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Exploring the tea trail of Sri Lanka


Tripoto.com
Duration: 2 Days
Expenditure 5000

‘Chai’yya ‘Chai’yya in the tea gardens of Nuwara Eliya

Photos of Exploring the tea trail of Sri Lanka 1/22 by Bee The Musafir
The rich and tempting aroma of fresh tea leaves in the slopes and a hot cup of tea in hand, life is beautiful for a tea connoisseur at Lover’s Leap Pedro Tea Estate, Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka.

Blood group T+ve :) I’m a known tea addict!

In my ten-day Sri Lanka itinerary, I had boldly underscored the tea gardens and tea factories of Nuwara Eliya, a beautiful city where I spent three unforgettable days. The hill city is considered to be the most important location for tea production in Sri Lanka. I visited three tea factories located in their respective tea estates.

Photos of Exploring the tea trail of Sri Lanka 2/22 by Bee The Musafir
Road to Nuwara Eliya is beautiful. This photo was taken sitting in cab. Immaculate water bodies and lush tea plantations makes it a one-of-its-kind landscape.

After climbing the sacred Adam’s Peak (Sripada), without any delay, I started for Nuwara Eliya where I had booked a bungalow Gregory Lake Inn. Nuwara Eliya, an immensely beautiful touristy city, is located on an altitude of 6,128 feet. The high altitude keeps it cool round the year.

Photos of Exploring the tea trail of Sri Lanka 3/22 by Bee The Musafir
St. Clair’s waterfall as seen from A7 Highway.

Enroute (on Hatton-Talawakele A7 Highway) there are two waterfalls – Devon Falls (approx. 100 meter high) and St. Clair’s Falls (approx.. 80 meter high). These two are located close to each other and can be seen from the road. The taxi driver stops the car at a point which gives view of these two waterfalls from a distance. They are the 19th and 20th highest waterfalls in Sri Lanka respectively.

Tea lover or not, you must pay a visit to at least one or two of these factories when you are in Sri Lanka and, more precisely, in Nuwara Eliya – the top tea-growing area in the island country. I will tour you to these three tea factories, which form an integral part of Nuwara Eliya tourism circuit.

MLESNA TEA CASTLE:

Fee: Entry and walk around is free. Cafeteria charges as per bill.

Travel Quotient: A must visit place for all.

Mlesna is a local tea brand and the first to introduce the “Tea Centre” and “Tea Kiosk” concept unique to Sri Lanka. With over 3,000 varieties, Mlesna Tea probably has the widest range in the world.

Photos of Exploring the tea trail of Sri Lanka 4/22 by Bee The Musafir
The Mlesna Tea Castle houses tea kiosk and tea bar. It also has a tea museum inside.

The world class tea company was established in 1983 by Mr. Anselm Perera. Company’s name “Mlesna” is a mirror image of his first name Anselm. They supply tea to over 57 countries. A tourist can spend an hour looking at the antiques and checking out the brands and sipping tea in the cafeteria.

Photos of Exploring the tea trail of Sri Lanka 5/22 by Bee The Musafir
A large vintage model (not me, see the vessel) of tea dispenser kept at the entrance of Mlesna Tea Castle, Talawakele. The beautiful Hatton-Talawakele Highway in the backdrop leads to Nuwara Eliya.

Tea was brought to Sri Lanka by James Taylor, a British citizen, with the help of Thomas Lipton, a name synonymous with tea brand and business.

Photos of Exploring the tea trail of Sri Lanka 6/22 by Bee The Musafir
Statue of James Taylor at the entrance of the Castle.

This place is perfect for photography. The Castle and the vintage articles are reminiscence of British era. One should taste a variety of teas available at their cafeteria along with snacks. Kids will love this place.

Photos of Exploring the tea trail of Sri Lanka 7/22 by Bee The Musafir
A gigantic tea pot for a tea aficionado like me :)
Photos of Exploring the tea trail of Sri Lanka 8/22 by Bee The Musafir
A girl in traditional Sri Lankan outfit ‘saari’ toured me this section of the castle which displayed a variety of teas of Mlesna Company.
Photos of Exploring the tea trail of Sri Lanka 9/22 by Bee The Musafir
The inside view of the cafeteria. Victorian paintings adorned on the walls. There is sitting arrangement in the outside as well in a beautiful setting and views. People were seated there so I didn’t take photos.

From Mlesna Tea Castle, I went to Gregory Lake Inn. Super tired by evening, I had a good sleep. The next morning, I bolted to Lover’s Leap Falls and then to the Pedro Tea Estate in Nuwara Eliya.

LOVER’S LEAP PEDRO TEA ESTATE:

Fee: LKR 300 per person. This includes a cup of tea and guided tour of factory.

Travel Quotient: 10 out of 10.

