Complete guide to Ceylon tea: Benefits, types & how to drink
For tea lovers, the journey of the tea from the plantation to their doorsteps is just as special as the tea. Ceylon Tea is one tea whose origin and history give it special importance in the hearts of tea lovers. It carries behind it a heritage and success story like no other!
If you’re discovering Ceylon tea for the first time, let’s start by explaining to you what is Ceylon tea?
- What is Ceylon tea?
- Ten impressive benefits of Ceylon tea
- Ceylon tea caffeine content
- Ceylon tea side effects
- What does Ceylon tea taste like?
- Tea regions of Ceylon
- Types of Ceylon tea
- How to drink Ceylon Tea?
- Which Ceylon tea is the best for Iced tea?
- How to identify if your Ceylon tea is pure?
- Where to buy Ceylon tea?
- About the author
What is Ceylon tea?
Ceylon tea is the name of tea grown in the island nation, Sri Lanka. Not many people know that Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon before its independence.
In the British era, tea began to be cultivated and produced in Sri Lanka for the first time. Since then, Ceylon has gained and maintained a reputation for producing the finest quality of tea in the world.
The humidity, cool temperature, and rainfall of the central highlands of Sri Lanka favoured the production of high-quality tea. Even the low elevation areas of Sri Lanka started producing tea with special characteristics.
Over time, Sri Lankan tea gained popularity in the international markets and Sri Lanka became the leading exporter of tea in the world. Even today, the tea from Sri Lanka continues to be known as Ceylon tea.
The country is now the fourth-largest producer of tea in the world. What started merely from 19 acres of land has today surpassed all geographical borders to satisfy 19% of global demand!
Today, Ceylon tea comes in many varieties, including black tea, green tea, and white tea. The unique taste and the impeccable aroma of Ceylon tea have made it famous around the globe.
Also read — How is Ceylon tea cultivated?
Ten impressive benefits of Ceylon tea
What is Ceylon tea good for? Let's see.
Ceylon tea has impressive health benefits — ranging from burning fat to regulating blood sugar and decreasing cholesterol levels. It's packed with loads of antioxidants, flavonoids and polyphenolic compounds which act as remedies for several illnesses. The anti-oxidants present in Ceylon tea helps treat chronic conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, and heart diseases.
Owing to the numerous health benefits of Ceylon tea, locals even have between 3-5 cups of Ceylon tea in a day!
Let’s look at these benefits of Ceylon tea and identify the best teas for treating different health issues.
1. Ceylon tea for cardiovascular health
One cup of Ceylon tea is known to have 25mg of potassium. Ceylon tea contains just the right amount of potassium that helps in relaxing the tension in arteries and blood vessels. Drinking Ceylon black tea in the morning results in the regulation of blood pressure which is important for maintaining the heart’s health. Further, the flavonoids present in Ceylon tea helps prevent heart diseases.
Drinking suggestion — Best tea for blood pressure
Looking for best Ceylon tea for high blood pressure? Pure Ceylon Black tea with Cinnamon spice is what you need. Cinnamon Chai blend is a combination of Low grown Ceylon black tea and pure Ceylon Cinnamon.
Cinnamon Chai is rich in antioxidants such as Potassium and Magnesium that helps normalize blood pressure and reduce sugar levels. The nutrients present in both Cinnamon and black tea reduce the level of LDL “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides, lowering your risk of heart disease.
2. Ceylon tea for boosting immunity
The antioxidants present in Ceylon tea increases the white blood cells in the blood and boost immunity. Ceylon tea also has catechins that provide the tea with its antiviral and antibacterial properties. They enable the body to fight harmful viruses and bacteria.
Drinking suggestion — Best tea for cold, cough and flu
Ceylon black tea with lemon is effective against cold and flu. Lemon Kandy Ceylon tea is rich in Vitamin C and Bioflavonoid Quercetin that acts as an anti-histamine and boosts immunity against cold and flu.
Combination of black Ceylon tea with ginger is also helpful in fighting cold and flu.
The ‘superfood’ Ginger is infused in Two Seasons Ceylon tea, providing a valuable source of Vitamin C, Magnesium and other minerals that act as a natural anti-histamine to boost immunity against cold, flu and allergies.
