Best Ceylon Tea Brands in Sri Lanka for 2021

Best Ceylon Tea Brands in Sri Lanka for 2021

Dilmah Tea

Dilmah is a Sri Lankan brand of tea, sold internationally. The company was founded in 1988 by Merrill J Fernando. The name Dilmah was chosen by combining the first names of Fernando’s sons Dilhan and Malik. Dilmah is the only vertically integrated global tea brand today. It means we know where our tea comes from, how exactly it is crafted and every minute detail of the tea that is picked, produced and packed. Why is this important? Simply because it allows us to keep the Dilmah promise of quality, authenticity and freshness, from the tea garden to the cup.


Launched in 1998, Zesta is the flagship brand of tea for Watawala Tea Ceylon Ltd. Offering uncompromising quality and excellent taste, Zesta tea is today recognised and trusted as a brand that delivers exceptional Ceylon tea. Today, Watawala Tea Ceylon Ltd has gained an estimated 35% market share within the relatively short period of over 15 years. Zesta is strong because we have the exposure that ensures that we are on par with international standards of quality and process, as our group holding company is a joint venture partnership between Sunshine Holdings and Pyramid Wilmar Plantations.


DescriptionAkbar Tea is a tea company owned by Akbar Brothers Ltd. based in Sri Lanka. The company produces a range of tea bags, loose teas and gifts including black tea, green tea, flavoured teas, and herbal teas. Akbar Brothers is the largest tea exporter from Sri Lanka.

Mlesna Tea

Mlesna Tea is a tea company owned by Euro-Scan Exports based in Sri Lanka. The company produces a range of loose teas, tea bags and gifts including black tea, green tea, flavoured teas, and herbal teas.


Sri Lankan tea plucked from the hill country tea estates of Bogawantalawa. With 11 premium tea estates, Bogawantalawa is home to premium Ceylon Tea.

Halpe Tea

For over 35 years, Halppewatte Tea factory has been producing some of the most uniquely delicious single estate single-origin teas to come from Ceylon.

History of Ceylon tea

Ceylon tea is named after the island of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). The first tea plantations appeared here in the 70s of the XIX century thanks to the British colonists, and in the 1890s they began to supply it to London. Before tea, cinnamon and coffee were grown in Sri Lanka, but the former eventually became unprofitable, and coffee plantations did not last long and were ruined by disease.

The English businessman Thomas Lipton played an important role in popularizing tea. He devoted a lot of time to the study of the plantations, bought the best of them at a low price, filled the English and American markets with inexpensive, tasty tea, which quickly became fashionable.

The popularity of Ceylon tea is evidenced by the fact that the island of Sri Lanka is the third largest exporter in the world after China and India. Its share in the world market is 23%. The overwhelming part of it falls on black tea, a small part – on green and other varieties.


Features and Benefits

Ceylon black tea is famous for its rich aroma, rich, tart taste and beautifully amber liquid colour. The tea leaves are small to medium in size, uniform in quality, and highly fermented.

Its regular use:

  • improves immunity, helps in the fight against viral diseases;
  • prevents atherosclerosis of blood vessels;
  • calms nerves relieve anxiety;
  • prevents the formation of kidney stones;
  • cleanses the body of toxins and toxins;
  • helps to burn excess fat;
  • increases vitality.

Ceylon tea is good at any time of the year, but especially in winter. It perfectly strengthens the immune system, soothes and warms. All of its varieties go well with jam, honey and milk, are suitable for mixing with other varieties, as well as spices, berries and herbs.

Ceylon tea varieties & kinds

The mountains of Sri Lanka are one of the most environmentally friendly places on the planet, and the climate allows growing tea all year round.

Up to 300 thousand people, usually women, collect it annually. For tea, only young shoots of tea trees are picked. The best and most expensive raw material consists of very young shoots with 1-2 leaves and an incompletely opened bud. Such raw materials are designated as “golden” (“Golden”).

Ceylon tea is divided into the following types:


Plain grows at an altitude of fewer than 600 meters above sea level, has high strength and dense black colour. Medium-high varieties are of higher quality, the infusion is brown. Alpine mountains are considered elite, have a rich, soft taste with tart and velvety notes.

Depending on the type of leaves harvested, Ceylon varieties are endowed with markings:

  • Orange Pekoe – large and thin leaves, fruity taste;
  • Flowery Pekoe – harmonious taste, high strength;
  • Flowery Orange Pekoe – has golden leaf tips and a sweetish taste;
  • Broken Orange Pekoe – medium-sized leaves, strong, aromatic;
  • Broken Orange Pekoe Fannings – has the highest strength and highest caffeine content.

There are several growing areas in Sri Lanka:

  • Nueva Eliya is famous for the best Ceylon varieties. The plantations are located at an altitude of 2000 meters above sea level, surrounded by thickets of eucalyptus, cypress and wild mint, the aromas of which are absorbed by the tea leaves. Tea from Nuwara Eliya is called “champagne” tea for its light golden hue of liquid, soft taste and delicate aroma;
  • Uda Pusselava (1800 m) – moderate strength, delicate taste;
  • Dimbula (1000-1600 m) – medium strength and bright taste;
  • Kandy (600-1200 m) – bright taste and fresh aroma, goes well with milk;
  • Ruhuna (600 m) – very strong, has a rich taste with floral notes;
  • Uva (900-1500 m) – has a variety of flavours, is used in blends.

Walking around a tea factory in Sri Lanka, you can see how the production of Ceylon tea is going on, watch this video clip.

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