TC/E/R/1641/PRO || Contact Us
Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Your shopping cart is empty!


The Origins of Tea (Botany - Camellia Sinensis)

The tea was first discovered in China. The Chinese folklore reveals that the Empire SHEN NONG was the first man to invent the art of drinking tea. The legend says that this Empire always insisted on boiling water for drinking purposes and one day a few leaves from a nearby CAMELLIA bush brew in to the pot of water he was boiling. Giving it an unusual colour and a delicious taste making him delighted.  He also found that tea is the drink for rejuvenation and tea was born.


The exact date when tea was discovered is not known but it is said to have been between 2737 and 2690 B.C. After centuries later Chinaman YU LU has published a production manual of tea in 8th century and tea become a popular beverage in China.  YU’s work brought uniformity to how tea should be cultivated, manufactured and brewed as a beverage.


From China the art of drinking tea populated to the other countries like Korea, Japan and during the English colonial time to India and Sri Lanka then ‘’Ceylon’’(as a common and commercial beverage). The first tea plant brought to Ceylon from CHINA and from ASSAM which is part of India. Due to the heavy demand of tea beverage some other areas of the world started tea cultivation such as countries in Africa today. However, THE CEYLON TEA renowned the world over and greatly sought for its’ rich aroma and flavour.


The History of Ceylon Tea

Text Box:  James Taylor in Kandy, Sri Lanka in 1860sIn 1824 a tea plant was brought to Ceylon by the British from China and was planted in the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya Kandy for non-commercial purposes. Further experimental tea plants were brought from Assam and Calcutta in India to Peradeniya in 1839 through the East India Company and over the years that followed. In 1839 the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce was also established followed by the Planters' Association of Ceylon in 1854. 

In 1867, a young Scotsman James Taylor marked the birth of the tea industry in Ceylon by starting a tea plantation in Loolecondera estate in Hewahata Kandy. At the time coffee was grown on most plantations in the hill country. However, with the destructive fungus on coffee plantation brings the alternative crop and James began the tea plantation on an estate of just 10 acres. It was long process of trial and errors. James consulted experienced people, North Indian planter Mr. Noble who taught him how to pluck, wither and roll tea leaves. Assam planter Mr. W.J. Jenkins directed James in the preparation of tea samples and yet another Assam planter Mr. Baker taught him the finer points of pruning tea bushes.

In 1872 he started a fully equipped tea factory in the same Loolecondera estate and that year the first sale of Loolecondra tea was made in Kandy. In 1873, the first shipment of Ceylon tea, a consignment of some 23 lb (10 kg), arrived in London, the value of the shipment was 58 rupees. James Taylor put his heart and soul into cultivating tea. He never married. He took a holiday only once for the 40 years he spent in Sri Lanka and dedicated that time to studying tea in Darjeeling. Taylor died of dysentery in Sri Lanka at the age 57 in 1892. His pioneering contribution to this Island’s tea industry is commemorated on a bronze tablet at the Ceylon Planter’s association headquarters in Colombo. Along with other pioneers of Sri Lanka’s plantation industry, George Bird and Henry Wickham who helped build the country’s Coffee and Rubber industry respectively.


Growing Tea

James Taylor.jpgTea can be grown in most wet and mid ecological climatic conditions altitude ranging from lower to higher elevations between 2000ft 8000ft in Sri Lanka. These teas are divided in to three distinct types High, Mid and Low grown contributing to the national production annually by 24%, 16% and 60% in the said order. Each region has its’ own distinct flavour and unique characteristics.

Tea is cultivated on terraced slopes where the soil is well drained. Young plants are tended in special nursery beds until they are 12 to 15 months old then they replant on the actual estates accordingly. Once these plants grown successfully, they pruned to help them develop into flat topped tea bushes. Subsequently the trees are pruned again and again on regular basis to encourage them to produce the young fresh leaves and buds. Kwon as ‘’FLUSH’’ which tea is made.

Tea Leaves are handpicked by human where best leaves to picking is fresh 2 leaves and the unopened bud. Even the modern machines were tried out the plucking process does not match to the handpicked quality and yet handpicked teas are the best in quality and flavour. The legend man James Taylor built the first fully equipped tea factory and since then many factories were built in tea growing areas. Tea cultivation is now a highly skilled scientific business in Sri Lanka producing the World Best teas today and will in the future.


Processing Tea


There are several stages of processing tea; Withering, Rolling or Crushing, Fermentation, Drying or Firing, tasting and storing in to bulk packing.