3. Ceylon tea for weight loss
The most important set of compounds in Ceylon green tea are catechins, especially EGCG. Catechins help activate a specific enzyme involved in breaking down fat cells that prevent fat accumulation. According to studies conducted, participants who consumed Ceylon green tea regularly noticed a significant reduction in their abdominal fat.
Drinking suggestion — Best tea for weight loss
Pure Ceylon Green tea from the famous Uva region of Sri Lanka aids in weight loss. Regular consumption of Ceylon Green tea can support weight loss through increased metabolism and enable a healthy lifestyle.
Another lesser-known but equally effective tea for weight loss is Ceylon White tea also known as "Silver Needle" tea. Some people refer to Silver Needle tea as the new Green tea for its role in burning fat. Ceylon White tea has lower caffeine content as it’s hand-plucked, naturally withered and gently hand-rolled before firing. It is rich in catechins that help boost metabolism and blocks the formation of new fat cells while boosting lipolysis that breakdown fat.
Also read — What’s so special about ‘Silver Needle’ Ceylon White tea?
4. Ceylon tea for combatting cancer
The catechins present in Ceylon Green tea (especially EGCG) are known to play an important role in treating prostate cancer in its early stages. Owing to its high anti-oxidants content, Ceylon Green tea is known for its ability to fight cancer and prevent the growth of tumours.
It’s not just green tea that is useful in preventing cancer. Consuming Ceylon black tea regularly also helps in minimizing the growth of cancer cells. Theaflavins and thearubigins are the anti-oxidants present in black tea that fight free radicals and protect cells from any cancerous damage.
5. Ceylon tea for diabetes treatment
The biggest concern for diabetic patients is that they need to control their blood sugar levels and diet plays an important role in that. The polyphenols present in Ceylon Oolong tea are known to keep the blood sugar levels and insulin levels in control.
For those of you who don’t know about Oolong tea, it’s a special kind of Green tea that is only partially fermented, yielding it some special characteristics.
Ceylon Oolong tea is also known to increase overall insulin sensitivity.
Drinking suggestion — Best tea for diabetes
Undoubtedly, the best tea for diabetes is Ceylon Oolong tea. Drinking oolong tea regularly controls the blood sugar levels of type 2 diabetes patients. The plasma glucose and fructosamine concentrations of diabetes patients decrease significantly after having Oolong tea.
Pure Ceylon Oolong tea from the Galle District in Sri Lanka, is fresh and mild in flavour and orange in appearance. It is distinctive for its aroma and contains lots of anti-oxidants.
Also read — How can oolong tea help type 2 diabetes patients?
6. Ceylon tea for preventing kidney stones
Ceylon tea is known for reducing the risk of kidney stones by preventing the formation of calcium oxalate deposits in the urinary tract. These calcium oxalate deposits lead to kidney stones and their formation needs to be stopped at early stages.
EGCG is a catechin present in Ceylon tea which further protects the kidney from any toxicity. Pure Ceylon Black Tea infusion with bergamot helps prevent kidney stones. Antioxidants present in the bergamot oil and black tea work together as a diuretic to detox your body, helping overall kidney health, digestion, constipation and acid reflux.
7. Ceylon tea for stomach health
Some studies reveal that Ceylon Black tea aids the process of digestion. Thearubigin is a black tea polyphenol that accelerates gut flow and helps with gut function. The antioxidants present in Ceylon tea maintain the overall health of the gut and facilitate the digestion process.
Note - In case your gut gets irritated with caffeine, then you should avoid drinking Ceylon tea as it might do you more harm than good.
Drinking suggestion — Best tea for digestion
Though almost all types of Ceylon tea aid digestion, if you’re looking for the best tea for upset stomach, then you should try Pure Ceylon Black tea infusion with mint. It is the perfect drink after any meal for aiding digestion and promoting healthy bowel movements. The tea has a calming effect on the intestines and soothes muscles of the digestive tract, providing you relief from Diarrhea, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and Constipation.
8. Ceylon tea for a radiant skin
Did you know the exposure to the sun causes ageing and increases the chances of skin cancer? The polyphenols present in Ceylon tea protect the skin from these harmful UV radiations.
