As the world seeks to blend and modify older version of food and beverages to suit millennials' palates, Sri Lankan tea exporters are experimenting with traditional flavours of Ceylon tea, combining various tea types with flavours of fruits, spices and flowers to suit emerging tea markets around the world.
According to the 2012 released numbers, the flavoured tea and ready to drink tea (RTD) has achieved an estimated sales of total of US$ 6.7 billion in American markets suggesting a shift of US and Canadian consumers towards the flavoured and iced tea.
The same trend is also emerging in European Markets, where more and more consumers are looking to combine the palate and health benefits of tea with the refreshing flavours in a ready to drink pack.
Created by the leading tea blenders of Sri Lanka after experimenting with various blends of Ceylon tea and the most fruity, spicy and floral flavours distinctive to the country, flavoured tea could be consumed hot and cold, at home or on the go.
Although some varieties of flavoured Ceylon Teas like Earl Grey Tea and Peppermint Tea has long been in the global tea circuits, Ceylon Tea Exporters have been adventurous with flavours lately adding exotic fruity and spicy flavours to create a new dimension in tea drinking.
Available as leaf tea packs, tea bags and RTD iced tea packets, flavoured teas are offered in single or combined flavours such as apple, almond, blackcurrants, cinnamon, cherry, lemon, orange, ginger and honey, lychee, mandarin, lime, mango, strawberry and mint among others.
The fruity flavoured Ceylon Tea is already a great favourite among American tea consumers and have also been incorporated into a selection of signature cocktails and mocktails.
Other than the sweet and tangy flavoured tea varieties, Sri Lankan tea manufactures are also trying their hands at the age old tradition of making Chai Masala, a flavoured tea made by combining Ceylon Black Tea with a mixture of spices including black pepper, cardamom, ginger, cloves and cinnamon.
Chai Masala is a favourite among tea drinkers in East Asian countries, that are incidentally Sri Lanka's largest tea buyers.
Another new version of Ceylon flavoured tea are the fusion teas, which combine the taste and fragrance of age tested flowers and herbs like camomile, peppermint, hibiscus and rose nip into the best of Ceylon Tea to create camomile tea, peppermint tea and hibiscus and rose nip tea with soothing aroma and a flavour.
The fusion teas combine the health benefits of Ceylon Tea with the soothing and healing effects of the chosen herbs to revive and refresh the body at the end of a busy day.
Among the country's leading flavoured tea manufacturers and exporters are the global brands like Dilmah Tea, who have introduced two flavoured ranges under Fun teas and Infusion teas to the global market while other brands like Heladiv and Mlesna too had conquered the flavoured tea market with innovative products like flavoured iced tea concentration and herbal infusions.