In an orthodox way of processing, plucked teas taken in to the factory and loaded in to the specially designed rack where possible to reduce its moisture by 50% circulating air currents through the loaded machine for 24 hours. In the second step of the process is to rolling teas in to the required sizes using orthodox roller machines. (Other machines are use to produce different tea grades such as BP, BP1 from CTC machines.) After breaking or rolling the teas in to required sizes then goes in the cool humid slab for resting in fermentation. Where tea leafs change colour from green to a bright copper shade by natural oxidization during the time laying on the cool slab from half an hour to one hour period, varying the time from a factory to another. Next step is the process of drying, sending fermented leafs through highly heated machine forcing teas get backed or roast insuring the teas to be a black tea. Finally roasted teas are sorting in to different sizes and then pack them in to aluminium paper sacks.


The growing of the Tea industry

In the 17th century, tea gained a direct route to England through the East Indian trading company. When tea drinking become a way of life in England and its’ colonies including United States and Canada in the late 19th century Scottish Businessman Sir Thomas Lipton and millionaire came to Sri Lanka to make a business deal with James Taylor.  Lipton purchased tea from Sri Lanka and distributed through Europe and North America. Tea becomes Sri Lanka’s main commercial export crop until recent years, where Tea industry still holding the growing demand and very high contribution to the GDP.

Having concerning of major income to the country’s economy British Empire constructed significant railway system in the country to facilitate the plantation and its infrastructures. They owned the 80% of the tea estates until 1971. Now the Sri Lanka Government own the 100% but leaving full control of the management to the private sector believing high quality improvement in tea generation.



How Tea helps to be in good health

Consuming food and beverages are the main factor of being healthy or being unhealthy. The fact that, tea will helps to keep the balance of human body with proven records. Following are some of the information about healthy life when drinking tea.


                Amazing anti - oxidants

Many of vitro studies have demonstrated the anti-oxidant properties both black and green tea. Anti-oxidant clean out harmful compounds from the bloodstream and tea has uniquely high amount of anti-oxidant flavonoids. Tea research institute of Sri Lanka shown that regular consumption of both black and green tea can play crucial role in reducing the risks of degenerative diseases because of the powerful anti-oxidants contained in tea.


Reducing the risk of cancer

All cells in living organism contain genetic material which controls all body functions, growth and cell reproduction. In the initiation of cancer, DNA damaged or undergoes a mutation which alters the function of the cells it controls and transforms them in to cancer cells. 

Tea polyphenols have been shown to directly react and neutralize chemical carcinogens, reducing the risk of cancer.


Help reduce the risk of heart disease.

Research reveals that drinking tea can help to reduce the risk of heart disease. Heart attacks caused by either a partial or complete blockage of the arteries supplying blood to the heart wall and muscles. A restriction in the blood flow in arteries occurs through the build-up of plaque in the inner lining of the artery. So the tea polyphenols have the ability to inhabit lipid oxidization and plaque formation in the circulatory system, reducing the risk of heart attacks.


Tea enhances the immune system

The human body’s immune system goes in to action when foreign particles enter the body or when an injury occurs. It is necessary to destroy harmful invaders that enter the body and for repairing injury. The immune response has two components: specific immune response and non-specific or inflammatory response. In specific immune response, invading pathogens are identified and the cells of the immune system act to destroy the pathogens. An inflammatory response is non-pacific and is triggered by any foreign body or injury.

Research reveals that tea components, while not compromising the body’s action against harmful invaders, can reduce the harmful effects of inflammation and regulate the mediators of the inflammatory response.


Tea curbs diabetes and boosts digestion

Tea has properties beneficial to those diabetes and also known help digestion. In a healthy person the glucose level is maintained at constant concentration. Insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas regulates blood glucose level. After a meal the glucose level in the blood increases as glucose in digested food enters the blood system. This leads increased secretion of insulin into the blood to stimulate liver and muscle cells, to take up and metabolize more glucose which thereby regulates the level of glucose in the blood. The polyphenols in tea inhabit alpha-amylase activity and could contribute to the reduction of blood glucose level.

A variety of micro-organisms also live in the human digestive tract. While some are helpful, others are harmful. Regular consumption of tea reduces harmful Enterobacteriaceae and increases Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria which produce beneficial metabolites.


The Age defying, Stress-Relieving Remedy

Tea is one beverage that can contribute to our well-being in a preventive lifestyle. It is the most consumed beverage after water and enhance balanced nutrition. Tea is also refreshing and reviving beverage which relieves stress. Scientists have established the therapeutic value of tea based on hard evidence from research findings. Tea contains the amino acid theanine which has a relaxing effect on the human body. Tea is also good to relieve eye fatigue and gargling with tea in an effective remedy to alleviate the symptoms of influenza or the common cold.


Tea and Oral Health

Tea contain significant amount of fluoride in an easy assimilated form. Fluoride help prevent tooth decay caused by bacteria which secrete acidic substance that damage teeth. Fluoride hardens the enamel and dentine in teeth, making tissues more acid resistant. Apart from containing fluoride, tea also contains polyphenols which inhabit the growth of bacteria such as streptococcus mutans which cause tooth decay. In addition, tea can also reduce the ability of bacteria to get attached to a tooth’s surface and cause damage.