Sri Lanka Tea Factory Tour
Take our Sri Lanka Tea Factory Tour and enjoy the process of making Sri Lankan tea first-hand
Tea is one of Sri Lanka's most world renowned products and how it is made is an enjoyable as consuming it.
If anyone asks a person who knows about Sri Lanka, what the country is most famous for, nine times out of ten the answer will be Tea. Tea has been synonymous with Sri Lanka since the colonial times. When the British annexed the Portuguese they realized that the climate of Sri Lanka’s hill country would be ideal for the growth of tea bushes and they went out of their way to cover each and every accessible mountain top they could find with tea plantations. Nowadays tea is one of Sri Lanka’s biggest exports and one of its major foreign income owners.
As a traveler visiting a tea plantation is a must in your itinerary. You can easily reach the hill country by either a train ride or a private vehicle ride. This will easily be a trip to remember because of the scenic landscapes that you pass along the way.
Pluck your own Tea Leaves from the Plantation
Plucking tea from a real tea plantation will be the ultimate experience you can take away from visiting a tea factory. Trust me when you go back home you will be talking about it with your neighbors for days while sipping some of the tea you plucked yourself.
You can have the complete experience as well with you being able to adorn the classic saree so synonymous with Sri Lankan tea pluckers. Gentlemen can obviously wear sarongs. You will be handed a basket of your own into which you will collect your leaves. With the full kit complete you will be taken down to the tea fields.
The local plantation guides will show you which tea leaves to pluck in order to get the best tasting tea. The plucking process will be a bit hard to muster, as you will find out yourself with the tea leaves usually ending up on the floor instead of the basket.
The professional tea pluckers who accompany you will leave you way, way behind in terms of how many leaves you collect. They are like machines with their baskets being filled with amazing speed. This is mostly because they have to complete their daily target of 15 kilograms of leaves.
We will return to the tea factory with our collections and the main tea taster of the factory will inspect what you have brought. If you haven’t been good enough most of what you had collected will be rejected sadly. This is unfortunately what happens when you want to manufacture the best quality tea.
Follow the Tea Making Process in the Factory
The plucking process will not be complete unless you see the tea making process first-hand. Our guide will take you on a tour of the Mini Tea Factory and explain the whole process, from the initial drying (withering) of the leaves where the freshly picked green leaves are spread out to dry on ventilated trays. Afterwards the tea leaves are rolled thoroughly to break them up and get the leaf cells’ sap to come out and get the juices flowing. This is where the real magic of tea lies. When you break them up like this you make the leaves ready for the fermentation process. The broken leaves are left for a few hours in a fermentation room where the oxygen reacts with the released juices and the essential oils and aroma of the tea you know is locked in.
The leaves are dried to remove all the remaining moisture and then sorted according to their grade. This is where you will be able to take some of the tea you plucked on your own to take back home.
Imagine going back home and serving some the tea that you yourself picked to your friends and explaining the experience to them. This is why visiting a tea plantation, participating in the tea making process is such a must-do activity when you visit Sri Lanka. Our Sri Lanka Tea Factory Tour will give you a once in a lifetime experience. You won’t be getting a more iconic, authentic Sri Lankan experience.