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History of Tea

To Customers
How Hyleys Tea is Produced
History of Tea
Interesting Facts

Tea  in Great Britain

Tea appeared in Great Britain in the middle of the XVII century. At that historic moment coffee-houses had a great popularity and were regarded as centers of social, political and economic life of the country. During those severe times, only men were allowed there. Possibly, it was the “final straw that broke the camel’s back” – one of the major reasons, which forced women to strive for suffrage. As at the beginning of the XVIII century Sir Thomas Twinning opened the first tea-house where not only men, but women were allowed as well. Since that moment the popularity of tea started to grow rapidly and tea started to replace another noble drink – coffee. Nevertheless, high tea taxes caused active smuggling and counterfeited tea flooded the UK. Due to this reason, a law against counterfeits was adopted in 1725. Black (fermented) tea, which appeared at that time, was more difficult to forge. Because of this fact combined by the growth of counterfeited green tea, the demand and interest for black tea started to grow. At the end of the XVIII century, drinking tea became a family tradition and tea-shops appeared in England. In 1840 Duchess of Bedford VII introduced the tradition of afternoon tea, having imitated a French custom of tea drinking. Since that time the tradition has been considered to be English. The period of 8 hours between the meals such as lunch and dinner was too long and so there was a necessity of having a meal in-between. Soon the afternoon tea drinking tradition got the name “Five o’clock tea”. The essence of it can be described by a phrase: “tea, cakes and friends”. This custom was accepted in the US, Canada, Australia. And at the end of the XIX century Queen Victoria wrote a book on tea etiquette Tea Moralities, which is known to every true tea connoisseur.

Ceylon tea

It turned out so that a subject of Her Majesty Queen Victoria James Taylor, a Scotsman, planted a first successful tea plantation on Ceylon (at that time – a colony of the British Empire) in 1867. a unique area, which combined a variety of climatic zones and special nature conditions was an ideal place for tea growing and all-the-year-round crop gathering. Hot sun, damp air clear spring water of mountain slopes – all these conditions suited a capricious tea plant. Only within 10 years this island became one of the biggest tea exporters of the British Empire. As a result of further rapid development of tea industry on Ceylon, Ceylon tea was highly appraised by connoisseurs all over the world in the mid 90s of the XIX century. For example, over a million packs were sold at the Chicago Trade fair in 1893. Since that date Ceylon tea has become its victorious all over the world.

Despite  small size Sri Lanka (this is the historical name of the island of Ceylon) plays an important part as a giant of tea industry. This trend of commerce is a key one in the economy of the country, that is why the tea produced and packed in Sri Lanka possesses high quality, what caused its popularity all over the world. In order to maintain the high level of production, a significant source of the state’s income, Sri Lanka Tea Board was created. It is a non-commercial state body, which controls all stages of tea production, starting from tea growing and ending with blend making and packing. The tea packed in Sri Lanka, which has been approved by the tea Board, i.e. conforming to the high quality requirements, set by the state obtains a Lion Logo (an image of a lion with 17 spots holding a sword). In other words, if you buy a pack of tea with a Lion Logo, you can be sure that you buy 100% pure high quality Ceylon tea.

Hyleys product range conforms to these high standards and is packed and produced in accordance with English tea traditions in Sri Lanka.


55/74, Vauxhall Lane,
Colombo 02., Sri Lanka
Fax 9411 2386 167
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