Brewing hints: Infuse in water at about 85 degrees Celsius.
Leaf: Large leaf (orange pekoe).
Origin: Nuwara Eliya in the Sri Lankan highlands.
Characteristics: A flavoury, gentle, brightly coloured tea that is very popular amongst our regular customers.
Serving suggestions: Enjoy with or without milk at any time of the day.
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£4.03 – £37.47
Nuwara Eliya is a city at an altitude of about 1800 metres and is arguably the most famous tea production area on Sri Lanka.
The city itself is still towered over by Pidurutalagala (also known as Adams Peak), which is the tallest mountain on the island. Its temperature is temperate and almost cool. The majority of people in Nuwara Eliya are Sinhalese with significant minorities of Sri Lankan and Indian Tamils and Moors.
In 1884 a huge tea factory was built in Nuwara Eliya on the bizarrely named ‘Fairyland Estate’, making Nuwara Eliya a centre of tea production from very early on in Sri Lanka’s tea producing history.
Today traditional methods are still used to pluck Ceylon tea (hand-plucking) and the succulent green leaves that go to make this Ceylon Nuwara Eliya Orange Pekoe Choicest follow the orthodox process. Firstly leaves are taken to tea factories which in Sri Lanka are typically tall buildings of either 3 or even 4 storeys. The upper floors are generally used for the withering process which involves warm air and which drives moisture out of the leaves. Once this process is complete the leaves are manipulated by rolling and twisting using a tea-making machine that generally features a large brass ball moving in circular motions through a hardwood and brass tray. These rolling machines are things of beauty and many of them are approaching 100+years old. Once the leaves are rolled they are spread onto tables and gently heated. This is where the fermentation occurs and is what changes the leaves from green to black. This is where the greatest skill and attention needs to be paid particularly to temperature and humidity as these are critical factors in determining the flavour and character of the tea. The final process, once the leaves have turned to the colour of copper is called firing or killgreen. This stops fermenting / oxidation and turns the leaves from a copper colour to the familiar browny black that we associate with black tea. Once fired the leaves are then graded (using meshes of various sizes and sifting the tea through), packed (today into foil lined paper sacks), sold through the Colombo Tea Auction and then shipped (in our case) to Chesterfield!
Our Nuwara Eliya Orange Pekoe Choicest is made using these traditional methods and its refined, gentle, characterful flavour is one that appeals to many tea connoisseurs.