Tea is a unique herb, with different types of tea obtained depending on its method of processing. After all, the world’s most popular types of tea, Black, Green, Oolong and White – are all made from one plant. What makes Ceylon Tea extra special is its manufacturing method. The orthodox production method used in Sri Lanka, retains tea’s authenticity in taste, while many other tea producing countries use the Cut Tear and Curl (CTC) method. The latter diminishes the soul of tea – its essence of distinct terroir and flavour – and produces a tea very uniform in taste. Therefore, connoisseurs generally prefer orthodox black tea as its intrinsic character and taste can be enhanced by the tea maker to offer subtle variations, while retaining its quality too. This can be tasted in every cup of Dilmah tea, due to the brand’s commitment to taste and goodness.
Black teas are fully fermented, the most common type of tea from Sri Lanka. Black tea is picked, withered to reduce moisture and to make the leaf pliable, then rolled, fermented and baked (or dried) before sifting.
Green Tea originates from China and is grown in Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan, India and Sri Lanka. Green Tea is unfermented, maintaining mild and light, while sometimes astringent, characteristics. The leaf is picked. Several different methods reflect unique traditions for green tea making in parts of China, Taiwan and Japan.
Oolong teas varying from light “Springtime Oolong Teas” which have a gentle, floral and mild sweetness to the heavier and darker Oolongs which are woody, sometimes earthy with heavy fruit, and occasionally caramelised notes. Oolong teas are partly oxidised or fermented. The teas are picked, often 2 leaves and a bud, withered, fermented, then heated, rolled and dried.
White tea, also known as Silver Tips, is amongst the most rare and refined of teas for the discerning tea drinker. Whilst most of the tea labelled “White Tea” around the world is in fact a mix of a nominal amount of white tea and green or black teas, real white tea maintains a specific appearance with a silvery leaf and a velvety texture, and produces a bright, golden liquor when brewed.
Silver Tips or real white tea is made from the handpicked buds of the Camellia sinensis plant. The picking is restricted to the most experienced tea pickers as it requires gentleness to avoid damaging the cells within the bud, causing fermentation and therefore bitterness to develop within the bud. White tea is unique in being entirely handmade, with the carefully harvested buds being hand-sorted under the supervision of the teamaker – to ensure that the batch contains only the undamaged buds. The buds are then lightly baked in filtered sunlight before being packed into foil-lined boxes for transport. Silver Tips are typically picked early in the morning, before sunlight causes photosynthesis to begin and food to be transported from the leaves of the plant. A single tea picker can typically harvest 200- 250 grams of buds each day whilst he or she would usually pick 16-20 kg of tea – two leaves and a bud – normally.
How to Brew the Perfect Cup of Tea