A Taste of Ceylon Tea

15 April 2021

The Sri Lankan High Commission in South Africa in collaboration with the Sri Lankan Tea Board organised a “Ceylon Tea Demonstration and Tasting” on March 27 in Pretoria.

Representing the tea traders, two leading Ceylon Tea brands in South Africa, Dilmah and Basilur joined hands with the Mission to exhibit their products.

Ambassador of Russia Ilya Rogachev, Ambassador of Iran Mehdi Agha Jafari, and High Commissioner of Mauritius Dr. Prakamarjith Vijaye Lutchmun participated in the event as special guests.

High Commissioner Amarasekara of Sri Lanka to South Africa shared his sentiments about tea. He asked the audience if they have ever wondered why Sri Lankans are always smiling. The answer, he said, is in the tea.

The best quality tea comes from Sri Lanka because to ensure the quality of the final product, skilled hands aided by trained eyes pluck only unopened buds accompanied by two leaves sprouting from the springs of each tea bush.
(l-r) Anisha Pemjee of The Diplomatic Society, High Commissioner Lutchmun of Mauritius. High Commissioner Amarasekara of Sri Lanka, Kirtan Bhana of The Diplomatic Society,and Priyangani Hewarathna, First Secretary and Sanjeewa Bandara, Trade Counselor at the Sri Lanka High Commission in Pretoria (Photos by Dilon Bhana)

Basilur and Dilmah exhibited their wide varieties of teas and the many Ceylon Tea lovers in South Africa who visited the event, experienced the new Ceylon Tea varieties and were treated to their splendor.

The average total consumption of Black Tea in South Africa is 27,000 metric tonnes per year. Sri Lanka contributes 10 per cent of this total demand. The hot beverage market in South Africa is worth USD 600 million per annum and the Black Tea owns 5.8 per cent share of the market.

Besides Sri Lanka, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Kenya are the top tea exporting countries to South Africa. Altogether these countries export 14,000 to 18,000 metric tonnes of tea per year.

The key challenge faced by Ceylon Tea in the Southern African region is the low consumer interest dominating the hot beverage market. Events like these will continue to create awareness to a broader audience.

The Tourism Industry should be the next target market for Ceylon Tea. This industry attracts 25 million annual arrivals.

Sri Lankan High Commission in Pretoria and staff reporter