Tea production in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon, is now one of the largest tea producers in the world, renowned for its premium quality tea. The unique climatic conditions and fertile soil in Sri Lanka make it the perfect location for tea cultivation, and the tea manufacturing process in Sri Lanka is a well-established industry with a rich history.
The tea cultivation in Sri Lanka dates back to the early 1860s when James Taylor, a British planter, introduced tea plants to the country. Today, tea production in Sri Lanka is a highly efficient and streamlined process that involves various stages.
Tea Manufacturing Process
The tea manufacturing process in Sri Lanka can be divided into five stages:
Tea Plucking: This is the first stage in the tea manufacturing process. Tea leaves are selectively plucked, usually manually, from the tea bushes. This process takes place in the early hours of the morning when the leaves are still moist from the night’s dew. Sri Lanka’s tea bushes are generally grown in areas with an elevation of at least 600m above sea level, with the majority of plantations located in the central highlands.
Withering: Once the tea leaves are plucked, they are spread out in a well-ventilated area and left to dry. This process is called withering and can take anywhere from 8 to 20 hours, depending on the climate and humidity. During this process, the leaves lose moisture and become soft, making it easier to roll and shape them during the next stage.
Rolling: After withering, the tea leaves are rolled to release the natural juices and oils in the leaves. This process helps to enhance the flavor and aroma of the tea. In Sri Lanka, most tea leaves are still hand-rolled, as it allows for greater control and precision during the process.
Fermentation: The tea leaves are then left to ferment for a short period, usually between 30 minutes to 2 hours. This process allows the tea leaves to oxidize and develop their unique flavor and aroma. The duration of fermentation can vary based on the type of tea being produced.
Drying: The final stage in the tea manufacturing process involves drying the leaves to preserve their flavor and aroma. In Sri Lanka, tea leaves are traditionally dried over a wood fire, which imparts a smoky flavor to the tea. However, modern tea factories use more advanced drying methods, such as hot air dryers, to ensure consistent quality and flavor.
Tea Cultivation in Sri Lanka
Tea cultivation is an essential part of Sri Lanka’s economy, and the country is home to some of the world’s most picturesque tea plantations. The tea plantations in Sri Lanka are located primarily in the central highlands, with a few located in the southern coastal regions as well. The most commonly grown tea variety in Sri Lanka is the Camellia sinensis var. assamica.
The tea bushes in Sri Lanka are usually pruned to a height of around 1 meter to ensure easy plucking by hand. Tea bushes grow well in Sri Lanka’s tropical climate, with the country receiving plenty of rainfall throughout the year. The soil in the central highlands is rich in minerals and well-suited for tea cultivation.
The tea industry in Sri Lanka provides employment opportunities for thousands of workers, from tea pluckers to factory workers. The industry is also a significant contributor to the country’s economy, with tea exports accounting for a significant portion of the country’s total exports.
Overall, the tea production process in Sri Lanka is a well-established industry with a rich history and an important part of the country’s economy. The unique climatic conditions and fertile soil make Sri Lanka’s tea some of the best in the world, and the tea manufacturing process in Sri Lanka is a testament to the country’s dedication to producing top-quality tea.
Ceylon Tea: The Pride of Sri Lanka’s Tea Exports
Sri Lanka’s tea industry is known for producing some of the finest teas in the world, with Ceylon tea being a standout. Ceylon tea, named after the country’s former colonial name, is celebrated for its unique flavor, aroma, and high quality.
Tea exports from Sri Lanka have played a significant role in the country’s economy. In fact, it is one of the largest contributors to the country’s GDP, accounting for over 15% of exports and providing employment to approximately two million people.
The Origins of Ceylon Tea
Ceylon tea has a rich history that traces back to the 1800s when the British introduced tea cultivation to Sri Lanka. However, it wasn’t until the 1870s that tea production in Sri Lanka began to take off, with Ceylon tea quickly gaining popularity for its unique taste.
The tea leaves are grown in the central highlands of Sri Lanka, where the cool climate and high altitudes provide ideal conditions for tea cultivation. Today, Sri Lanka is the world’s fourth-largest tea producer, with Ceylon tea being one of the most sought-after teas globally.
The Significance of Tea Exports from Sri Lanka
Tea exports from Sri Lanka are a vital part of the country’s economy, and Ceylon tea is one of its most important exports. The tea industry in Sri Lanka contributes significantly to the lives of many people, from small farmers to large tea estates.
According to the Sri Lanka Tea Board, in 2020, the country exported over 278 million kilograms of tea, with Ceylon tea accounting for a large portion of the exports. The top export destinations for Sri Lanka’s tea include Iraq, Turkey, Iran, and Russia.
Tea exports from Sri Lanka have helped establish the country as a key player in the global tea market, with Ceylon tea being recognized as a high-quality brand worldwide.
