Sri Lanka Tea
hills in Sri Lanka are carpeted with some of the best tea plantations in the
world. Very popular all over the world, the Celon tea or the Black tea was
brought to the Srilankan hills by the British, who found the hilly region
tailor-made for the plantation of tea.
There are six main tea-producing areas in Sri Lanka:
» Galle, located in southern island
» Ratnapura, approximate 55 miles from capital Colombo
» Kandy, near the ancient royal capital
» Nuwara Eliya, the highest area producing the finest teas
» Dimbulla, western part of the central mountains
» Uva, situated east of Dimbulla
Altitude of Tea Gardens
Tea Is Manufactured
||6,000 feet or above
|Dimbulla and Dickoya
||3,500 feet or above
||2,800 feet or above
||2,500 feet or above
||Up to 2,500 feet
Approximate 300,000 workers are associated with the tea estates. These
workers pluck tea leaves by hand. They are careful only to pluck the bud and
the two youngest leaves. Next step is the quality inspection of the leaves.
The leaf is taken to the factory where it is withered employing the blowers.
Juice is then taken out of the leaves and fermentation process is begun.
The manufacturers are careful regarding the fermentation time, temperature
and humidity. After one is through the fermentation process, the leaf is
dried and fired. In pure Ceylon tea, no preservative or artificial
flavouring is added.
Final product is segregated in accordance with the particle size and the
color. It is exported to places like Europe, Australia, North America and
the Middle East.
The British found the hilly areas of Srilanka suitable for the plantation
of coffee and rubber. By the middle of the 19th century, Ceylon tea or Black
tea had become very popular all over the world. Most of the tea companies in
Sri Lanka were owned by the foreigners till 1971. Land Reform Act was
brought was reclaim the land in foreign hands. Now, both the state-owned and
private companies are in the fray.