Ceylon Hidellana Orange Pekoe is a classic black tea that comes from the Hidellana Tea Factory in Ratnapura, Sri Lanka. It is a low-grown Sri Lankan OP (Orange Pekoe) grade organic Ceylon black tea. You can find out what Orange Pekoe is in our article here. While higher altitude teas are highly prized in Sri Lanka, lower altitude estates do produce some fantastic teas that have a fuller character and provide a more classic black tea experience. This tea is produced to EU organic standards. The current batch is from the summer 2022 harvest.
Ceylon Hidellana Tea Factory has almost 30 years of tea production history. The teas in Ratnapura are grown at an an elevation of around 300 meters above sea level. This environment provides ideal conditions to harvest tea leaves with excellent low-grown characteristics. The factory is family-owned and produces the teas in a socially responsible manner. We also feature two teas from the New Vithanakande Tea Factory, also located in Ratnapura, an Orange Pekoe and Silver Tips black teas.
The tea farmers in Sri Lanka have had a difficult recent past, with the government encouraging more farmers to switch to CTC (crush, tear, curl) methods of tea production in the 1990’s, trying to capture the huge CTC market. CTC tea is normally used to fill tea bags, so the move was away from quality and onto quantity. This switch from orthodox methods was a big failure as Sri Lankan teas could not compete with cheaper CTC teas from other large and the then up-and-coming CTC tea growing countries, such as India, Kenya and Malawi. This move also damaged the reputation and quality of Sri Lankan tea, resulting in many farmers choosing to eventually abandon CTC production in favour of orthodox methods of tea production. Now Sri Lanka is rightly regaining its status as a major exporter of high quality orthodox teas and there are more and more interesting and exciting producers of these Ceylon teas, such as this Ceylon Orange Pekoe from Hidellana tea estate.
The leaves of our Ceylon Hidellana Orange Pekoe black tea are neat, dark in colour and have a malty aroma. The liquor is dark amber in colour with good clarity and a red hue typical of a good Ceylon black tea. The profile is malty and fruity, having a very smooth and balanced taste. The rich flavours starts malty, transferring to a more moorish fruity and tangy edge. There are some pleasant tannins present throughout. Finally the aftertaste brings more mineral and dry flavours. This is a finely balanced tea that delivers the classic Ceylon flavours in abundance.
It is best brewed with water at 90°C for 3-4 minutes and the leaves can be brewed around 2 times.