Brewing Hints: Infuse in freshly boiled water for three to five minutes
Leaf: A Broken Orange Pekoe (BOP) leaf
Origin: The Nuwara Eliya region in the west of the Central Massif
Characteristics: A delicately flavoured tea
Serving Suggestions: Enjoy with or without milk at any time of day
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Nuwara Eliya is an oval-shaped plateau, more than 6,000 feet above sea level in the Central Massif of Sri Lanka. Subject to cold winds, this flavours the tea with slight wintergreen characteristics. Aptly, the name means ‘Above The Clouds’.
Nuwara Eliya was ‘discovered’ in 1818 and sits on a plateau that is 1868m (6128ft) above sea-level. Due to the difficulties in reaching Nuwara Eliya it was effectively uninhabited at that time.
Sir Edward Barnes the British Governor of Ceylon at that time decided to turn it into an area which Government officials and high society from the Capital could retreat to during the hottest months of the year. He started the process by building a house there himself (which is now The Grand Hotel Nuwara Eliya) and living there every year during March and April. It then became a fashionable retreat for colonials in Sri Lanka. The City of Nuwara Eliya, which is classed as Central Province was founded by Samuel Baker, a famous explorer of the River Nile, in 1846.
I have been privileged to stay in Nuwara Eliya, at The St Andrew’s Hotel which opened 1891 and on taking a stroll after dinner one evening and gazing up at the sky, I was able to witness the best and most star-filled night sky that I have ever seen in all of my travels. If you are ever visiting Sri Lanka I recommend spending at least one night here.
Originally Nuwara Eliya was planted with coffee but its elevation and the frequent rains often meant that yield was very low. After the coffee blight that hit Sri Lanka in the 1870s many planters decided to plant tea and I would humbly suggest that Nuwara Eliya’s elevation, climate, soil type and geology, as well as the abundance of tea producing and processing skills in that area, means that Nuwara Eliya produces some of the best teas that Sri Lanka has to offer.
This Nuwara Eliya Broken Orange Pekoe Tea is known for its delicate and charming flavour and the cold winds which blow across the plateau will even, on occasion, impart a breathy winter-green characteristic to this delightful tea.