Sri Lanka targets Russia with specialty teas

Dec 19, 2011 (LBO) – A specialty tea contest held in Russia recently would help Sri Lankan exporters promote Ceylon teas in the biggest market for the island’s main agricultural export, officials said. ‘Blind tasting’ of the teas was done by a panel of 12 tea tasters with 66 entries being sent to Russia for the final in the contest organized with the help of Russia’s Rusteacoffee organisaton.

Anselm Perera, a top tea exporter and one of the tea tasters on the panel, said over 600 samples from tea estates had been tasted.

Plantations industries minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said a lot of the money raised by an export levy for tea promotion would be used in the Russian market.

Registration of Ceylon teas under international intellectual property law would also be used for promotion, he told the awards ceremony.

“When we talk about the Russian market we’re talking about an increasingly sophisticated market. Russia has a per capita income of nearly 16,000 US dollars and a middle class of almost 75 million people.”

Hasitha De Alwis, director promotion of the Sri Lanka Tea Board, said the ‘Ceylon Speciality Estate Tea of the Year Contest’was held for the first time in Moscow after