Ceylon tea is also packed with antioxidants that prevent the skin from getting damaged. The antioxidants also help in controlling the visible signs of ageing like fine lines and wrinkles.
Apart from making Ceylon tea a part of your regular diet, you can even try applying green tea extract directly to your skin to restore the natural glow.
Also read — How to use green tea for healthier skin?
9. Ceylon tea for mental alertness
On the lookout for the perfect beverage to kick start your day with energy? Ceylon Black tea is packed with nutrients like minerals and vitamins to keep you energetic all day. With just the right amount of caffeine, you’ll remain alert and attentive.
Drinking suggestion — Best tea for energy
Pure Ceylon Black tea from the famous Dimbulla region of Sri Lanka is the perfect alternative to coffee, providing a healthy dose of caffeine to get going. It’s the perfect ‘Royal English breakfast tea’ that has sweet, spicy, strong flavours and a lingering perfume aroma that leaves you feeling refreshed.
10. Ceylon tea for bone health
Drinking Ceylon tea can prevent osteoporosis, a condition in which the bones become brittle and fragile. Regular consumption of Ceylon tea is known to improve the overall bone density.
EGCG present in Ceylon tea prevents inflammation, treats joint pain and strengthens the bones.
Ceylon tea caffeine content
Despite the many benefits of Ceylon tea, some people worry about the caffeine content and its side effects.
So, let’s answer this common question - Does Ceylon tea have caffeine?
Just like the taste of Ceylon tea, the caffeine content also varies on the type of leaves used to prepare the tea. For instance, Ceylon tea made with white tea leaves has the lowest amount of caffeine (about 6mg per cup) and Ceylon tea made with black tea leaves (about 50mg to 90 mg per cup). Ceylon green tea has a moderate amount of caffeine content (about 35mg per cup).
Ceylon tea caffeine content also varies according to the preparation. If loose leaves are used to prepare the tea, it has lower caffeine as compared to tea prepared from tea bags.
Ceylon tea side effects
In terms of side effects, Ceylon tea is similar to other parts of the world. Ceylon tea must be consumed in moderation. Drinking moderate amounts of black tea is safe for most adults, but drinking more than 5 cups per day is unsafe.
May Cause Anxiety And Irregular Heartbeat
While drinking tea usually calms the mind, in some cases, caffeine in the tea can make your anxiety worse or even cause irregular heartbeat. Observe yourself to understand if the caffeine is affecting you negatively.
May cause diarrhoea and IBS
The caffeine in the tea may also cause diarrhoea or irritable bowel syndrome in individuals with digestive issues. It helps to choose the tea that is helpful for digestion and gentle on the stomach.
May aggravate liver issues
Ceylon green tea may aggravate certain liver diseases. If you experience signs of possible liver damage, such as dark urine, abdominal pain, and yellowing of the skin, please consult your doctor right away.
May aggravate osteoporosis
Though drinking Ceylon tea is good for bone health, in some cases, drinking Ceylon tea may increase the amount of calcium flushed out through urine. If you’re not taking enough calcium already, this can be a problem. To avoid this problem, ensure that your caffeine intake remains less than 300 mg per day.
What does Ceylon tea taste like?
The answer to the question - What does Ceylon tea taste like - varies depending on the region where it was grown. Sri Lanka has about 8 different tea-growing districts and each of them has varying elevation, climatic conditions, and terrain. Each tea growing region produces tea with a slightly different taste and character.
However, there’s a typical Ceylon tea taste that is bold and crisp. This characteristic taste of Ceylon tea is often accompanied by citrus or spicy taste depending on the tea-growing region.
The taste of Ceylon tea also depends on the type of tea. Ceylon green tea usually has a nutty taste and a strong flavour as it’s only lightly fermented. Ceylon black tea, on the other hand, has a milder flavour as it’s fully fermented. Ceylon white tea has a mild sweet taste as it’s only hand dried in the sun.
Tea regions of Ceylon
Did you know that about 4% of Sri Lanka is covered with Tea Plantations?
True lovers of Ceylon tea know that every tea growing region of Sri Lanka yields tea with its peculiar characteristics. There are five areas in Sri Lanka where tea grows. They are different from each other as they are all at a different elevation ranging between 3,000 and 8,000 feet. Due to the difference in climatic conditions and elevation, Ceylon tea has varying taste and flavours.
