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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

64 / 100
Picture of Ceylon Orange Pekoe

Dry, this tea smells vaguely of cocoa and molasses. It's understated, but pleasant. While brewing, the aroma is of light brown sugar, but not heavy. The cocoa from earlier is still there, but less pronounced than I expected based on the initial aroma and experience with other Sri Lankan teas. There's a faint note of ra...

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90 / 100
Picture of Kandy OP

Kandy OP from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Ceylon Black Tea – Region: Kandy, Sri Lanka
Apr. 21st, 2020

You simply can't go wrong with this tea. The average tea drinker who buys bags of Lipton or Tetley would probably agree, because this is like a premium version of those products. This is smooth and pleasant, but not lacking in flavor. It contains dashes of caramel, fruit, steely tannins and a fresh, leafy aroma. It...

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90 / 100
Picture of Gold Leaf Tea

Gold Leaf Tea from Akbar

Style: Ceylon Black Tea – Region: Sri Lanka / Ceylon
Jan. 15th, 2020

I was astonished by this tea's quality as well as value for its price. One of my friends recently bought this from a Russian market, and he had only recently opened the container so it was very fresh.

The dry leaf though is explosively aromatic. This is by far the most aromatic Ceylon black tea I've ever found in th...

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65 / 100
Picture of Premium Leaf Tea

Premium Leaf Tea from Dilmah

Style: Ceylon Black Tea – Region: Sri Lanka / Ceylon
Oct. 4th, 2019

I'm reviewing the version of their loose-leaf "Premium" that comes in a 400g resealable plastic sack, which I got new/unopened at an estate sale. The leaves are very finely chopped, small, almost granular, as if they were part of a mechanical, one-size-fits-all process for both bagged and loose-leaf offerings. The wo...

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70 / 100
Picture of Ceylon Black Tea (Orange Pekoe) High Grown

I am a little confused about the labeling of this tea. It says it is high grown but the tea I have had from Ceylon that is grown at 6000 feet is usually a lot lighter in color and not quite as bold in taste. This tea is fairly dark in color and very bold in flavor. It actually taste like a blended tea or a lower grown ...

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Top Reviewers

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1Reviewer icon Alex Zorach4424
2Reviewer icon Brytta Sóþword84
3Reviewer icon Sylvia63
4Reviewer icon JGS112263
5Reviewer icon Difflugia53

Review 6 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
84
8 Ratings
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Ceylon Tea OPA

Brand:Ahmad Tea
Style:Ceylon Black Tea
Region:Sri Lanka / Ceylon
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
85
6 Ratings
Picture of Cheericup Ceylon

Cheericup Ceylon

Brand:Mark T. Wendell
Style:Ceylon Black Tea
Region:Sri Lanka / Ceylon
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
85
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
18
4 Ratings
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Kenilworth Estate OP

Brand:Upton Tea Imports
Style:Ceylon Black Tea
Region:Kandy, Sri Lanka
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
72
4 Ratings

Top-Rated Ceylon

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Greenfield Estate Ceylon Black Tea

Brand:Arbor Teas
Style:Ceylon Black Tea
Region:Sri Lanka / Ceylon
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
91
4 Ratings
Picture of Cheericup Ceylon

Cheericup Ceylon

Brand:Mark T. Wendell
Style:Ceylon Black Tea
Region:Sri Lanka / Ceylon
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
85
4 Ratings
No image of this tea

Ceylon Tea OPA

Brand:Ahmad Tea
Style:Ceylon Black Tea
Region:Sri Lanka / Ceylon
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
85
6 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
84
8 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
72
4 Ratings

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