July 2017

Ceylon Tea: From an Elegant Cuppa to a Cool Brew
July 2017

A traditional hot cuppa

Over its 150-year journey, Ceylon Tea has evolved from a traditional brew to be a 21st century beverage with a captivating twist.

Tea was an accidental discovery in prehistoric China. Since the brew's invention by the Chinese ruler Shen Nung and popularisation by the British, it is a beverage that has witnessed many historic milestones; from the rise to the fall of great empires.

Traditionally, tea was consumed hot and neat. Later, possibly through British influence, sugar was stirred in for sweetness while milk was added for a touch of creaminess. In Sri Lanka, it is customary for tea to be consumed with a piece of jaggery. Tea with a hint of ginger or lemon and honey had also been popular among our ancestors. While these hot cups still continue to be quite popular, in the 21st century, tea is so much more than this. It has evolved to cater to the cosmopolitan needs of today.

Fruity and nutty flavours have been infused into tea to give your perfect hot cuppa an added boost. Just as a warm tea helps one kick start the day, a tea beverage with a touch of spirits will be the start of a merriment filled evening. For a sugar rush during the day, a tumbler filled with ice tea is ideal. Beat the tropical heat with a glass of cold Ceylon Tea brewed in King Coconut water.

Be it hot or cold, neat or flavoured, anyone can appreciate each refreshing sip of tea and not feel guilty.

The best thing about tea is that it is also considered a health beverage. Relief from stress, enabling you to concentrate, preventing diabetes and minimizing the risk of diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's; there is so much that tea is good for. Even Emperor Shen Nung is said to have used tea as a healing drink.

Being an all natural gift from mother nature, the flavours of tea are magically transformed to have its own identity based on the geography and weather of the area in which it is grown. As such there is not just one flavour of tea. In the naturally blessed Sri Lanka, where Ceylon Tea is grown in three elevations, there are many complex flavours to enjoy.

A brew from Sabaragamuwa might give you a malty hint, a tea from Nuwara Eliya may carry a floral aroma and the cuppa from Matale may have the citrusy nuances. Thus, in a society that loves variety, there is indeed a tea for every hour and every mood.

Be it hot or cold, neat or flavoured, anyone can appreciate each refreshing sip of tea and not feel guilty. Relish the multi-faceted characteristics of the Ceylon Tea. It's delicious, healthy and stylish. A brew like no other, it's the beverage of the new millennium.

Colombo International Tea Convention August 8 – 11, 2017