The panoramic tea gardens of Sri Lanka provide a countless number of blends and single garden tea of premium value, which are magnificent and beautiful.
Thinking of trying Ceylon tea for the first time? Let’s walk you through these most popular tea growing regions of Ceylon and their famous teas.
1. Kandy district
Kandyan tea will always remain special as the first Ceylon tea plantation of Sri Lanka was in the Kandy district.
Located in the central province of Sri Lanka, this district is reachable only through steep mountain passes. This has allowed the cultural traditions of the area to maintain their authenticity and character for centuries. Within Kandy, there are many famous tea growing regions.
One of them is the small town of Pussallawa which was the ancient capital of Sri Lankan royalty. Pussallawa is situated at 2,000-4,000ft above sea level and is today known for its mid-grown teas. Ceylon Black tea from Pussallawa region has a woody aroma, malty taste, and dark gold colour.
Usually, the tea from the Kandy region produce bright infusions with the copper tone, is intense and full-bodied. If you prefer teas with a bold taste, you may explore the complete range of teas from Kandy tea here.
2. Uva Province
Tea from the Uva province grows at an elevation of 3,000 to 5,000 ft and is recognized across the world for its distinctive flavour. The climatic conditions here yield aromatic tea with a mellow, smooth taste.
If you love green tea, then this tea growing region has got just what you need. Nanu Oya district in Uva Province is world-famous for the high-grown Ceylon Green tea from its Nanu Oya district.
Dimbulla region of Ceylon is famous for its high grown teas. Due to varying elevation, some teas from this region are full-bodied, while others are delicate, but most are mellow in flavour. Such a variation in flavour makes this area interesting.
Dimbulla region is famous for its organic farming practices. The area receives a good amount of rainfall and remains misty always. Only plant-based organic fertilizers along with dung from grass-fed cows are used to grow sensational teas in this tea estate of Dimbulla. Explore the complete range Dimbulla tea here.
4. Nuwara Eliya
Nuwara Eliya region of Ceylon has the highest elevation and rugged mountains. The tea from this region has a delicate smell and a rich golden hue.
At an elevation of 6,100 ft, Nuwara Eliya is known for producing Ceylon high grown teas, a brew so splendid it’s famous as a “fit for the Gods.” Such high-grown teas, which are found on heights from 4000 feet and above, are considered premium. They exude beautiful golden liquor and a yield an intense, powerful aroma.
The tea from this region boasts a light, fine, tart flavour that we can only attribute to the time and care dedicated to harvesting and processing this tea. The unique climate and altitude of the Nuwara Eliya region provide an exceptional flavour experience. Explore the entire range of Nuwara Eliya tea here.
5. Ruhuna Region
Ruhuna tea-growing district produces "low-grown" teas that are full-flavoured and unique. Low-grown teas have an elevation below 2000 feet. They are known to produce good colour and strength. These are popularly drunk with milk.
The forests of Ruhuna are home to elephants, leopards, bears, wild boar, deer, giant flamingos, and of course, the finest teas. Ruhana tea grows in an area nourished by high humidity and monsoon season and surrounded by diverse wildlife. Want to sip on the finest Ceylon Black tea that reminds you of the monsoon? Try Black tea from Ruhuna.
What makes Ceylon tea even more special is that it is also the cleanest tea in the world in terms of pesticide residues. This has been confirmed by the ISO Technical Committee. Sri Lanka was also the first to achieve the “Ozone Friendly tea” label recognized under the Montreal Protocol Treaty and is the proud owner of the first Ethical Tea Brand of the World recognized by the United Nations Global Compact.
Feeling confused about these tea growing regions? We've summarized it for you!
Types of Ceylon tea
The most famous types of Ceylon tea are black, white, green, and oolong. All of them surprisingly comes from the same plant — Camellia Sinensis — but are different because of the way they are processed differently.
1. Black tea
Black tea is the most popular form of Ceylon tea. To make black tea, the leaves of Sri Lankan tea are hand-plucked by the masterful female tea pluckers. The handpicking ensure that they pick only two leaves and a bud in large quantities. These leaves are then withered, rolled and fermented, then dried and sifted.
