You can’t really visit Sri Lnka without visiting the tea plantations where it all began more than 200 years ago, during the days of the Raj. We British acquired a taste for our favourite brew which has never really flagged despite stiff competition from the coffee bean. To get to the actual tea plantations is however, easier said than done. Situated on cleared jungle slopes high up in the interior mountains, the tea bushes are set out in thousands of the neatest ordered rows with a formality incongruous in the middle of the mad jungle.Tea leaves are still picked by hand by Tamil workers carrying plastic bags on their backs in a way that hasn’t changed in a century. I’d grown up in the UK with that familiar picture on the PG Tips box of the lady picking tea – well her grand daughter is probably still doing the same today.
|She’s still there!|
|Where it all begins – the temple of tea|
|Turning over a new leaf|
The world of tea is an integral part of our daily lives and language in England. We have tea pots, tea cups, tea tables, tea towels, tea trays, tea time, tea breaks, tea spoons, tea cakes, tea roses and tea lights. We can go to a tea dance, be tea total and then have your stuff stolen by a tea leaf. Excuse me while I just pop off to put the kettle on…
|So much tea – so little time..|
|Tea Tipping at the Blue Field Factory|