Melbourne: Sri Lanka is marketing its most profitable export - Ceylon tea - as a luxury boost for the libido.
The tea industry is increasingly promoting Ceylon`s supposed aphrodisiac qualities in a bid to radically change perceptions of the brew and raise its sale, News.com.au reported.
Rohan Fernando, whose firm HVA Foods sells a small 60-gram jar of premium Ceylon for 350 dollars, said that they`re highlighting the properties of tea that can give drinkers an edge in the bedroom.
Ceylon`s performance-enhancing powers have long been the stuff of legend among Sri Lankan tea lovers.
The brews known for their potency are the top-quality white teas, known as Silver Tips and Golden Tips, which are gaining popularity among well-heeled Chinese businessmen along with rich Saudis and Japanese, Fernando said.
The white varieties, unlike orthodox teas, are made with just the tender tea buds, which are sun-dried and carefully tended until they turn gold or silver in colour.
Fernando, whose has his tea factory in Kandana town, north of the capital Colombo, explained that a cuppa can do more than boosting sexual health.
The tea contains polyphenols, flavonoids and anti-oxidants - known to improve the immune system and blood circulation.
Tea is not indigenous to Sri Lanka, but after Scotsman James Taylor planted the first tea bush, Camellia Sinensis, in 1849, it became a primary export.
The Sri Lanka Tea Board is about to embark on a major international marketing campaign for the first time in decades, which will promote the health benefits of a high-end cup.
Currently only 42 to 43 percent of Ceylon is exported in packets of less than three kilos each, but the target is to raise this to 60 percent in the next five years, board director Hasitha de Alwis said.
Anil Cooke, head of Sri Lankan tea broking firm Asia Siyaka Commodities, agreed that Ceylon-known by the country`s colonial name-should be "re-positioned globally" with a focus on increasing its value.