Although Sri Lanka is a relatively small island, there is great climatic variation due to differences in elevation. While it may be cool and temperate in the highlands, is the southern lowlands it is typically tropical and high temperatures year round. This means that tea from different areas of the island also has different characteristics that are linked to habitat.
The plantations of Chaplon Tea Estate are located in two of Sri Lanka’s best tea-districts, Nuwara Eliya and UVA. They are located in small land areas, which are located on slopes and planted with large trees that provide shade and shelter from the sun to bushes.
The Tea Districts
DIMBULLA range from 1,100 to 1,700 meters above sea level and was one of the first areas to be planted with tea plantations in the characteristic straight rows that follow the curves of the landscape. The tea from Dimbulla is varied in strength and flavour and it is probably what most people associate with a genuine ‘Ceylonese tea’ with an orange golden colour.
East of Nuwara Eliya is an area that is known for its high season teas, which are picked from July to September. The tea has a bright red golden colour and medium strength.
The eastern slopes of Sri Lanka’s central mountains from 1,100 to 1,700 meters above sea are called UVA. From here comes some of the softest and most comfortable qualities of tea with the distinctive flavour notes which have made tea from Sri Lanka known worldwide.
The heat and burning sun and a special soil in southern tea district just 600 meters above the sea are the main factors for the dark and distinctive tea produced here. Ruhuna has a deep black colour and a particularly strong taste.
Nearly 200 meters above the Indian Ocean is the area which the British in their time lovingly referred to as ‘Little England’ and built with cozy houses that look as if they are taken directly from the south of England. The climate is cool, and the tea here is for the tea world what champagne is to wine. An elegant and light tea with characteristic notes of flowers, elegant spicy notes and a very soft and fine taste.
The area around Kandy, Ceylon/Sri Lanka’s ancient royal city and capital, is one of the oldest tea areas. Here on the slopes for up to approximately 1,000 meters you find high grown teas with a dark and deep flavour and a colour that is perfect to enjoy with milk afternoon beverage.