Ceylon Tea: A Unique Taste
What makes Ceylon tea so unique is the flavor, aroma, and quality that are distinct from other teas. The tea leaves are carefully handpicked and processed, ensuring that only the best leaves are used in the production of Ceylon tea.
The taste of Ceylon tea can be described as bright, brisk, and full-bodied. The tea has a strong aroma that is both floral and fruity, which is a result of the unique terroir and climate of Sri Lanka’s tea-growing regions.
Ceylon tea is a testament to the quality and excellence of Sri Lanka’s tea industry, and its unique taste has made it a popular choice for tea lovers worldwide. Tea exports from Sri Lanka have contributed significantly to the country’s economy, making it an essential part of Sri Lanka’s growth and development.
Tea Plantations in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s tea plantations are among the most impressive in the world. They cover vast expanses of land, with tea bushes lining the hills as far as the eye can see. Tea plantation tours are a popular tourist attraction, and visitors to Sri Lanka can witness the tea manufacturing process from start to finish.
Tea production in Sri Lanka is primarily concentrated in the central highlands of the country. The main tea-growing regions include Nuwara Eliya, Kandy, and Dimbula. These areas have the ideal conditions for tea cultivation, with high altitudes, cool temperatures, and plentiful rainfall.
Tea was first introduced to Sri Lanka in the 19th century by the British, who established large-scale tea plantations in the country. Today, tea production is a major part of the country’s economy, with over 200,000 hectares of land dedicated to tea cultivation.
Types of Tea
Sri Lanka produces several types of tea, including black, green, and white tea. Black tea is the most common type produced, accounting for around 95% of Sri Lanka’s tea exports. Sri Lankan tea is known for its strong, full-bodied flavor and bright, golden color.
The tea manufacturing process in Sri Lanka typically involves five stages: withering, rolling, fermentation, drying, and sorting. The withering process involves drying the tea leaves to reduce their moisture content. The rolling process involves rolling the leaves to crush them and release their natural oils. Fermentation follows, which involves the oxidation of the tea leaves. The drying process removes any remaining moisture from the tea leaves. Finally, the tea is sorted by size and quality before being packaged and shipped.
Tea production is a major source of employment in Sri Lanka, providing jobs for over one million people. The industry also supports many small-scale tea growers, who rely on tea production for their livelihoods.
Tea plantations in Sri Lanka have a significant impact on the environment, with large areas of land cleared for tea cultivation. However, tea plantations also have the potential to contribute positively to the environment by preserving biodiversity and supporting sustainable practices.
Sri Lanka Tea Brands
Sri Lanka is home to a range of tea brands that have gained global recognition for their exceptional quality and unique flavors. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most well-known Sri Lankan tea brands:
|Dilmah||Dilmah is a family-owned tea company that prides itself on producing single-origin, ethical and sustainable tea. The brand is known for its commitment to freshness and quality, with each tea bag individually packed with the finest tea leaves.|
|Mlesna||Mlesna is another family-owned tea company that has been producing high-quality teas for over 30 years. The brand offers a wide range of teas, from classic black teas to flavored and herbal teas.|
|Impra||Impra is a popular tea brand in Sri Lanka known for its unique blends and bold flavors. The brand offers a range of teas, including black, green, and herbal teas, as well as tea bags and loose-leaf teas.|
|Heladiv||Heladiv is a Sri Lankan tea brand that prides itself on producing high-quality, organic teas. The brand offers a range of teas, including classic black teas, flavored teas, and herbal teas, all of which are sustainably sourced.|
These are just a few of the many Sri Lankan tea brands that have gained global recognition for their exceptional quality and unique flavors. Whether you prefer classic black teas or flavored and herbal teas, Sri Lanka has a tea brand to suit your tastes.
Tea Industry Statistics
Sri Lanka has a rich history in the tea industry, and today, it remains one of the largest exporters of tea in the world. The tea industry is a crucial component of Sri Lanka’s economy, contributing significantly to the country’s GDP and providing employment for thousands of workers.
In 2020, Sri Lanka exported 278.24 million kilograms of tea, generating a revenue of USD 1.05 billion. This marked a 5.04% decrease in export volume compared to the previous year, which was largely attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on global trade.
Despite this temporary setback, Sri Lankan tea remains highly sought after in the global market. In fact, Sri Lanka is the 4th largest producer of tea in the world, with a market share of approximately 7%. This signifies the significant role that Sri Lanka’s tea industry plays in the global tea market.
The History of Sri Lankan Tea
The history of Sri Lankan tea dates back to 1867 when James Taylor established the first tea plantation in the country. Taylor was a Scottish planter who came to Sri Lanka to work on coffee plantations but turned to tea cultivation due to the decline of the coffee industry.
