VISIT A SRILANKA TEA FACTORY
To know more about Ceylon Tea, you must visit a Srilanka Tea Factory or Tea Processing Center.
There are hundreds of Tea factories in the Central Highlands, the Uva region and in the Southern parts of Sri Lanka.
Some of these factories are situated in breathtakingly beautiful landscape, surrounded by indeed serene green gardens of tea. A casual tourist to this island cannot call his visit complete if he does not pay a visit to some of them.
Visitors to any of these Centers are normally treated with typical Sri Lankan courtesy and normally given an educative, guided tour on the various stages of tea manufacturing process.
Pictured below is a typical tea processing center located in part of the tea garden. (Courtesy Priyanka Liyanage)
The closest Srilanka tea factory from the Holiday Resort of Nuwara Eliya is at Pedro Estate. It is only a ten minute drive from NE on the Kandapola Road. Pedro Estate is also home for Sri Lanka’s tallest peak, Mount Pedro.
Pedro Estate also has a beautiful Tea Center and fittingly named as ‘The Lovers’ Leap.’ During the Nuwara Eliya Tourist Season (April-May) this place is fully crowded with visitors both local and foreign.
Interestingly, Lovers’ Leap is the first and only tea garden owned by James Taylor, the Pioneer of Tea Industry in Sri Lanka. (See plaque below).
Pedro is the only tea processing center in Sri Lanka, I found to have two separate buildings connected by an underground tunnel.
The reason behind this is interesting. The main building was completely burnt down in 1948 due to an accident and to avoid any future mishaps the management had divided the center into two units, one for withering and the other for firing and tea processing which houses all the fire risky machinery.
BELOW – CARLABECK FACTORY in 1950s (COURTESY: IAN GARDNER
Carlbeck in fact is part of Somerset Estate. It produces some of the finest Upcountry (Western) teas at present. Here’s a recent pic of the same factory shown above.