Ceylon Tea

Ceylon Tea
Broker Anil Cooke, center, shows Gerry Vandergrift of The Metropolitan Tea Company, left, and Brett Patterson of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, right, some of the black teas that are available at that week’s auction.

Although Sri Lanka has a landmass of only 25,332 square miles, it produces 17 percent of the world’s black tea supply. “We are custodians of the art of making orthodox black tea,” says Anil, who, as a broker, works with various estates to seCeylon Teall their teas at the weekly Colombo auction, the largest of its kind. And while black teas are certainly the country’s claim to fame, some producers, such as Lumbini Tea Estate, have begun experimenting with white, green, and oolong teas, including some handmade examples, like those pictured below. And Talawakelle’s Radella Tea Estate is one of the few gardens committed to processing gunpowder green tea exclusively.

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