From Leaf to Sip
No greater love story was ever brewed
From handpicking the choicest leaves to its withering and rolling; from blowing it cold and hot for that tangy personality,
until we separate the finest for you – Ceylon Tea is a labour of love.
Love at first pluck
The chosen leaves
The first secret is in the art of plucking. To ensure the excellence of the final product, skilled hands aided by trained eyes pluck only unopened buds accompanied by two leaves sprouting from the springs of each tea bush.
Preparing for the long run
These chosen leaves are then brought in baskets to the factory and placed on troughs to dry and wither, just as wine is deposited in casks to mature until perfection. Air is circulated to decrease their moisture content to optimum levels to enhance their aromatic appeal and flavour.
Finding the heart of the flavour
Once the withering process is finally through and done, the withered leaves enter the third stage. It’s called rolling. They are fed to rolling machines to break their stubborn cell structures of resistance, to open their hearts and seduce them to release the natural essence contained within.
Things are heating up
Blow cold, blow hot
Next, they must go through fermentation, the process of oxidation; exposed to air which will brown them to a perfect tan. Then after being blown cold they must be blown hot. They must go through the furnace of fire, pass through a chamber of hot air, and emerge with the mettle of their flavour tried, tested and proven. It’s this that will set them apart.
Let the ceremony begin
The final preparation
The tea is still not ready for your cup.
The tea is now placed on a vibrating mesh and sorted according to size and grades, before they are weighed and packed separately to be presented to the world as the pride of Ceylon Tea: the enchantment that will fill your cup.
A Life of Tea
Perfection is passion at work
Sri Lanka does not rest on her tea leaves. She has not taken and does not take, her supreme good fortune for granted but strives to ensure her tea’s excellence is not only presently maintained but enhanced by ensuring its effort is not despoiled by pollution, corruption or short-sightedness – environmentally or socially.
Unlike most tea producing countries in the world, Ceylon Tea still follows the old-fashioned way. With only the choicest leaves of the day – one tender unopened bud together with its accompanying twin tea leaves – are hand-plucked. Not puckered by a mechanised process that indiscriminately collects the leaves in one fell swoop.
Variety is the beauty of Ceylon Tea. Its seven tea regions, with seven soils and seven climes produce a diversity of flavours, aromas, strengths and colours. A magnificent assortment, ensuring that there is a perfect brew for everyone.
The Ceylon Tea industry is strictly regulated. Its code ensures not only the protection of the soil and environment but also the wealth and welfare of the people who produce it. The growers are ensured with remunerative prices for the tea they produce whilst the labour forces receive a comprehensive package which includes free housing and free health care.
From picking to blending, from packaging to marketing, from distribution to sale, over a million of the Lankan workforce – that’s approximately 5% of the total population – are involved in the process that brings the finest to your cup. Their livelihoods depend on it. Thus their passion and their commitment to brew its continuing success.
Sri Lankan tea growers adhere to international standards and to the best recommended practices of the Sustainable Agriculture Network. The seven tea regions have all been certified by the Rainforest Alliance. In 2011, Ceylon Tea was presented with the honour of labelling its produce ‘Ozone-Friendly Ceylon Tea’– a singular honour no other tea-growing nation can still lay claim to.
In 2016 Sri Lanka signed the Paris Accord on climate change and ratified it in September of the same year. But long before that, the island has shown the world its commitment to safeguarding its environment; the proof of which lies in the tea fields that extend from the southern foothills to the central highlands, covering nearly 500,000 acres.
If not now
The tea industry has continuously been adapting and changing to cope with turbulent political, socio-economic climates. Sri Lanka’s tea industry has invested heavily in sustainability and global best practices. Owing to its alliances with international conservation bodies and hundreds of individual initiatives being practiced on estates and smallholder farms, Ceylon Tea has earned a reputation as a brand above commerce.
Fair Trade Certification
The Fair Trade Premium charged for FT certified tea is invested in the social, economic and environmental development of tea-manufacturing communities.
Ethical Tea Partnership
This partnership improves and encourages the safety and health of workers, and prevents discrimination and harassment as well as child labour within the industry.
While conserving biodiversity and ensuring sustainable livelihoods, the RFA works towards building strong forests, healthy agricultural landscapes and thriving communities through creative, pragmatic collaborations.
Organic Certifications (USDA-NOP, JAS, EU & NASAA)
Organic farming discourages environmental exposure to pesticides and chemicals, helps combat erosion, builds healthy soil, fights the effects of global warming, supports water conservation and water health, and promotes animal health and welfare while encouraging biodiversity.
Carbon Neutral Certification
Sri Lanka Tea Board is resolute about reducing its Carbon emissions and carbon offsets to counteract the CO2 emissions that have not yet been eliminated. An initiative aimed at accepting and responsibly addressing the industry’s involvement in global warming, and one day soon becoming ‘Carbon Neutral’.
The Ozone-Friendly Pure Ceylon Tea certification acknowledges the first and only 100% Ozone-Friendly tea in the world. Ceylon Tea works tirelessly to ensure that these eco-friendly guidelines are adhered to throughout the production process, because nothing but the finest tea on Earth should touch your lips.
Not all Teas are Created Equal
The Ceylon Tea Lion logo captures the legacy and essence of tea grown in Sri Lanka. Inspired by its rich heritage, the motif of the celebrated Lion guarantees that it is 100% Pure Ceylon Tea, grown, picked and packed in Sri Lanka, conforming to the highest quality standards mandated by the Sri Lanka Tea Board. Every batch of tea that bears the Ceylon Tea Lion logo is traceable to its origins, ensuring absolute accountability and transparency with every sip.