Ceylon tea is grown at a high altitude in Sri Lanka’s central highlands, which are characterized by high humidity, low temperatures and abundant rainfall. These conditions give Ceylon black tea a citrusy aroma and a lively and refreshing texture with sweet juicy notes reminiscent of a mandarin peel or grapefruit.
Where to buy
High quality Ceylon tea is not always easy to find. Specialty tea shops or online vendors will generally be your best bet. If you are unsure where to begin, you can check out some of my recommendations below.
How to Prepare Ceylon Black Tea
The preparation instructions given here are for loose leaf teas. For tea bags, you can just follow the instructions given on the box.
The best temperature for brewing this tea is 90-95ºC (194-205ºF), which is just below the boiling point. You can just boil the water using a simple stove-top kettle and then let it cool for 20 seconds.
If you plan on trying a lot of varieties of tea and/or coffee it might be worth it to invest in a water boiler/warmer or an electric kettle with a variable temperature setting. Personally, I recommend this Cuisinart kettle, because it has presets for every type of tea, so you always get the perfect temperature:
Black teas from Ceylon can be brewed in a variety of vessels, but ideally you would use a ceramic teapot:
- Fill both the teapot and the cups about halfway with hot water to pre-heat them. Tilt them a bit so that the water creeps up the side and then rotate them so the insides get wet all the way around. Then pour the water out.
- Put 1 teaspoon of tea leaves into the teapot for every 8 oz. (236 ml) of water.
- Fill the teapot with 90-95ºC (194-205ºF) water.
- Place the lid on the teapot and let the tea steep for 3 minutes.
- Pour the tea into the teacups and enjoy your tea!
Many people already have an account with Amazon.com so it is probably the easiest place to buy tea online. They don’t have the greatest selection of Ceylon black teas, but a few decent options are available. This 1 lb. bag from Stash Tea provides the best value, in my opinion.
My favorite option is the St. Coombs Dimbula Ceylon Tea from Culinary Teas. It’s a great black tea at an affordable price.