The overwhelming surge of scientific research is substantiating the ancient proclamations that tea as the most potent health beverage ever! Recent studies in leading medical journals declare tea as a potential heart tonic, cancer blocker, fat buster, immune stimulant, arthritis soother, virus fighter and cholesterol detoxifier. The chemicals in tea have been shown to protect the body against stomach, breast, colon, and skin cancers, to lower blood pressure, to lower serum cholesterol, and triglycerides, and normalize blood sugar. Most of the research studies show significant health benefits in people who consumed 4 cups of tea or more daily although some studies found health benefits in those who consumed as little as 3 cups a day.
The principal production of tea in Ceylon (Sri Lanka, but the tea is referred to as Ceylon) is of black or fully oxidized tea. It is produced throughout the year, but the finest pluckings are in February and March, and again in August and September. The larger yield, though lower in quality, occurs during April, May, and June and again in October, November and December. In January the quality drops dramatically.
Ceylon blends are divided into high, medium, and low grown. Of these, the high grown are of the very best quality and when coupled with the specific times of year (above paragraph) they can be stunning.
Certain districts within Ceylon, such as Kegalla and the low country teas, are known to yield these plain or common teas; others, such as Nuwara Eliya and Dimbula can be depended upon for very fine teas although expensive (but well worth it).
Ceylon grew no tea until 1867, when James Taylor, the Scottish manager of the Loolecondera tea Estate, first planted some. His timing was fortuitous, as just two years later a fungus disease descended on the island's coffee plantations ruining Ceylon's leading industry. Those who could afford to, turned to growing tea.
Ceylon tea is grown from sea level to altitudes exceeding 7,000 feet. The best Ceylon teas are harvested at altitudes above 4,000 feet. Here the bushes grow more slowly and yield far less, not to mention being more difficult to harvest. Most high grown Ceylon teas come from gardens so steep that the newly picked green leaves must be conveyed to the estate factory by means of aerial ropeways.
Ceylon blendsfrom Sri Lanka, acclaimed as the best tea in the world has its inherent unique characteristics and reputation running through more than a century. The influence of climatic conditions of its plantation imparts to the product a variety of flavors and aromas, synonymous with quality.
Ceylon Black tea is characterized by long, chestnut colored leaves and is a rich tea with an invigorating taste. It is an excellent morning cup. Lovers advice to try it with a splash of milk.