Tea was first planted in Sri Lanka in 1824 at the Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya, when a few plants were brought from China. More were introduced from Assam in 1839. In 1867, a Scottish Planter named James Taylor planted tea seedlings in an 8 hectares of forestland, in the Loolkondura Estate.
In 1873, the tea export industry of Sri Lanka began with a modest 23 lbs. being shipped to London.
Tea will grow only on rolling terrain and is classified by elevation into low grown, medium grown and high grown into 3 main groups. Today more than 200,000 hectares in highlands and other areas are under Tea and around 300 million Kilograms, with a 25% of world tea exports are done by Sri Lanka as the world’s largest tea exporter.
Ceylon Tea Museum
If you are interested to learn more about tea, its history and its influence in culture and lifestyle the Ceylon Tea Museum is the place to visit. It is located at Hantane, 3 miles from Kandy in the Hantana Estate. The museum exhibits memorabilia machinery, documents, books, pictures and objects of historical value to the tea industry. Some of the exhibits consists of a hand operated tea roller over 100 years old, the first tea drier ever made called Venetian Drier, 56 years old packet of Tea still in the original packing, items belonging to James Taylor and many other items. The Museum is closed on Poya days and Mondays and is opened on other days from 0815 to 1645 hours only. An entrance fee is charged.
Experience a Modern Twist with Tea
Move into a more modern era of cocktails and mocktails, by experience a unique tea tasting and tea making journey. This is another experience to try if you are visiting the hill country. Learn more about making tea and cocktails with tea.