After the sifting is done, the leaves are separated into different grades. The largest wiry leaves are called Orange Pekoe, followed by lots of different grades, until dust grade. Every grade of black tea has a different colour and intensity.
Also read — What are the tea grades for black tea and what do they mean?
2. Green tea
Green tea is another popular category of Ceylon tea. It’s gaining more popularity now. The overall process of making Green tea is somewhat different from Black tea, even though it comes from the same kind of plant. For the processing of Green tea, the leaves are unfermented to maintain their antioxidant characteristics. The leaves are then picked, withered and heated, then rolled before drying and sifting. One great quality of Ceylon Green tea is that it is also pure and clean, just like Black tea.
3. White tea
White tea is a unique type of Ceylon tea. For this reason, it’s also the most expensive. The harvesting process is what makes it special. For White tea, only the buds are plucked, that too very delicately at dawn. These buds are not fermented at all and are hand-rolled individually. White tea is the only type of tea that is handmade. The colour of the White tea is subtle and light. It has less caffeine and more antioxidants than green or Black tea. This makes White tea one of the most healthy beverages. White tea is also called “Silver Tips”, and can be found in loose leaf or pyramid bags at all the tea shops in Sri Lanka.
Also read — What is Ceylon White tea and what are its benefits?
Irrespective of the type of tea, all Ceylon tea is produced by following the following basic steps.
How to drink Ceylon Tea?
Now that you’re aware of the many benefits of drinking Ceylon tea and its many types, chances are you’d want to try your hands on it.
The question - How to drink Ceylon tea - doesn’t have an exact answer but the following steps will help you out. Do remember that the ways to prepare and drink Ceylon tea will vary on the type of tea.
Usually, about 1 tsp (3.2g) of Ceylon tea leaves are used per cup (6 oz, 180 ml). The amount can vary based on the tea type. Always read the instructions on the label.
Make sure that you use fresh, pure and filtered water for brewing.
For hot brewing, bring the water close to the boiling point. However, do note that some tea leaves brew better around 75-80 C. Read the brewing instruction to get the perfect taste.
For cold brewing, always check if the tea leaves that you’re using a suitable for cold brewing. After that, all you do is put some tea leaves in a pitcher or jar at bedtime, fill it full of water, and keep it in the fridge overnight. For some types of tea, you might need to add tea leaves to boiling water instead of using water at room temperature.
For hot brewing, it’s suggested to steep the tea leaves for about 3 to 5 minutes.
You may add milk if you’re using Pure Ceylon Black tea leaves to prepare your tea. It’s not suitable to add mink to certain black tea infusions. Always check the instructions before adding milk.
For cold brewing, it’s best to let the leaves steep overnight. Let’s look at some varieties of Ceylon tea that are used for cold brewing and making iced tea.
Which Ceylon tea is the best for Iced tea?
Now that you know how simple cold brewing is, you might be tempted to try preparing iced tea at home. Looking for the best Ceylon tea for making iced tea?
Almost all kinds of tea - black teas, green teas, white teas, and tea infusions can be used for making iced tea. However, some flavours and stronger teas are highly recommended for iced tea preparations. Let’s have a look at them.
1. Pure Ceylon Green tea for Iced tea
Pure Ceylon Green tea is yellow and boasts a mild, roasted flavour. It has a herbaceous and earthy aroma. While this tea in itself is great for preparing iced tea, it’s the Ceylon Green tea infusion that wins the show.
Ceylon Green tea infusion with tangy pineapple and tropical fruits including strawberry, mango, and peach compliment the green tea base, teasing out its hidden flavours. With its refreshing aroma of tropical fruits and fresh taste, it’s perfect for iced tea.
2. Pure Ceylon Black Tea for Iced Tea
Pure Ceylon Black tea is the most popular base for iced tea preparations. To it, many other fruits and flavours can be added while brewing. You may even choose from the different varieties of black tea infusions available in the market.
Ceylon Black tea infusion with peach and ginger root is an excellent infusion for making iced tea. The sweet flavour of peach brings balance and peace to the spiciness of the black tea and ginger blend.
How to identify if your Ceylon tea is pure?
