10 hours of teaching over 4 live webinars, taught by Ceylon Tea Expert James Suranga Perera.

In this masterclass, we will learn about the history of the Ceylon tea industry and explore some of the new types of tea being made in Sri Lanka as well as the traditional black teas produced in the island’s 7 regions. We will visit each of those regions, learn more about the character of teas made there, and understand how some producers are thinking outside the traditional types of tea and are making teas crafted into flowers, coin-like rounds, beautiful regular balls or torch shapes.

This course contributes one credit toward the Level Three Tea Diploma but is open to all, regardless of previous experience or study with the UK Tea Academy. For more details about the Tea Diploma qualification, please see this page or email info@ukteaacademy.com


A selection of more than 20 fine Ceylon teas are included in your course price and will be mailed to you before the course begins. Counts as one credit towards your Level 3 Tea Diploma.

International Postage £30
Restrictions apply, please click the ‘Non-UK’ button at the side of this page for more info

Suranga was exceptional in the knowledge he shared, his experiences in the Ceylon tea industry, introducing us to industry professionals, and the selection of teas we had the privilege of enjoying. Sri Lanka was the one region I knew so little about and have now learned so much. Thank you for a great masterclass!” – Jean-Pierre, June 2024

Thank you so much for the masterclass. I really enjoyed the opportunity to try so many teas new to me which I wouldn’t have found myself, and fitting this into the context of Sri Lanka’s history and geography. The course was a real eye-opener for showcasing the diversity of Ceylon tea and enabling me to make much more informed decisions about the teas I choose. Such an exciting time for specialist teas from this region! Suranga’s breadth and depth of knowledge was first class, and the material was well-structured and delivered, managing to keep on track through so many teas. Having the special guests from the industry added a unique dimension to the course.” – Robert, February 23


This course is ideal for anyone interested in discovering, or furthering their knowledge of Ceylon Teas.

Completion of this masterclass will count as one credit towards the Level 3 Tea Diploma.

Our online masterclasses are open to anyone. If you are aiming for a final Level Three qualification but you have not yet achieved your Level Two Tea Sommelier qualification, you will receive one module credit that can be carried forward.


Webinar 1 (1 hour): An Introduction to Ceylon Tea: this opening webinar will discuss the Sri Lankan kingdom and its kings and introduce in detail the history and background of the Ceylon Tea Industry. This will include the first planting of tea in the 1830s, the crucial part played by James Taylor, the collapse of the coffee industry in 1869, Thomas Lipton’s contribution to the success of Ceylon tea, the effects of nationalisation of the tea estates in the 1970s and privatisation in the 1990s, the Lion Logo, characteristics of Ceylon teas, the 7 tea regions, and the 3 altitudes.

Webinar 2 (3 hours), Low Growing Ceylon Teaswe start in the hot and humid region of Ruhuna where assamica plants thrive, and we visit Lumbini, an award-winning tea estate where both traditional black teas and carefully handcrafted teas are produced. Next we visit Pothotuwa Tea Estate whose teas regularly achieve premium prices in the Colombo auctions. We then move on to Brombill Tea Factory in low lying Mathugama, New Vithanakande Tea Factory in Sabaragamuwa, and (our final visit in this module) Sithaka Tea which produces a number of varieties of black tea at its 2 factories.  During the class, we will taste 5 different grades of tea produced by these estates.

Webinar 3 (3 hours), Mid and High Grown Teas: in this module, we will taste 10 teas from 4 different regions. Our first stop is Kandy, once the capital of the Island and still an important cultural centre. Other regions visited in this module include Dimbula, Nuwara Elia, Uva and Uda Pusselawa and we will taste and discuss 2 black teas from Kandy, 3 from the Dimbula region, 2 from Nuwara Eliya, 1 from Uva district and 2 from Uda Pusselawa.

Webinar 4 (3 hours) Ceylon Speciality Teas: In the past few years, more and more Ceylon tea factories have been making unusual ‘speciality teas’ and this webinar focuses on producers who are making hand-crafted and other types of ‘special’ tea. The teas we will taste come from different parts of the island are grown at different altitudes, and some are made with leaves plucked from wild tea trees growing amongst other diverse vegetation in forests. We will taste one of Sri Lanka’s now famous ‘Golden Tip’ teas and a Silver Tip tea from Great Western Tea Estate before discussing some typical Ceylon tea blends. We will end with an explanation of the auctions in Sri Lanka and how electric auctions have taken over from the old-fashioned system in the auction hall.


1. Your computer to access the webinars via Zoom and online resources.

2. Kettle, filtered water, and some necessary teaware items
For brewing the teas, you will need some teaware items. A list of recommended equipment will be sent upon booking, to help you prepare for the course.


Suranga is the former CEO of Ceylon Tea Brokers PLC and has spent his career with some of Colombo’s top broking firms. He has a vast knowledge of the individual estates and teas from across the island of Sri Lanka. He has recruited and trained many professionals who have gone onto work in the industry. He now lives in Cambridge.

More info about Suranga can be found here >>


Listen to the tutor James Suranga Perera and UKTA Founder and Director of Studies Jane Pettigrew talking about the UK Tea Academy and Ceylon Tea on the Tea Biz Podcast by clicking here.


If you wish to continue studying for your Tea Diploma, you will need to take further courses at this level and you must have already completed both Level One and Level Two before the final qualification can be awarded.

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