Sri Lanka has reached impressive heights of fame as one of largest tea producers in the world. It is quite intriguing to see how this simple beverage has made its way into the most elegant dining halls and even the common tea house found on every nook and corner. As you embark on a journey to learn about the many wonders this little land has in store for you, here are a few reasons why you should spend a day or two to find out how the world’s most famous beverage is made.
Here are some interesting facts and figures that would be of interest:
- Coffee was the beverage of choice and the dominating industry during the colonial era. But after the sudden demise of the coffee enterprise, it was tea that saved the day and rescued the country’s economy from its agonising plight.
- Today tea is one of the main sources bringing in foreign exchange to the country and a major contributor towards the GDP of Sri Lanka. It is also one of the leading industries providing employment opportunities contributing to the livelihoods for many locals.
- The Lion logo you see on most packs of tea is a trademark owned by the Sri Lanka Tea Board. It is a statement of quality the guarantees the product is 100% Pure Ceylon Tea grown and packaged in Sri Lanka.
- This year, 2017, proudly marks the 150th Anniversary of the Ceylon Tea Industry.
- Tea is known to provide a multitude of health benefits like weight loss, boost immune system, help soothe digestive problems, provide antioxidant properties and many more.
Scenic cultivations – the tea estates and factories where it’s all made
A distinctive signature of the hill country of Sri Lanka is the lush green tea estates that extend over the sloped terrains. The mere thought of waking up to this beautiful scenery will give you all the more reason to book one of our properties like this bungalow or may be even this cosy little guesthouse.
Tea cultivations actually spread across seven districts of the island and each region produces tea of a unique flavour. This comes as a result of the different climatic conditions and terrain in which the tea plants are grown. Here are a few notable tea estates and factories where you can see how the finest tea blends come to life and also a few other sites to learn more about the industry. Once you are done, you sure will be tempted to grab some of the finest tea available on sale at leading supermarkets, tea boutiques and other designated outlets.
- Pedro Tea Estate – located just about 3.5 km away from Nuwara Eliya town, you will find one of the oldest tea estates, the Pedro Tea Factory. This history of this factory dates back as far as the 18th century and you can still see the historic tea processing machinery used then, on display. Guided tours are available, but because mostly light tea is made here most of the processing take place at night.
- Mackwoods Labookellie Factory – as a pioneer in the tea industry, it comes to no surprise that the Mackwoods Tea factories are the best places to visit to learn the art of how the finest tea blends are made. Their Labookellie tea estate located at an elevation of about 2,000 metres spans across about 27,000 acres of tea plantations supplemented by plantations of rubber, another main crop grown in Sri Lanka. This estate is highly popular among travellers and maintains a splendid atmosphere for you to enjoy an unforgettable tea tour.
- Ceylon Tea Museum – operated by the Sri Lanka Tea Board you can find the National Tea Museum in Hantana and Kandy. The Museum features some of the first machines used to manufacture tea and the ‘Little Giant Tea Roller’ is one of the key attractions.
- The Tea Research Institute – commonly referred to as the TRI this is a state institution that takes care of all technological and management activities related to tea cultivation. A visit here will help you learn much about the cultivation like tea varieties, processing techniques, plant diseases and also the history of Sri Lankan tea.