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The delicious flavour of green tea from Sri Lanka is a well-kept open secret. Ceylon Green is slowly gaining recognition for combining some of the famous characteristics of orthodox black Ceylon with the refreshing taste of Chinese cultivars. While Sri Lanka only exported around 3,000 tonnes, or a fraction of black tea sales, in 2010, Ceylon Green tea managed to gain popularity with tea lovers around the world.
So how did Sri Lanka, historically famous for black tea, start having green tea farms? The history of green tea Sri Lanka starts as far back as the very first experiments in tea cultivation and manufacture made on the island by the British. Some attribute the appearance of green tea in Sri Lanka to Sir Anthony Oliphant, a former Chief Justice of Ceylon. However, historians generally agree that the credit for undertaking these experiments goes to Maurice Worms, a member of the great Rothschild financial dynasty. As a hobby, he planted some China seedlings on his estates in Pussallewa and Ramboda in 1842, in the midst of the Ceylon coffee boom.
Due to the high production costs, Maurice Worms soon abandoned this enterprise. However, the seedlings of the Chinese cultivars that he had imported and had planted for him survive to this day. Many of the bushes on older Sri Lankan estates, especially those at high elevations, were grown from China seedlings.
The smaller leaf size and more subtle flavour of Chinese cultivars versus the popular Assamica varieties that are common on tea estates in Sri Lanka have lead to only 11 manufacturers on a number of estates to produce green Ceylon Tea. It is most commonly grown on estates in mid-grown and high-grown districts.
Here at Teamore, we are proud to be a part of the green Ceylon Tea tradition. Explore our range of Green Ceylon Teas, and see why it is capturing the hearts of tea drinkers worldwide!