Ceylon Tea: Everything You Need to Know (And How to Make it Properly)

Ceylon tea leaves

Quick Look:

  • ORIGIN: Sri Lanka
  • TASTING NOTES: bold, bright, citrusy, spicy
  • STEEP TIME: 4 to 5 minutes
  • CAFFEINE METER: Moderate – High

*This article contains affiliate links; we may earn a commission if you buy something. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Read our full disclosure here.

What is Ceylon Tea?

Originating from the highlands of Sri Lanka (formerly known as “Ceylon”), this black tea is made from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant and is a great drink both hot and cold. You may also hear this tea referred to as “Sri Lankan tea”. Known to be quite versatile, Ceylon tea is a great option to use in any drink that requires black tea. 

How do you pronounce Ceylon?

The proper way to pronounce Ceylon is “suh-laan” (sounds like salon). 

What do you need to make Ceylon tea?

Tea Scoop

This is the perfect tool to help you get the perfectly measured scoop of tea leaves every single time. You won’t regret adding this to your tea arsenal!

Electric Tea Kettle

An electric tea kettle with a temperature setting is a must-have brew gadget for tea drinkers! You can set the temperature to the degree for the perfect brew every time. This kettle is a favorite of ours. Or you can check out our full post on the best electric tea kettles.

Spring Water or Filtered Water

To get the best flavors from your tea, use high-quality water. Don’t use tap water or distilled water!

Tea Pot with Strainer

A teapot with a built-in strainer makes brewing tea so much easier when you’re using loose tea leaves. If you’re an avid tea drinker, you won’t regret buying this tea tool!

Loose Ceylon Tea Leaves

Using loose tea leaves really will give you the best tea-drinking experience. By letting loose leaves steep in the boiled water, they have room to unfurl and release all of their natural aromas. If you can’t use loose leaves, a tea sachet is the next best thing, since they have more room than a traditional tea bag.

Tea Cup

This one is up to you! Use whatever cup makes you happy! If you need some inspiration, check out some of our favorite drinkware.

How do you make Ceylon tea properly?

To make the perfect cup of Ceylon tea, you will want to use 1.5 teaspoons of tea leaves for each 8-ounce cup. If you don’t have loose-leaf tea, use 1 tea sachet or 1 tea bag.

Tea tip:  If you want a stronger cup, add more tea leaves rather than steeping them for a longer period of time. Most people don’t realize this, but steeping tea too long doesn’t increase the good flavors, it actually can make it more bitter.

Step 1: Pour your water into the tea kettle.

Use cold bottled spring water or cold filtered water. (Tea Tip: Do not use distilled water – this will negatively impact the taste). Make sure to pour some extra water to warm up your teapot or steeping vessel.

Step 2: Boil your water.

For an optimal flavor experience, bring the water to about 208°F. This is important, as the flavors will not fully develop if the water does not get hot enough. If you do not have an electric tea kettle with a temperature setting, just bring your kettle to a full boil, then remove it from the heat and let the water sit for a moment before steeping the tea.

Step 3: Warm up your teapot.

First, pour a bit of your boiled water into your teapot or steeping vessel and swirl it around for a few seconds to allow it to warm the vessel. Then dump out this water.

Step 4: Put your Ceylon tea leaves into the teapot, add the rest of your hot water, and cover.

Step 5: Steep your tea leaves for about 4 to 5 minutes.

Step 6: Strain your tea leaves.

This is easiest if you have a teapot with a strainer. 

Step 7: Decant your infused tea into your teacup, add milk and/or sweeteners to taste, and enjoy!

Can you cold brew Ceylon Tea?

Yes, Ceylon tea is a great option for cold brew! 

Did you know cold brewing is the best way to make iced tea? To learn all about it, check out our post on everything you need to know about cold brew.

Keep reading for the steps to Cold Brewing Ceylon tea at home.

How do you make cold brew Ceylon tea properly?

To cold brew Ceylon tea, use 1.5 teaspoons of Ceylon tea leaves for every 8-ounce cup of water.

STEP 1: Add your tea leaves to a pitcher with an infuser.

STEP 2: Pour room-temperature filtered water or spring water over the tea and stir gently.

STEP 3: Put your pitcher in the refrigerator to steep for 12 hours

STEP 4: Strain the leaves and enjoy!

Tea Tip: A squeeze of lemon can bring out the natural brightness of this tea. In terms of sweeteners, we find that sugar or simple syrup dissolves into chilled beverages best! 

Dairy-Free Alternatives to Add to Ceylon Tea

If you are lactose intolerant or just want a dairy-free option to use in your tea, we have some great substitutes for you:

Almond Milk:

This plant-based milk alternative will add a hint of nutty sweetness to your tea. There are different flavors and sweetened options, however, we prefer to stick with the original unsweetened version.

Oat Milk:

Derived from whole oats, this dairy-free milk will give your tea some creaminess with a neutral flavor. This one is a favorite of ours.

Coconut Milk:

Extracted from the grated pulp of mature coconuts, coconut milk will add a rich sweetness to your tea without any lactose! 

What does Ceylon tea taste like?

Ceylon tea is known for its full, bold, and bright flavors. Depending on where in the Ceylon region it is grown, the taste can vary. However, you will likely notice notes of citrus, spice, or even chocolate! 

How much caffeine is in Ceylon tea?

Depending on how it is prepared, a cup of Ceylon black tea typically has anywhere from 50 to 90mg of caffeine. 

To compare, a cup of coffee typically has about 95 mg of caffeine. 

On the tea spectrum, this is a mid-to-high level of caffeine, making it the perfect morning beverage or afternoon pick-me-up! 

Tea tip: The longer you steep Ceylon tea, the higher the caffeine content will be. It also seems that tea bags have more caffeine than whole, loose tea leaves. 

What are some health benefits of drinking Ceylon tea?

Ceylon tea has many health benefits including antioxidants, support in weight loss, blood sugar and cholesterol control, and more!

For the full summary, check out our post on the health benefits and possible side effects of Black tea.

Where can you find good quality Ceylon tea?

There are several good quality Ceylon tea options you can try. Here are just a few options to get you started:

What is the best way to store Ceylon tea?

When it comes to storing Ceylon tea, there are a few important things you will want to avoid. These are air exposure, light exposure, moisture, heat, and strong odors. 

To keep your tea in its best and freshest condition, you will want to store it in a container that helps avoid the above-mentioned threats. 

The best containers are made of opaque materials with a tight seal. Some good options include non-reactive metals, glazed ceramics, and non-leaching plastics. 

Beware that while you may see wood tea storage options, they are not best for storing loose-leaf tea, as they have their own odors that may alter the taste of your tea. 

Once you have your tea in its storage container, keep it in a cool, dark place. 

Here are some good options for storing your Ceylon tea:

Looking for ways to organize your tea bags? Try these:

You want to ensure your tea stays fresh as long as possible. To make sure you’re not making any common mistakes, be sure to check out our post on the best practices in tea storage!

We hope this guide helped you learn everything you need to know about Ceylon tea and how to make it at home!

Similar Posts