The Uva district of Sri Lanka peaks in quality during the Southwest monsoons from July to September. As the monsoon winds blow across the Indian Ocean they pick-up moisture during the 3000 mile journey to Sri Lanka. As the warm moist air rises into the cool mountain air condensation occurs and there is heavy rainfall on the western side of the island. The Eastern side gets very little rain but lots of sunshine. Uva is on the east side of the island and consequently being in the rain shadow the quality improves dramatically.
Aislaby is in the Malwatte Valley, also known as the heart of the Uva tea district. The pungency that this tea exhibits is particular to this district. Aislaby is classed as a high grown estate in that its bushes grow in a band between 4000 - 4500 feet above sea level. Aislaby is a medium sized estate for this region, covering 326 hectares (about 825 acres - there are 640 square acres in a square mile). The yield of the estate is about 1600 kilos per annum per hectare or about 1.1 million pounds per year, (this is enough tea to fill 175,000,000 tea bags!). Because Aislaby produces such high quality tea only about 50% is used for tea bags - the rest is bought by discerning tea people around the world. Aislaby was established as a tea factory and tea estate in the 1880’s a few short years after the tea industry began in Sri Lanka. The current estate manager Mr. Y. Wadugodapitiya is justifiably proud of his wonderful tea.
Teas that come from high grown estates provide superior flavor and the best quality because: cooler temperatures, generally better soil conditions, more sunshine, generally slightly less rainfall - These conditions cause the bush to grow more slowly and the goodness and flavor is concentrated in the new shoots.