Under British colonial rule, the tea industry in Sri Lanka underwent rapid expansion, with the country becoming one of the largest producers of tea in the world. Today, tea remains an integral part of Sri Lankan culture, with the industry providing livelihoods for thousands of workers and contributing significantly to the country’s economy.
“The tea industry is a crucial component of Sri Lanka’s economy, contributing significantly to the country’s GDP and providing employment for thousands of workers.”
Comparative Tea Export Statistics
|Country||Tea Export (in million kg)||Market Share|
Source: International Tea Committee
The table above showcases the comparative tea export statistics of the top tea-producing countries. As seen, China leads the pack, followed by India and Kenya. Sri Lanka holds the 4th position, with a market share of 4%.
However, it is noteworthy that while China and India primarily produce and consume tea for their domestic markets, Sri Lanka’s tea industry is primarily export-oriented. This signifies the country’s significant contribution to the global tea market, despite its comparatively smaller size in terms of production volume.
The tea industry in Sri Lanka is a crucial component of the country’s economy and heritage, playing a significant role in shaping the global tea market. Despite facing challenges in 2020, the industry remains highly sought after, with Sri Lankan tea renowned for its exceptional quality and flavor.
Sri Lanka Expo: Promoting Sri Lankan Tea Industry and Innovation
Sri Lanka Expo is the ultimate showcase of Sri Lanka’s products, services, and capabilities, with a special emphasis on tea. This prestigious event attracts industry professionals, buyers, and investors from around the world, promoting Sri Lankan tea and driving innovation in the industry.
What is Sri Lanka Expo?
Sri Lanka Expo is a biennial event organized by the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) to showcase Sri Lanka’s exportable products and services. It provides a platform for local businesses to showcase their products, meet with international buyers, and generate business deals.
Sri Lanka Expo and Tea
Tea is an essential part of Sri Lanka’s export industry, and Sri Lanka Expo plays a crucial role in promoting Sri Lankan tea worldwide. At Sri Lanka Expo, visitors can sample a wide range of Ceylon tea, meet with tea producers, and learn about the tea manufacturing process.
The event also features seminars and workshops on various aspects of the tea industry, such as tea production, packaging, and marketing. By bringing together tea industry professionals, Sri Lanka Expo aims to drive innovation in the industry and help Sri Lankan tea producers stay ahead of the game.
Visit srilankaexpo.com for More Information
If you’re interested in learning more about Sri Lanka Expo and the opportunities it offers for the tea industry, visit srilankaexpo.com. The website provides information on the event, including the schedule, exhibitors, and contact details.
Whether you’re a tea enthusiast, industry professional, or business owner, Sri Lanka Expo is an event not to be missed. Join us at the next Sri Lanka Expo and discover the excellence of Sri Lankan tea.
What is the tea production process in Sri Lanka?
The tea production process in Sri Lanka involves several stages, including tea plant cultivation, plucking of the tea leaves, withering, rolling, fermentation, drying, sorting, and packaging.
What makes Ceylon tea special?
Ceylon tea is highly regarded for its exceptional quality and flavor. Its unique characteristics are influenced by factors such as the region’s climate, altitude, and soil conditions.
Can you tell me more about tea plantations in Sri Lanka?
The tea plantations in Sri Lanka are not only economically significant but also visually stunning. They feature vast expanses of lush greenery and rolling hills, providing a picturesque backdrop to the tea industry.
What are some notable Sri Lankan tea brands?
Sri Lanka is home to several renowned tea brands, including Dilmah, Mlesna, and Basilur. These brands have gained recognition globally for their high-quality teas and unique blends.
Sri Lanka’s tea industry holds a significant position in the global market. The country ranks among the top tea exporters, with a rich history that has shaped the global tea landscape.
What is Sri Lanka Expo?
Sri Lanka Expo is an important event that showcases the excellence of Sri Lankan tea and brings together industry professionals. It plays a vital role in promoting the industry and driving innovation. For more information, visit srilankaexpo.com.
- 1 Tea production in Sri Lanka
- 2 Ceylon Tea: The Pride of Sri Lanka’s Tea Exports
- 3 Tea Plantations in Sri Lanka
- 4 Sri Lanka Tea Brands
- 5 Tea Industry Statistics
- 6 Sri Lanka Expo: Promoting Sri Lankan Tea Industry and Innovation
- 7 FAQ
- 7.1 What is the tea production process in Sri Lanka?
- 7.2 What makes Ceylon tea special?
- 7.3 Can you tell me more about tea plantations in Sri Lanka?
- 7.4 What are some notable Sri Lankan tea brands?
- 7.5 What can you share about the tea industry statistics in Sri Lanka?
- 7.6 What is Sri Lanka Expo?
- 7.7 About Author