Types of Tea consumed in Sri Lanka
Sri Lankans prefer black tea. The finest black tea comes from the upcountry plantations, and they are of many categories and grades. Black tea is mainly used as loose leaf tea, but tea bags are fast becoming a trend.
Green tea is more of an herbal tea variety and is consumed for its health properties. It can be seen marketed as “slim tea” to “lose one’s weight”.
Specialty teas such as fruit flavoured and spiced teas are also present, but not to a larger extent. They are mostly in the tea bag version, and are consumed by an urban few.
70% of Sri Lankan population who live in rural areas have a “plain tea” to start work, during work and in the evenings. Some take tea with milk but a plain, black tea, at times infused with ginger is quite popular.
Most of the urban population can afford and use milk with tea. In tea shops many types of teas, including plain black tea, ginger tea, milk tea or tea with milk, and added a malt drink in powdered form are available. Unlike in India, shops which sell just tea, or “chaiwallas” are not a common sight in Sri Lanka. Although if there are men who sell tea in trains, although not common.
Iced tea infused with fruity flavours, green tea and spiced tea are limited to cities.