Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Spotlight on Sri Lanka, Part I

Recently my dad & step-mom were able to have a holiday in...Sri Lanka!  How neat is that?!  As a tea-lover, this kind of trip would have me swooning.  Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon) is the 3rd largest tea-producing country, and the tea sector is a huge component of Sri Lanka's economy.  For more than a century people have been enjoying famous Ceylon tea all over the world.  One of the first teas I tried as a new tea-fiend was a Ceylon which I had bought in bulk at my local health food store.

There are three main broad types of tea grown in Sri Lanka:  High, Medium, and Low Grown depending on their elevation; reputedly the higher the elevation, the higher the quality of tea.  The Sri Lanka Tea Board sets high standards of quality on all their products, and you know that you are getting a good tea if it has the Lion Logo on it:



Anyway, needless to say I was delightfully envious of my parents for taking this trip, and was very excited when they sent me a slide show of their trip to the Geragama Tea Factory, near Kandy...

 
Dress Code (English, Tamil & Sinhalese)


Fresh tea leaves and a mouse trap


Rolling the leaves



Beginning the sorting


Sorted!


Drying machines

 
Into the grading area


Grading by size


Sorting by colour


Types & tips


Finished product


"Exotically Aromatic"  Dad enjoying a cup.


Ahhhhh!

 I'm also very excited, of course, to sample some of the tea they purchased! I am a lucky, lucky girl indeed! One day I'll perhaps get the chance to go there too...wouldn't it be nice to go on a Tea Trek across the globe?


18 comments:

Jenn L. said...

Lovely. Great shots of the process. I'd be pretty green with envy too.

Cortney Wagner said...

Great pictures and really interesting content! I am very passionate about tea as well and always looking to learn more.

Bec said...

Your dad's so cool. He always seems to be doing something amazing like tracking down a rare bird in some exotic land. Question - is one of those tea types in the photo actually called "refuse tea" or are my eyes playing tricks?

Christa said...

Good eyes, Bec! That is indeed Refuse Tea! Not meant for drinking, but rather for fertilizer. I was intrigued by this as well - it seems that Sri Lanka has quite a lot of tea waste from its production, and so they are trying to come up with good ways to use it - primarily fertilizer/compost.

Christa said...
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Tom said...

I toured that factory (or one very much like it)!

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