Venture Tea, Colombo, Sri Lanka

The various

Tea Growing Regions

Camellia Sinensis is an exotic hygroscopic herb. For successful agricultural sustainability, certain environmental conditions are critical for this plant. Climate, temperature, relative humidity, soil genesis, rainfall, elevation, and human activity, are to name a few. Tea is a naturally sensitive herb and slight changes in any of the above variants cause a significant tangible effect on Ceylon tea. The availability of just the right amount of these natural elements has made Ceylon’s tea story a successful one. It’s flavor, aroma, strengths, color, chemical composition is famously unique to Ceylon. These attributes are directly related to the tea-growing regions of the island.

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Sri Lankan Ecology

What makes it special

The island of Sri Lanka is geographically located in the Asiatic monsoon belt has the highest varied biodiversity in all of Asia. Though it is a small island it has different climates endemic to each region.

Existence of micro-climates, cloud forests, exposure to the Indian oceanic weather systems, Sri Lanka is a land like no other. 4 % of its territory is covered by tea, which is approximately 221,969 hectares of tea estates. The area of the island where tea is cultivated is called ‘tea country’ and it sits towards the South Central part of the island.

The terrain consists of a range of mountains with a high plateau at its core. The island enjoys a rainfall of 2,500mm throughout the year and a temperature ranging from 8C to 12C. The central hills act as a windbreak and watershed to the hillside, foothills, and the plains. Due to this factor, either side of the mountain receives the rains at different periods.

Each species of Camellia Sinensis growing in these regions have uniquely adapted to its natural environment in a wondrous way. This herb with 5000 years of ancestry is revered and cherished the world over by tea drinkers and coinsures.

Tea is grown for the production of young shoots. The growth of these shoots is in relation to their agro-climatic circumstances. Temperature and rainfall are in direct proportion to a plant’s ability to produce new shoots. If either of these variables is too high or too low the tea bush does not grow. As such the tea-growing regions have evolved over the centuries to aid in creating a perfect blend of tea.

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Regional Tea

Pure Black Tea

The tea from Ceylon falls into three categories or regions. Each region has its unique blend of climate, slope, soil depth, grave content, surface rockiness, sun radiation, rainfall, moisture content, and wind, etc. The above factors and their interactions are what defines the profile of tea blends. They are as follows:

• The low grown teas
• The mid grown teas
• The high grown teas

These areas have an abundance of foliage conducive to the growth of tea.

The Three Regions

Low Grown Tea

The low grown region begins at sea level and goes up to about 2000 feet above sea level. Being located in the ‘wet zone’ of the island, the Southwest Monsoon has a profound impact here. The close proximity of the Sinharaja Rainforests has blessed it with micro-climatic conditions, cloud forests, and high humidity levels throughout the year.

Mid Grown Tea

The last kingdom of Ceylon, the birthplace of Ceylon tea, sits at an altitude of 2000 feet to 4000 feet above sea level. This valley is comparatively sheltered from fierce winds and the surrounding mountain range. The weather here is ideal for anyone – cool and dry for most parts of the year. Being in the middle of three districts it produces single region teas.

High Grown Tea

Found between elevations of 3800 feet and 7000 feet above sea level, this area has all the benefits of high altitude climates. The region enjoys dense fog, cool water and clean air along with mountain peaks covered in Cyprus and Conifer trees. This little piece of heaven was referred to as “little England” since Colonial times.

The versatility that exists within these 3 dynamic worlds is embodied by each and every tea leaf. The ability of the tea plant to draw its energy from its surroundings and then fluidly transfer that energy to its leaves makes this plant a true gift of nature. Camellia’s senses thrive in each of these regions in its own unique way. Being in tune with Mother Nature, the curator ‘Camellias seines’ exhibits a gourmet product, a pure minimalistic savory experience, captivating and memorable. The secret to a good cup of tea is in its cultivation and production processing.

In Ceylon, all teas are not created equal. They are handcrafted and made special by their distinguished regions. By the very heart of the nation, its very core a cup of Ceylon tea holds the essence of the island. Tea has come to become the largest form of agriculture in the country. The fourth largest tea producer in the world which contributes to 23% of the world’s tea.

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