The Seven Tea Growing Regions
Like the great wine-growing regions of France, the tea country of Sri Lanka is divided up into several strictly-defined regions or ‘districts’, each of which is known for producing teas of a particular character. There are seven districts in all. Each presents a unique combination of climate and terrain that leaves its mark on the tea it produces, regardless of price point or estate of origin. Of course, there is considerable variation between sub-districts and individual estates, between successive crops taken from the same estate in successive years and even between different hillsides on the same estate; yet despite such differences, the regional character of the tea is always evident to the experienced taster or connoisseur.
The teas of the Kandy region are said to be particularly flavoursome, though, as with all teas, their strength is inversely proportional to the elevation at which they are grown.
The unique climate, combined with the terrain peculiar to the region, produces a tea that is recognized by connoisseurs as among the finest – if not the finest – in the world.
The weather in Udapusselawa which usually has dry, cold conditions during this latter period add a hint of rose to the bouquet of a tea known for its medium body and subtle character.
The mellow, smooth taste of Uva tea, once known, is easily distinguished from that of any other. The Uva region produces a leaf that is more blackened by withering than that of any other district.
The soil of Ruhuna, combined with the low elevation of the estates, causes the tea-bush to grow rapidly, producing a long, beautiful leaf that turns intensely black on withering and is particularly suited to ‘rolling’.