This captivating itinerary takes in the central heartland of Sri Lanka. From the ancient cities to the tea growing region and from Kandy to Colombo, this shorter itinerary is ideal for those limited on time.
Tea in Sri Lanka
Tea is part of Sri Lanka’s unique cultural heritage and some of the world’s finest teas are produced here. Due to Sri Lanka’s diverse climate each tea variety is uniquely different. The country is particularly famous for Ceylon tea, recognised over the world for its high quality and distinct aroma (crisp and citrus).
History of tea in Sri Lanka
The introduction of tea to Sri Lanka dates back to 1867. Ceylon had just been dealt a staggering economic blow due to the shock collapse of the coffee enterprise. The plant disease ‘coffee-rust’ had taken a surprising hold and in just over a decade had devastated the entirety of Ceylon’s coffee industry. As country-wide panic set in, rescue came in the form of 17 year old James Taylor, who had just set up his first tea plantation on the Loolecondera estate. His objective was to replicate the tea growing processes he had observed in India, and by 1872 he had opened his own tea factory. It wasn’t long before planters from all over the country were imitating Taylor’s manufacturing process. It was a lengthy and costly process, but eventually was very prosperous, reaching production levels of over 22,000 tonnes by 1890. The success of tea was immense, and soon replaced coffee as the foundation for the colonial economy.