Tripin 2017 - 2018 - page 86

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women who skillfully pluck the two
youngest leaves and a bud from the
end of each branch, to the 170 minutes
of oxidization and the 21 minutes of
withering and ultimately the art of
brewing it to your preference. The
entire process is one hundred percent
natural with no nasty additives or
chemicals.
Before the production process begins
there are many conditions that
influence the tea leaf. Altitude, soil,
weather, and even the time of day the
leaf is plucked, all of this results in
subtle differences of varying tasting
notes. Iconic but not exclusive to hill
country slopes, Ceylon teas are grown
in six major regions throughout the
country. Galle, to the south of the
island; Ratnapura, about 55 miles east
of Colombo; Kandy the lower region,
near the ancient royal capital; Nuwera
Eliya, at the highest altitude; Dimbulla
west of the central mountains; and
Uva, located east of Dimbulla. High-
grown teas are produced at elevations
between 3,500 and 7,500 feet, and low-
grown teas, range from elevations of
1,500 to 1,800 feet. Although strong
in taste and colour, low-grown teas,
tend to lack the distinctive flavours
and fresh taste of higher-grown teas,
which produce the best golden elixirs
with an intense and distinct flavour. A
good rule of thumb is the higher grown
the tea, the lighter the cup and more
refined the flavours. The lower grown
teas are a stronger version and ideal
with a dash of milk and sweetener.
As you meander through the island you
are bound to pass a plantation or two,
and if you make your way up into the
hills, the sheer beauty and bounty of
the richly tiered and seemingly endless
rows upon rows of lush tea bushes will
blow you away. And throughout the
day you will surely be offered a cup or
two of our pride and joy. As you sip
on your Ceylon tea, remember all that
went into that little leaf before it made
it to your cup.
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