Following the destruction of coffee plantations in Sri Lanka due to a universal disease, tea was introduced by the British in 1867. The thick forest regions of the slopes of mountain regions in the central highland were cleared and were covered by tea plants imported by India, making fortunes in export revenue to date.
Anyone traveling to or passing through the central region of Sri Lanka will not miss the sight of women dressed in colorful attires with a basket hanging in the back plucking tea leaves scattered across estates of vigorously yet symmetrically grown tea bushes. The top-most bud and two leaves plucked from each bush gathered in their baskets are transported to the estate’s factory for the tea production process. Removing the excess moisture, the collective of leaves and buds are first exposed to hot air, followed by rolling and crushing. These are then fried in large ovens and sifted to separate the particles according to their sizes, producing bulks of tea. Graded by tea tasters according to its strength, color, and flavor, the final product is finally sold at an auction.
This process of manufacturing Ceylon tea, from grading to packaging, is far more fascinating to watch and experience at a tea factory while learning about the history and secrets of Ceylon tea rather than reading about it on your device. So, we here have listed a few of the main plantations where you can have a quintessential experience in the world of “Green Gold”.
Damro Tea Factory - Labookelie
Arguably one of the most scenic estates, the Damro estate is located in Labookellie of the Nuwara Eliya region and is a hot spot for guided tea tours. Damro estate will not only take you on an informative tour through the estate and its tea factory, but will also give the tea lover in you an opportunity to sample the estate’s tea and to savor a cup of tea at their very own cozy cafe.
Dambatanne Tea Factory - Haputale
How does savoring a cup of tea at the famous Lipton seat with the view of the ever so green Haputale after an enlighting tour of the Dambatenne tea factory sound? Great? And what makes it legendary is that you will learn all about Ceylon tea from the same place that holds the legacy of the humble beginnings of one of the most famous tea brands locally and internationally; “Lipton”.
Pedro Tea Factory - Nuwara Eliya
Located at the place where James Taylor planted the first tea bush marking the beginning of the Ceylon tea industry during the British colonial era, the Pedro tea factory offers detailed guided tours that will take you through the fascinating journey of tea. Following this tour, a refreshing cup of tea overlooking the stunning view of Lovers leap and the Bomburella reservoir will make it whole.
Bluefield Tea Estate - Ramboda
Famous for its high-grown tea, Bluefield estate offers a guided tour that will pour information on manufacturing Ceylon tea, along with a poured cup of freshly brewed tea. The restaurant overlooking the view of the tea estate lets you enjoy a cup of Ceylon tea or a meal overlooking the beautiful view of the tea pluckers at work, leaving the tea fanatic in you quenched.
We haven’t said enough if we do not share a little about what to look for when purchasing Ceylon tea. Whether you choose the most widely produced; black tea, or the healthier option; green tea, or the finest; white/silver tip tea, remember to ask for a single-origin unblended variety to savor the best of Ceylon Tea.