Ceylon Tea – Part 2

03/08/2017 in Tea Talk by Peter Goggi   () comments

STI Advisory Board Member Gail Gastelu Reports on Ceylon Tea, Part 2

Since my last post, I’ve been working hard to organize over 2500 photos, videos, and mountains of information about Ceylon tea. There is much work to be done and I hope you continue to follow the tale of my January 2017 trip to Sri Lanka.  (If you are a member of STI, be sure to access and read your complimentary March/April issue of The Tea House Times featuring Ceylon tea! –emailed to members). Today, here, I would like to discuss taste. If anyone understands this at all, it is certainly members of STI and/or the Tea Assoc. of the USA.

Did you ever have a customer who told you they do not like a certain tea? Let’s use the example of green tea.  You know why they did not like it – the main reason is poor handling, incorrect preparation, water that is too hot, etc.  But once they learn from you how to handle green teas or any type of tea according to optimum preparation methods, you now have a happy and satisfied repeat customer.

Do your customers understand how different teas can taste based on terroir – where it comes from, climate, elevation, location, and handling? Do you think your customers understand Ceylon tea, entirely? Are they only familiar with the dark brew that stands up to milk and sugar most popular in England or Sri Lanka? Do you know how to satisfy the varying taste preferences of your entire following of customers?

Ceylon tea has seven unique specialty tea growing regions in Sri Lanka. Because of terroir and particular processing, there is a wide range of flavor profiles from mild to bold. Many Ceylon teas are light and lovely; something you might not be familiar with. The upper elevation teas are quite mild and perfectly wonderful to drink straight. While some other teas will put hair on your chest and really do need milk and sugar.  I learned that very quickly on this trip.  If someone offers you a particular tea served with milk and sugar – take it! It was made for drinking this way. If you try to drink it straight because that is what you are used to with some teas you have at home, you will be disappointed. Know each tea, know its strengths or flavor profiles, and drink accordingly.

While I am writing here I would like to mention something that has happened since my last post.  I was surprised to learn that someone on LinkedIn who follows me had shared many of my posts about Ceylon tea to numerous groups there. And, not just tea groups.  They shared it to any and all connections they have.  Astonishingly, I am pretty sure those posts, just the shares on LinkedIn, reached more than 20,000 people. Why? What made this person I never met before share my writing to so many people? Well, I learned that the person is a tea supplier/company from Sri Lanka but I had not met them – it did not matter that we did not meet, however, because they just appreciated that I am supporting Ceylon tea by helping people learn more about it!  Here is what he wrote and I did thank him for it. . .

“Heart-full gratitude to The Tea House Times for making tea lovers aware of true facts about Ceylon tea. Tea enthusiasts know really well about featured teas like Darjeeling, Keemun, Lapsang, Assam, etc. but their awareness of Ceylon tea is quite limited since most of tea related media have underappreciated Ceylon tea. Thanks to The Tea House Times for being impartial.”

Learn more about the growing regions of Ceylon tea, some geography and history too. Follow along in greater detail by visiting my personal blog here: http://gail.theteahousetimes.com and The Tea House Times’ dedicated blog for more educational posts here: http://srilanka.theteahousetimes.com 

Keep watching for more information about the 2017 150th Anniversary of Ceylon Tea!  And at some point, I will come to the Tea Assoc. office in NY to tell you all about my trip in person during one of their 1:00 pm free tea sessions (members only!).  

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