Photos of Exploring the tea trail of Sri Lanka 10/22 by Bee The Musafir
The winds were swaying the tall trees. The lawn type plantations are the tea plants. The tea leaves are plucked and sent to the processing unit located here.

From Gregory Lake Inn, I went to Leap Pedro Tea Estate by a tuk tuk. On arrival, they welcome you at their “Ethical Tea Boutique”. You are served a hot and fresh cup of tea, which you can enjoy either sitting inside or in the balcony. A variety of tea packs are up on sale here.

Photos of Exploring the tea trail of Sri Lanka 11/22 by Bee The Musafir
I preferred sitting out. A lot of foreign tourists visit this place as seen in the background.
Photos of Exploring the tea trail of Sri Lanka 12/22 by Bee The Musafir
The joy of sipping tea!! In Sri Lanka, they don’t prepare tea using milk as we do it in India.
Photos of Exploring the tea trail of Sri Lanka 13/22 by Bee The Musafir
A collage of photos from the balcony of Lover’s Leap Pedro Tea Estate. Whistle of soft wind was rushing pass my face.

After you are done with tea, they call you for factory visit. You are given an apron and a guide takes you inside the processing unit.

Photos of Exploring the tea trail of Sri Lanka 14/22 by Bee The Musafir
The photo is self-explanatory :)
Photos of Exploring the tea trail of Sri Lanka 15/22 by Bee The Musafir
I loved this quote on the wall - “Tea – the King of Drinks and Drink of Kings!”

You are not allowed to take photos or do a video inside the processing unit. The below photo happens to be the last one inside the factory.

Photos of Exploring the tea trail of Sri Lanka 16/22 by Bee The Musafir
Inside the tea processing unit. Tea leaves are steamed on these platforms until they turn brownish. The entire tea making process, from tea leaf to tea grain, is completed within 24 hours.

A three-leafed tea stem is plucked from the tea gardens by the workers. It is a back-breaking and laborious work. The green leaves are collected and kept on steam until they turn brownish. The brown tea leaves go through drying and grinding units. Then they pass through cleaner and separator. Tea grains are separated according to their size. Powder, husk, granules, grains etc. determine the quality of tea and are packed likewise. The entire tea-making process, from tea leaf to tea grain, is completed within 24 hours.

Huge consignments of the ready tea are shipped to Colombo for auction and export.

Do watch this by me from Pedro Tea Estate, click here (coming soon).

From Pedro Tea Estate, I explored Nuwara Eliya city in a tuk tuk. Before the sunset, I went to the famous Mackwoods Labookellie Tea Centre.

MACKWOODS LABOOKELLIE TEA CENTRE:

Fee: Factory tour and tea is free.

Travel Quotient: Must visit!

This place is far from city centre. The drive is beautiful. A few roadside fruits sellers are seen selling strawberries and local fruits. The picturesque slopes are covered with tea gardens. This tea factory is 170 year old.

Photos of Exploring the tea trail of Sri Lanka 17/22 by Bee The Musafir
A road sign as we drive towards the tea factory.
Photos of Exploring the tea trail of Sri Lanka 18/22 by Bee The Musafir
A huge crowd of tourists had turned up here. This beautiful house is their cafeteria.
Photos of Exploring the tea trail of Sri Lanka 19/22 by Bee The Musafir
Inside the cafeteria of Mackwoods Labookellie Tea Centre.
Photos of Exploring the tea trail of Sri Lanka 20/22 by Bee The Musafir
You can purchase tea packs from here. Price range is from LKR 500 to LKR 50,000. Some even packed in artistic silver boxes.

The Mackwoods Labookellie Tea Company boasts of selling tea to the Royal family of England. Prince Charles of England had payed a visit to this factory. They have a wide range of teas - black teas, green teas, herbal teas, mixed teas, flavoured teas, fruit teas, and blended teas. Tea cups, tea trays, tea pots, and tablewares are also up on sale.

Photos of Exploring the tea trail of Sri Lanka 21/22 by Bee The Musafir
A visit to tea circuit of Sri Lanka is joyful and enlightening and must be included in travel plans.

Sri Lanka is the fourth-largest producer of tea in the world and the world's leading exporter with 23% of the total world export.

The climate and soil type required to grow tea is perfect in the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka which has a cool and humid weather and adequate rainfall throughout the year.

Do purchase the high-quality tea directly from factory outlet on your visit.

LIST OF SOME FAMOUS TEA FACTORIES IN NUWARA ELIYA:

Heritance Tea Factory – they have top class hotel.

Tea Plant, Nuwara Eliya – they offer exquisite accommodations.

Nuwara Eliya Estate Tea Factory

Park Green Tea Factory – The famous brand Dilmah Tea

Bluefield Tea Factory, near Rambooda Falls.

Carolina Estate

Waltrim Estate


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