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Ceylon Black Tea

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

About Ceylon Black Tea

Loose-leaf black tea with long, wiry leaves, all fully intactLoose-leaf Ceylon Black Tea, Orange Pekoe 1, Uruwala Estate, Photo © WJ Houtman (Wikimedia Commons), 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.
Large, dark, very coarse-textured black tea leaves with irregular shapeAhmad Tea's Ceylon Tea OPA, showing the large leaves typical of this grade. Photo © Alex Zorach, CC BY-SA 4.0.
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.

Recent Ceylon Reviews — RSS rss icon

83 / 100
Picture of Premium Full Leaf Tea

I picked this up in a Middle Eastern grocery near Detroit, MI. I bought a 250g pouch of tea that turned out to be double-bagged with an outer mylar pouch and a thin plastic bag inside. The tea is quite broken and in relatively small pieces, but quite aromatic even when dry. It smells of caramel and pastry, like slightl...

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60 / 100

A smooth and pleasant Ceylon. Nothing out of the ordinary to my taste but perfectly enjoyable. Good with milk or lemon & sugar.

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89 / 100
Picture of Ceylon Extra Superior

A delightful, mellow tea that was one of the best Ceylons I've tried in a while. A subtle tea that was better for calm meditation than as a pick-me-up.

Dry leaf has a beautiful, intact shape with long, wiry leaves in a dark purple-black color. It is only mildly aromatic, smelling lightly of malt and spice with a hin...

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70 / 100
Picture of Ceylon Orange Pekoe

Good! Not particularly memorable, but good! I like the aroma! But it's just not as good as half of their other, popular black tea's.

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75 / 100
Picture of Ceylon (Ceylon Orange Pekoe)

A local Middle Eastern grocery store stocks several varieties of Ahmad tea, including this one.

The dry leaves are quite broken, with medium-small pieces. The aroma of the leaves is malty, but not particularly strong. Once the tea starts brewing, though, the aroma greatly intensifies. It's not as complex as some oth...

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1Reviewer icon Alex Zorach4223
2Reviewer icon Brytta Sóþword84
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4Reviewer icon JGS112263
5Reviewer icon Difflugia42

Review 5 teas to get on this list!

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Most-Rated Ceylon

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Ceylon (Ceylon Orange Pekoe)

Brand:Ahmad Tea
Style:Ceylon Black Tea
Region:Sri Lanka / Ceylon
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
94
8 Ratings
No image of this tea

Ceylon Tea OPA

Brand:Ahmad Tea
Style:Ceylon Black Tea
Region:Sri Lanka / Ceylon
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
92
6 Ratings
Picture of Cheericup Ceylon

Cheericup Ceylon

Brand:Mark T. Wendell
Style:Ceylon Black Tea
Region:Sri Lanka / Ceylon
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
96
4 Ratings
No image of this tea

Kenilworth Estate OP

Brand:Upton Tea Imports
Style:Ceylon Black Tea
Region:Kandy, Sri Lanka
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
88
4 Ratings
Picture of Black Pearl Tea

Black Pearl Tea

Brand:Lipton Tea
Style:Ceylon Black Tea
Region:Sri Lanka / Ceylon
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Sachet
55
4 Ratings

Top-Rated Ceylon

Picture of Cheericup Ceylon

Cheericup Ceylon

Brand:Mark T. Wendell
Style:Ceylon Black Tea
Region:Sri Lanka / Ceylon
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
96
4 Ratings
No image of this tea

Greenfield Estate Ceylon Black Tea

Brand:Arbor Teas
Style:Ceylon Black Tea
Region:Sri Lanka / Ceylon
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
96
4 Ratings
No image of this tea

Ceylon (Ceylon Orange Pekoe)

Brand:Ahmad Tea
Style:Ceylon Black Tea
Region:Sri Lanka / Ceylon
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
94
8 Ratings
No image of this tea

Ceylon Tea OPA

Brand:Ahmad Tea
Style:Ceylon Black Tea
Region:Sri Lanka / Ceylon
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
92
6 Ratings
No image of this tea

Kenilworth Estate OP

Brand:Upton Tea Imports
Style:Ceylon Black Tea
Region:Kandy, Sri Lanka
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
88
4 Ratings

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