After independence, a lot of people in Sri Lanka wanted to completely get rid of their colonial past and stop using the name Ceylon. However, by that time, the name had gained such a good reputation that stopping its usage could have meant a serious setback in growth.
So, despite Sri Lanka’s independence in 1948 the name ‘Ceylon tea’ is continued to be used till date. This led to the creation of a priceless world brand that became a guaranteed mark of quality.
Owing to the growing popularity of Ceylon tea, it became important for the Sri Lankan tea board to set quality standards. “Pure Ceylon tea — Packed in Sri Lanka” became the trademark slogan for Ceylon tea. Along with this slogan, pure Ceylon tea produced in Sri Lanka also carries the “Lion Logo” as you see on teakruthi's website.
The use of the logo and the slogan is closely monitored by the tea board of Sri Lanka to maintain the quality standard and reputation of Ceylon tea in the international markets.
To experience the true taste and flavour of Ceylon tea and to get all its benefits, make sure you only buy Pure Ceylon tea with the lion logo and trademark slogan on its packaging.
Many rules need to be followed to qualify as Pure Ceylon tea. The tea must be entirely grown and harvested in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka tea board makes all the laws and ensures that they are followed. For example, Ceylon tea cannot be blended with any other form of tea. Even a 95 per cent blend does not qualify as Ceylon tea.
Also read — How to ensure the authenticity of Ceylon tea?
Where to buy Ceylon tea?
Like most natural products, tea tastes best when fresh. However, most teas on the market are far from it, taking nearly a year to reach your cup as they pass through a supply-chain of multiple middlemen and storage houses. As your tea makes this long journey from the plantation to your home, it gradually goes flat losing its natural flavour and aroma. As such some common tea brands chemically enhance their teas with natural and artificial flavouring or GMO’s.
Sadly most of the today’s leading tea brands (some might be in your kitchen cupboard) include harmful chemical additives to boost flavour and shelf life of their teas.
So, if you intend to consume the freshest and purest form of Ceylon tea, you can select from teakruthi’s range of Ceylon tea.
The unique thing about teakruthi’s Ceylon tea is that it delivers teas directly from the plantation to your doorstep within three months. Due to the short lead-time and direct sourcing model, our teas taste delicious with no artificial additives.
This is done by eliminating the middlemen and sourcing directly from some of Sri Lanka’s finest estate factories. Their just-in-time demand algorithms allow them to order tea supply only as needed, reducing storage stock and wastage.
Sri Lanka is the only source market that grows tea all year round, eliminating the need for us to stock supply to service off-season orders. Teakruthi serves only the finest of pure Ceylon tea hand plucked and sourced from select plantations in Sri Lanka’s high, mid and low-grown regions.
Their complex flavours and aromas are delicately balanced by our experienced tea Sommeliers to create a range of uniquely distinctive flavours. We process our teas in a climate-controlled facility and ship them to you sealed air-tight in an aluminium pouch, protecting it from sunlight. Your tea thus arrives fresh with its true flavour and aromas intact.
We invite you to experience the best of Ceylon tea at teakruthi.
- Sri Lankan tea (Camellia sinensis L.) and Their Health-Promoting Aspects — International Journal of Food Science, US National Library of Medicine
- Tea Components with Anti-Oxidant activity — Department of Nutrition and Bromatology, School of Pharmacy, Spain
- Tea and Human Health — Journal of Zhejiang University, US National Library of Medicine
- Effect of tea on blood pressure — Nutrition Reviews, US National Library of Medicine
- Skin Photoprotection by Green tea — Current Drug Targets. Immune, Endocrine, and Metabolic Disorders, US National Library of Medicine
About the author
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5 commentsWrite a comment
Well done. Ceylon tea is a delicious one! It was great to know the details about ceylon tea. Keep posting.
Brook Schella Akakpo
Please how can celylon tea make one loose weight without exercising the body
Thanks for all the information! Though you sell the tea, you don’t push it, per se. I several times went elsewhere to confirm certain claims (ie health benefits) and all seem accurate. I am now going to purchase a wide variety of these tea options. I’m very excited! Never thought I’d spend 45 minutes reading about tea! Lol. Thanks again!
Can this product make u lose weight
FYI Sri Lankan Independence was in 1947!