Nuwara Eliya is a district in central Sri Lanka and one of the most important tea-growing regions. It is the southernmost of the three districts in the Central Province of Sri Lanka, just south of the vast Kandy (the countries largest tea producing region).

Nuwara Eliya is a relatively small contributor to the total volume of tea production, but it is well-known for the unique high-grown character of its teas, being situated on an oval-shaped plateau at an elevation of 6,240 feet (1,902 m). The climate is rainy and cooler than most of the other tea-growing regions and frost can occur in the areas which are found at the higher elevations. These factors mean the tea grown in Nuwara Eliya is somewhat unique in flavour. Black tea in particular is one of the region's specialities, producing a crisp aroma reminiscent of citrus.

Tea production is one of the main sources of foreign exchange for Sri Lanka and accounts for around 2% of GDP with 215,000+ people employed on tea plantations and estates. Tea planting by smallholders is also the main form of livelihoods for tens of thousands of families. Worldwide, Sri Lanka is the fourth-largest producer of tea. The industry was introduced to the country in 1867 by James Taylor, a British planter who arrived in 1852, but tea planting under smallholder conditions became popular in the 1970s.

  1. Kevin Gascoyne, Francois Marchand, Jasmin Desharnais, and Hugo Americi, Tea: History, Terroirs, Varieties, Camellia Sinensis Tea House, Firefly Books, 2011.
  2. Sri Lanka Export Development Board, 2014, Industry Capability Report: Tea Sector.