Ceylon Black Tea

Wikipedia: Tea_production_in_Sri_Lanka#Ceylon_black_tea | Teaviews: ceylon-tea 
Updated: Mar. 19, 2014 

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About Ceylon Black Tea | Best (Top-Rated) Ceylon Black Tea

About Ceylon Black Tea

Wiry, brown tea leaves
A Ceylon black tea from Uruwala estate, with wiry leaves. Photo by WJ Houtman, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
Ceylon black tea is a widely-consumed type of black tea, grown in Sri Lanka; as with India, most of the tea production in Sri Lanka is of black tea.

Ceylon is an old name for Sri Lanka which has stopped being used for the country outside of tea circles. Ceylon black tea is one of the most common teas in British tea culture, consumed on its own, used in breakfast blends, and frequently used as the base for flavored teas, like Earl Grey and various fruit teas.

Flavor and characteristics

Typical Ceylon black teas have a middle-of-the-road character, bolder and darker than most Darjeeling teas, but slightly lighter and less malty than a typical Assam.

Ceylon tea is diverse in quality and characteristics; much of it is mass-produced in large plantations and is used primarily in blending. Some single-estate Ceylon black teas are highly regarded, although they typically are not as well-known or expensive as teas from the Darjeeling or Assam regions of India. The leaf size and style also varies widely. A particular grade, OPA, is common in Ceylon and relatively uncommon in other areas.

A large-leaf, dark black teaAhmad Tea's Ceylon Tea OPA, showing the large leaves typical of this grade. Photo by Alex Zorach.
Ceylon OPA is a very bold, long-leaf tea with much larger leaves than the regular orange pekoe grade, but less delicate or wiry than the pricier OP1 grade.

Regional and altitudinal variability

Ceylon teas are typically grouped by altitude into three categories: high-grown, mid-grown, and low-grown, each of which having its own unique attributes. Low-grown teas are produced at 1,500-1,800 foot elevations, mid-grown from 1,800-3,500, and high-grown form 3,500 to 7,500.[1] There are higher and lower quality teas from all altitude regions, and it can be hard to generalize about quality from altitude alone.

The characteristics of Ceylon black tea also vary regionally, owing to different patterns of precipitation created by the steep topography of the island. Two important regions are Nuwara Eliya, producing high-grown Ceylon tea, and the Uva region, producing teas with unique characteristics resulting from its unique climate.

Buying single-estate teas or single-region blends can allow you to taste and experience the unique flavors created by each of these regions.

References

1. Jane Pettigrew, The Tea Companion, Quintet Publishing, London, 2004.

Best Ceylon Black Tea

The notion of the "best" Ceylon Black Tea is subjective, because different people have different tastes. We present the most often-rated and highest-rated teas in this category, and allow you to draw your own conclusions.

Most Often-Rated Teas

Picture of Ceylon (Ceylon Orange Pekoe)

Ceylon (Ceylon Orange Pekoe)

Brand:Ahmad Tea
Region:Sri Lanka / Ceylon
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
83
7 Ratings
Picture of Ceylon Tea OPA

Ceylon Tea OPA

Brand:Ahmad Tea
Region:Sri Lanka / Ceylon
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
84
6 Ratings
Picture of Greenfield Estate Ceylon Black Tea

Greenfield Estate Ceylon Black Tea

Brand:Arbor Teas
Region:Sri Lanka / Ceylon
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
92
4 Ratings
Picture of TC85: Kenilworth Estate OP

TC85: Kenilworth Estate OP

Brand:Upton Tea Imports
Region:Kandy, Sri Lanka
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
75
4 Ratings
Picture of Black Pearl Tea

Black Pearl Tea

Brand:Lipton Tea
Region:Sri Lanka / Ceylon
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Sachet
15
4 Ratings

Top-Rated Teas

Picture of Greenfield Estate Ceylon Black Tea

Greenfield Estate Ceylon Black Tea

Brand:Arbor Teas
Region:Sri Lanka / Ceylon
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
92
4 Ratings
Picture of Ceylon Tea OPA

Ceylon Tea OPA

Brand:Ahmad Tea
Region:Sri Lanka / Ceylon
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
84
6 Ratings
Picture of Ceylon (Ceylon Orange Pekoe)

Ceylon (Ceylon Orange Pekoe)

Brand:Ahmad Tea
Region:Sri Lanka / Ceylon
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
83
7 Ratings
Picture of TC85: Kenilworth Estate OP

TC85: Kenilworth Estate OP

Brand:Upton Tea Imports
Region:Kandy, Sri Lanka
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
75
4 Ratings
Picture of Cheericup Ceylon

Cheericup Ceylon

Brand:Mark T. Wendell
Region:Sri Lanka / Ceylon
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
63
3 Ratings

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