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In Ceylon, teas are still hand plucked to ensure a better selection of green leaf for the manufacture of tea: the standard that most Ceylon tea producers strive for is a “fine pluck” or two leaves and a bud. By selecting the younger and more supple tea leaves, which contain more sap, the manufacturer can produce a more distinctive tea with flavor and body.
Unlike Ceylon, other origins increasingly use mechanical harvesters and sheers to collect their green leaf resulting in a greater amount of coarse leaf – such teas when produced are usually plain and lacking in any character.
There are two systems of producing black teas: the traditional Orthodox method and the Cut Tear & Curl (CTC) method. About 70% of the world’s black teas exports are produced using the faster and cheaper CTC method. The leaf is crushed and torn to produce teas of uniform size and is designed mainly for tea bags. CTC teas are generally stronger and full bodied but exhibit no seasonal character or aroma when brewed.
In contrast, over 95% of Ceylon teas are produced in the traditional orthodox method. It's a slower, small-batch, artisanal process that preserves the leaf and the inherent essential oils. Thus enabling the skilled tea maker to produce a wide range of grades and teas of exceptional character. Orthodox teas are lighter with complex, multi-layered flavors that reflect the regions and climactic conditions they are grown in.
The CTC manufacturing process produces only 4 grades of tea, while the orthodox process can produce more than 20 grades enabling the tea taster to select the most ideal teas for different palates and moods.
Sri Lanka there are seven distinct and celebrated tea
regions Each has its own terroir...the unique interplay of
soil type, climate and elevation that shapes flavor
strength and appearance. Consequently, the tea from each
region is distinctively different. Importantly, this regional
diversity allows Ceylon black tea to cater to the unique
tastes and preferences of customers across the globe.
Teas comes from Sri Lanka an island located close to the equator. Consequently, year round temperature variances are minimal enabling
365 days of tea harvesting and consistent quality unlike most other origins. This key advantage allows consumers to receive fresh tea throughout
the year especially when packed in Sri Lanka.
Tea producing countries at higher latitudes, due to the onset of winter, have a shorter seasonal crop which varies greatly in quality. Both these factors necessitate the storage of tea for periods of up to a year Tea quality reduces sharply with the passage of time.