Sri lanka a.k.a. Ceylon is the place that comes to mind when one thinks of tea… So we thought it would be wise to go up to the hills where tea fields are placed at. On the road, we make sure to get as many natural pictures of the locals working on the fields as we can. As our vehicle is climbing up the slope, the view that is laid before us is tremendous. The government build small hydroelectric plants near the water pools that are created by the excess water of the waterfall. It is a small island and is more than capable of producing it’s own electricity. In width and length it is about 450-350 kms.
The heart of tea in Sri Lanka is the Nuwara Eliya area which is about 1980 meters high from the sea level. Just like rest of the Sri Lanka you will notice the dominance of English architecture here as well. English-like houses, golf courts, cricket and polo areas. The two latter sports are very popular here in Sri Lanka.
The traffic also flows from the right. Although on a more direct approach, the traffic here is placed on a mutual understanding level. People do a lot of mistakes on the road, but everyone seems to be very understanding, no one protests against these said mistakes.
The person who introduced tea to Sri Lanka is a Scottish Individual called James Taylor, in 1867. Since that time, the tea cultivation gained great importance and the first factory here started operating in 1871.
Higher the area tea is grown in, the better quality it has.Thus most of these tea gardens are on the high areas of the surrounding mountains. The most bitter and quality teas are from the Uva region, that is the highest region. We decided to visit a tea factory that is located here. The Macwood Tea factory… This factory itself is built upon a surface area of 1.200 hectares and has 1.000 workers. They demonstrated how the tea is gathered before going into the factory. Tea looks like a bush as it is, and they gather the small shoots of the said bush, leaving the other lower wide and old leaves intact.
Laterwards we go inside the factory and watch the rest of the production here. The production operations takes about 14 hours.
After drying the teas are taken down a level through large pipes and the grinding process begins. For instance the green tea is produced from the same tea bushes but with different procedures. If it is dried not in an oven but it open air, then the traditional Turkish tea is received. So in summary all kinds are of the same main raw material.
All the English that we see and buy in super markets are from Sri Lanka. The larger the portion of the shoots in the bush, the more bitter the taste gets.
We tried different teas here and bought some of the ones we liked. Now it is time for a lunch break, so we decide to head to the Ramboda Waterfall.
Of course the only feature of the area is not the Ramboda Waterfall. There are hundreds of waterfalls in the area big and small; Laksapana, Ravan Ellai Glen, Devon Poona Oya are just to name a few.
The Ramboda Waterfall is one of the largest of these said waterfalls. There is also a small hotel just near the area where the water’s fall. The area is visited by tourist fairly often just to listen to the sound of the water and relax.
While watching the magnificent beauty of the waterfall, and enjoying our meal, our fatigue seems to disappear.
We shortly visited a silk production workshop/store and head back to our Hotel in Kandy.