Ceylon Tea Experiencein Nuwara Eliya – Tea Country
Nuwara Eliya was identified as being perfect for tea cultivation around the end of the 19 th century, and it soon became one of the principal tea-growing regions during the British colonial era. Even today, Nuwara Eliya produces some of the best Ceylon Tea, thanks to its rich soil and high altitude. A trip to Nuwara Eliya should definitely include a ‘tea experience’ where you not only drink the world’s best tea,
but also visit the estates, learn how to pluck tea leaves and also see the process of how leaves are turned into ‘tea’ as you see it at your grocer.
Many tea estates offer plantation and factory tours that will take a few hours to complete. Typically, a tea tour will start with a walk around the plantation, where you will learn how the tea plant is cultivated and how the best leaves are selected and plucked manually.
You will then visit the factory where the leaves are processed using traditional machines and techniques. The leaves are withered, rolled, oxidized and dried before they are sorted and graded. It is a very labour intensive process, as Ceylon Tea is predominantly manufactured using the orthodox method which has been practiced for well over a century.
Once you are done with the manufacturing process, there is usually time to experience a tea tasting, where you can sample different varieties of tea and identify the subtle variations, much like a wine tasting.
The Ceylon Tea experience is a very popular tourist attraction, so some of the larger factories can get rather crowded. Speak to your tour operator if you prefer a more exclusive experience, and they will be able to organize a tailor-made itinerary for you.