Sri Lanka

  • Full name: Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
  • Population: 19.3 million (UN, 2007)
  • Capital: Colombo (commercial),Sri Jayawardenepura (administrative)
  • Major languages: Sinhala, Tamil, English
  • Major religions: Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity

Sri Lanka has over 188,000 hectares under tea cultivation, yielding about 298,000 tonnes of "made" tea, and accounting for over 19% of world exports. In 1972, the island then known as Ceylon reverted to the traditional name of Sri Lanka, but retained the name of Ceylon for the marketing of teas.

Tea from Sri Lanka falls into three categories: low grown (on estates up to 2000 ft high); medium grown (between 2000 and 4000 ft); and high grown (over 4000 ft). Each level produces teas of unique character. By blending teas from different areas of the island, Sri Lanka can offer a very wide range of flavour and colour. Some are full-bodied, others light and delicate, but all Ceylon blends will have brisk full flavours and bright golden colour. Because of the geographical location, tea can be plucked in Sri Lanka all year round: the west and east of the island are divided by central mountains so that as each region's season ends, the other begins.