Sri Lanka’s reputation for quality tea is legendary. Often plucked by hand in plantations so high they can touch the clouds, its best-known variety is the full-bodied Ceylon tea. Most of Ceylon’s finest strains hail from the tea fields of Dimbula, owned by PMD Tea. Founded as a small independent tea shop where tea-pickers would gather, PMD has snowballed over three generations into a family business that refuses to forget either its humble beginnings or its environmental obligations.
This ethically and sustainably sourced tea is served at the elegant Milestone Hotel, where an extensive Ceylon tea menu enhances the hallowed English tradition of Afternoon Tea. Accompanying a delicious array of finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones and delicate pastries, the vast tea menu has been carefully curated to complement both the food and individual tastes of diners, whether they’re enjoying a traditional Afternoon Tea or a refreshing brew at breakfast. To ensure guests get the most out of their Ceylon sampling experience, we spoke to Dananjaya Silva, Managing Director of PMD, about the enigmatic delights of this tropical shrub.
In the Morning
Planters Breakfast Tea: “For me, no day can begin without a pot of our Planters Breakfast tea. This tea is hand-picked and created when the quality is at its peak in February and March. Our tea is made on Moray Estate, which is found in Ceylon’s Maskeliya district of the Dimbula region. Moray teas have a distinctive rosy note, and a pinkish hue to the cup when you add milk.”
Chai Cinnamon Tea: “On cold winter days, especially if I’m coming in from the outdoors, I love to drink a spicy chai cinnamon tea. Our chai cinnamon uses high-grown black tea, and it’s married with the traditional spices that brought the first spice merchants to the island. We put an extra shot of cinnamon in the tea to give it a sweeter flavour.”
Peppermint Tea: “Peppermint is the ideal post-meal brew. Firstly, it helps with digestion and gets rid of that bloated feeling. Peppermint tea is also a great pallet cleanser that leaves your mouth feeling fresh. If you’re conscience of your caffeine in-take, this is the perfect tea for you, because it’s caffeine free.”
An Afternoon Brew
Planters Afternoon Tea: “The perfect afternoon pick-me-up is our Planters Afternoon tea. This is one of the few blended teas that we have in our range, and it is blended to be enjoyed with sweet afternoon treats. I have a sweet tooth, so the Planters Afternoon tea provides the perfect brew for me. It can be enjoyed with or without milk. The tea has a much lighter flavour than our stronger Breakfast tea.”
One to Relax With
Silver Tips Tea: “Silver Tips is my go-to tea when I want to relax with a book. Silver Tips are the tender buds that are hand-picked from a rare tea bush, and the buds have tiny silver hairs, hence the name. Our silver tips are grown in Maskeliya’s cool climate, producing a tea that is pale in colour with a complex fruity flavour. Silver Tips can be brewed multiple times, so each infusion gives a different flavour.”