greater astringency
Regions of Tea Cultivation
Approximately 4% of Sri Lanka is covered with Tea Plantations. The main tea growing areas are Nuwera Eliya, Kandy, Central Province, Bandarawela, Haputale, Uva Province, Galle, Matara, Southern Province, Ratnapura, Kegalle, Sabaragamuwa Province. The best tea are gathered from late June to the end of August in the eastern districts and from the beginning of February to mid March in western districts. True lovers of Ceylon tea know that every tea growing region of Sri Lanka yields tea with its peculiar characteristics. They are different from each other as they are all at a different elevation ranging between 3,000 and 8,000 feet. Due to the difference in climatic conditions and elevation, Ceylon tea has varying taste and flavours.
Types of Ceylon Tea
Ceylon Black Tea
For over a century Ceylon Black tea has been one of the most famous and well loved teas around the world. Ceylon Black tea is the most oxidized variety and contains more caffeine than the rest of the varieties. Black tea is best grown in a climate that is hot and moist where the temperature does not exceed 95 degrees Fahrenheit and does not fall below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. As a result of being close to the equator the climatic conditions of Sri Lanka is ideal to grow and produce Black tea. The high-grown black tea has a honey golden liquor and light and is among the best teas which has a distinct flavor, aroma and strength. The low-grown teas has a burgundy brown liquor and stronger in taste. And the mid-grown teas are strong, rich and full-bodied. Ceylon black tea is famous around the world and is used as the base for many blends such as Earl Grey tea, and many other fruit flavored teas.
Other than the exclusive single estate Ceylon Black Tea, Tea manufacturer in Sri Lanka also produces a range of value-added Ceylon Black Teas for local and global markets by blending Ceylon Black Tea varieties and other ingredients such as fruits and herbs;
- Ceylon Earl Grey Tea
- Ceylon English Breakfast Tea
- Fruit Flavoured Black Tea
- Spice Flavoured Black Tea
- Decaffeinated Black Tea.
Ceylon Black Tea suppliers export tea in bulk, loose leaf tea, tea in packets, tea bags and instant tea varieties to the global market.
Ceylon Green Tea
The reputed quality of Ceylon Tea has rapidly grown to include green tea to its mix. The Ceylon Green Tea industry, though very young, is growing rapidly as the product has garnered a popularity among tea drinkers around the world. Green Tea is rich in antioxidants as it is processed differently, which helps it to retain its nutrients that are ultimately beneficial to your health. Ceylon Green teas have characteristics that differentiate them from the rest of the green teas produced around the world, they tend to be darker in both dry and infused leaf and contains a rather rich flavor. Today Ceylon Green Tea is manufactured in a number of estates in mid-grown and high-grown districts.
Ceylon Green Tea is manufactured according to the traditional Chinese production method and follows the same green tea grading. The different types are as follows:
- Chun Mee Green Tea
- Gunpowder Green Tea
- Green Curl
- Sowmee Green Tea
- Green Tea Flowery Fannings
- Green Tea Powder
- Flavored Green Tea
- Decaffeinated Green Tea
Ceylon Green Tea suppliers export tea in bulk, loose leaf tea, tea in packets, tea bags and instant tea varieties to the global market.
Benefits of Ceylon Green Tea
- Rich in Antioxidants
- Increases Metabolism and Burns Fat
- Anti-viral and Anti-bacterial Qualities
- Reduces Osteoporosis
- Increases Brain Function
- Reduces Risk of Heart Disease and Cancer
Ceylon White Tea
Ceylon white is one of the most rare and expensive teas in the world. It is also produced from the same plant as the black and green tea, but is the least processed. Ceylon white is famously known as ‘Silver Tips’, this is due to the color it transforms into after the manufacturing process. Harvested just once a year, manufacturing of Ceylon White Tea involves a special process that includes hand-harvesting the tea and slow processing of the plucked tea leaves. The tea is famous among tea lovers for its mild and sweet flavor, it has a delicate, very light liquoring with notes of pine and honey and a golden coppery infusion. Sri Lankan white tea manufacturers have also developed specialised products like Virgin White Tea, and organic white tea for the global markets.
Celebrated for its flavour, Ceylon White Tea is categorised into two categories namely;
- Ceylon Silver Tips
- Ceylon Golden Tips
Benefits of Ceylon White Tea
- The Healthiest of all Teas
- Has Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Qualities
- Reduces Inflammation and Aids Weight loss
- Helps Prevent Heart and Neurodegenerative Diseases.
- Polyphenols in White Tea Reduce Signs of Early Ageing
- Reduces Depression
Why Sri Lankan Tea?
- Ceylon Tea is grown and produced according to uncompromising, traditional methods and standards since 1880.
- Quality Certified by the Government
- Ceylon Tea is much loved for its unmatched quality and variety in taste, character and appearance based on the different parts of its tea growing regions.
- Sri Lanka retains its position as the ‘Best in Class’ producer of Quality Tea, considered by the Technical Committee of the ISO as the cleanest tea in the world.
- ‘Ozone friendly’ Ceylon Tea– Sri Lanka has secured the place of becoming the first tea beverage to be certified globally as being ozone friendly.
- Ceylon Tea is Ethical – The Industry is well regulated with a unionized workforce that is governed by a collective labour agreement.
- Original Orthodox Tea – Use of original Orthodox tea manufacturing process
- Freshness – Handpicked tea preserving the freshness and inherent aroma of the tea.
Ceylon Tea is also the cleanest tea in the world in terms of pesticide residues, a fact confirmed by the ISO Technical Committee. Sri Lanka the first to achieve the “Ozone Friendly Tea’ label recognized under the Montreal Protocol Treaty and is the proud owner of the first Ethical Tea Brand of the World recognized by the United Nations Global Compact.
Sri Lankan tea is also grown under the highest social and environmental standards; excellence in process and purity of product are reflected by world class certifications. Several plantations are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) accredited and GLOBAL GAP compliant.
Tea processing factories are continually improved and upgraded to maintain sufficient technical and hygienic standards through the implementation of ISO 22000, and HACCP. Buyers are thus assured that tea produced in Sri Lanka is not only synonymous with quality, but also conforms to internationally acceptable food safety regulations.