Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Hill country, Sri Lanka - in search of the perfect cuppa

Our final trip in Sri Lanka could only be in search of one thing - a cup of the black stuff. Ceylon tea. Kettle in hand we set off from Colombo for the hill country early this morning. A three hour drive. Or so I thought.

Somehow I confused three with six. Let's blame the heat. Ahem.

But I'd have put up with many more hours for the breathtaking views of lush green plantations and waterfalls.

Along the way we stopped to visit the Glenloch Tea Factory. Stepping inside the scent of tea hits you (and made me crave a cup). There's a guided tour of the tea stages and of course an obligatory tasting at the end.

After being plucked the tea leaves are withered using large fans.

Then the grinding stage.

Followed by fermentation, or oxidation, where tea develops its distinctive flavour. Additional drying then takes place. Once dried the tea leaves are sorted and graded. 

Finally packing takes place.

Enjoying a cup of the factory's tea.

Followed by a silver tip tea omelette.

They really do love their tea. Our driver stocked up on 6k of it. Not the type of place you'd be asking for a latte now.

Eating lunch outside I noticed something rather strange. I wasn't melting. Ahh. Another plus for the hill country, cooler temperatures. The Sri Lankans are even in their jumpers, being Irish I'm still in my beach gear...

Refreshed (and slightly tea-scented) we hit the road for the town of Nuwara Eliya, known as Little England.

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