(Estate Black Tea)
Country of Origin: Sri Lanka
Region: Nuwara Eliya
Shipping Port: Colombo
Grade: FBOP (Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe)
Altitude: 6100 feet above sea level
Manufacture Type: Orthodox
Cup Characteristics: A top Ceylon tea estate. The cup is light with excellent flavor. Nuwara Eliya teas are called the ‘champagne of Ceylon’. Enjoyed any time of the day.
Infusion: Bright and coppery
Ingredients: Luxury black tea.
Courtlodge is in the Nuwara Eliya district of Sri Lanka. The estate has consistently produced some of the best teas in Sri Lanka over the years. The bright light liquoring tea has the point, astringency and lively flavour that has made “Ceylon” teas favoured the world over. The Nuwara Eliya district is in the central part of the island of Sri Lanka, straddling the ‘island divide’. In February the northwest monsoons create a rain shadow effect on the western side of Nuwara Eliya (the side where Courtlodge is situated) resulting in peak or seasonal quality during this time. The eastern side of the Nuwara Eliya district peaks in quality during August when the southwest monsoons create a rain shadow effect on the eastern side.
Sri Lanka is the largest single exporter of tea in the world. The country exports some 450 million pounds annually grown on half a million acres of land. Until 1869 Sri Lanka was principally a coffee exporter but a coffee blight wiped out the island’s coffee bushes. The area was replanted with tea by the British to serve to burgeoning tea market in Europe, Britain and the British colonies. During late 1960’s early 1980’s government ownership began to take its toll. There was little re-investment in upgrading of factories and maintenance of the bushes. As a result, by the end of the 80’s, yield per acre had fallen dramatically. Luckily this has not had an affect on quality for the high altitude tea estates. Lately there is a push to privatize the industry in order to improve yields and further improve quality. The industry is quite hopeful that this indeed will happen since thousands of jobs will be created and opportunities will abound the national entrepreneur.
Hot tea brewing method: Bring freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 teaspoon of tea for each cup into the teapot. Pour the boiling water into the teapot. Cover and let steep for 3-7 minutes according to taste (the longer the steeping time the stronger the tea). Even though milk and a dash of sugar help capture the floral character of this tea, it is perfectly acceptable to consume this tea ‘straight-up’
Iced tea brewing method: (to make 1 liter/quart): Place 6 teaspoons of tea into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Pour 1 1/4 cups of freshly boiled water over the tea. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into your serving pitcher straining the leaves. Add ice and top-up the pitcher with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste. [A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to double the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted with cold water]. Please note that this tea may tend to go cloudy or ‘milky’ when poured over ice; a perfectly normal characteristic of some high quality black teas and nothing to worry about!