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Comparing Ceylon Flavored Teas to Indian Flavored Teas

Flavored teas are produced all over the world. Because each tea growing region of the world produces tea with slightly different tastes, flavored teas can taste different depending upon the tea base used to make them, including where this tea base is grown.

Two of the world’s largest tea producing countries are Sri Lanka and India and thus, many flavored teas are made from the teas grown in these countries. Understanding the characteristics that distinguish the teas from Sri Lanka and India will give you an thought of how a flavored tea made from these tea bases will taste.

Sri Lanka

Ceylon teas are grown in Sri Lanka. Tea is grown in the highlands of Sri Lanka, over an area of about four thousand square miles. Tea can be plucked all year in Sri Lanka, though the very best Ceylon teas are those plucked in February. Tea production employs more Sri Lankans than any other industry.

Ceylon teas brew up a clear reddish-brown that is very bright. The tea is mild, bright and distinct. Though it is very flavorful, it is milder than many other black teas. Tea is grown at several altitudes in Sri Lanka, providing slightly different tastes. Dimbula and Nuwara Eliya teas are grown at Sri Lanka’s highest altitudes and are highly sought after by blenders in tea importing countries. Uva teas come from the Eastern Highlands of Sri Lanka.

Ceylon teas are fantastic for making flavored teas because of their mild flavor. They combine perfectly with fruits. It’s honestly simple to find Ceylon tea flavored with mango, apricot and grapefruit. Most flavored Ceylon teas are black teas, but this country’s production of green, white and oolong teas is growing.

India

India produces two varieties of tea, Assam and Darjeeling. Both of these teas have distinct flavors and qualities and both are widely used in black teas and black tea blends. These regions do not as often produce green, white and oolong teas, though their production of these varieties is growing. As time goes on, it’s likely we’ll see more of these teas from India.

Assam teas are grown in the northeast part of India, along the border to Burma. Other than China, this region of India produces the most black tea in the world each year, at more than 1,500,000 pounds per year. Like Assam black teas, Assam teas are medium bodied, with a malty flavor and certain notes of honey. Ceylon teas blend well with fruits like apple and with nut flavors like almond.

Darjeeling teas are grown at altitudes of 4,000-10,000 feet above sea level, where it is cool and there is nearly always a mist. It is the altitude at which Darjeeling is grown, the cool mist and the perfect drainage of the soil here that produces a tea with a distinctively muscadine flavor. It is also one of the most astringent teas you’ll ever taste, giving it a very distinctive flavor.

Many people describe Darjeeling as being a very relaxing tea, and it is known as the “champagne” of teas because of its flavor. Darjeeling black teas are highly prized by the British and are considered to be one of their favorite afternoon teas. In fact, it was the British who started the first tea colonies in India, in order to compete with Asian tea production.

The Darjeeling region of India has become synonymous with tea production. In fact, many tourists take a ride up the Himalayan railway to Darjeeling just to take a peek at the gorgeous tea gardens that can be found there.

Darjeeling is often blended with other teas, which can make looking for the Darjeeling flavor a bit hard. It is estimated that 10,000 pounds of Darjeeling tea is grown each year, but that 40,000 pounds of tea is sold each year labeled as Darjeeling. To ensure that you get the best Darjeeling flavor in your flavored tea, be certain that you’re buying 100% Darjeeling.

One of the most well-known Darjeeling teas is Darjeeling Earl Grey. This is a traditional Earl Grey tea made with a Darjeeling black tea. Like other Earl Grey teas, it is flavored with the oil from the rind of the Bergamot orange, and is a favorite tea among the British.

Darjeeling is also commonly flavored with other fruits. One of the most well loved is cherry. In fact, you’ll find several blends of cherry Darjeeling tea available, including cherry almond and cherry vanilla. Other fruits that pair well with Darjeeling tea include currants, oranges and lemons. You may even be able to find a few flavored teas made from Darjeeling green tea and even white tea, which is a very rare tea.

Teas from India and Sri Lanka are some of the highest quality teas in the world. And, many tea gardens in these countries are proficient at combining their teas with the perfect blend of other flavors to bring out the tea’s natural subtleties. If you’re a right tea lover, you can’t go incorrect with flavored teas grown and produced in India or Sri Lanka. They are certainly some of the world’s finest and are available in a fantastic many flavored varieties.

Jon M. Stout is Chairman of the Golden Moon Tea Company. Golden Moon Tea recently placed first and second in the best tea competition at the prestigious World Tea Expo in Atlanta Georgia. For more information about goldenmoontea.com tea, goldenmoontea.com/wholesaletea wholesale tea and goldenmoontea.com/blacktea black tea go to goldenmoontea.com

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