High Forest Estate - a tea your grandparents enjoyed

Recently, I wrote of how I had visited the much-overlooked region of Uda Pusselawa (Ud Puss) searching for teas. It was an intense process involving much tasting, rejection and finally success. High Forest Estate was that winner. 

High Forest, founded in 1905, is situated in the Kurundu Oya Valley in Uda Pussellawa. The estate gets its name from the mountain that casts a shadow over the estate’s bushes. High Forest mountain is the 6th highest mountain on the island. 

Unlike many other tea estates in Sri Lanka there is no record of High Forest ever having been a coffee estate. Also unlike other estates that will have personal names for the estate divisions, High Forest simply call them 1, 2 & 3. What sets High Forest apart is its altitude. At 1758 metres above sea level the winds blow through the region to create a natural wither (you can read our blog post about Withering here). 

The leaf for Mountain whisper is harvested from the very upper region that borders the forest slopes of the High Forest peak. Skilful hand picking is carried out first thing in the morning and the succulent leaf is sent immediately to the factory for withering. 

High Forest misty mornings 

Also unlike many other estates in the area that produce rotorvane orthodox grades of tea such as Broken Orange Pekoe, found in our Breakfast tea. Mountain Whisper is a leafy tea. We have tried to recreate the same type of teas that were made by the estate and its pioneer planters. These large leafy grades of teas are the teas we would have transported for the estate when my grandfather was running PMD, and which are rare to find today as so many estates have changed to producing orthodox rotorvane grades of tea. 

The black leaf is large with small golden tips littered through the leaf. The cup colour has a bright orange colour with a seasonal “tangy” flavour that lingers in the mouth. Unlike teas from Uva that have a very heavy mentholated flavour. Mountain Whisper is far more subtle and a great introduction to teas from the eastern slopes of the island.

High Forest - night manfacturer of Mountain Whisper

Mountain whisper is a tea that will make you rethink high grown Ceylon tea. We have tried to recreate the flavour that your grandparents would have associated with Ceylon Teas. The tea is light but with an unmistakable tangy flavour that can only be created by the right climatic conditions and expert tea making techniques. 

It has taken 12 months to achieve the necessary standards we have been looking for and produced at the beginning of 2023 High Forest teas is ready for you to try.

We hope you will enjoy it as much as we do. 

Mountain Whisper is best enjoyed with light afternoon tea pastries. A slice of freshly baked lemon drizzle cake is the ideal pairing to this exquisite tangy tea.