Sunday, 30 March 2014

The Heights of Tea Production at Labookellie

Close-up of a tea bush.
Pickers harvest only the top growth of two leaves and a bud around once a week.
Mackwoods employs over 1,000 people on its 27,000 acres of plantation.
Seven hundred women work as pickers while the balance (men) work in production.
Almost every square inch of the surrounding hillsides is taken up by tea cultivation.
Panorama of the high estate tea plantations around Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka
Close up of the new growth on tea bushes
Generally the higher the tea bushes are grown, the better its taste.
These are part of Mackwoods high estate teas
Inside the Mackwoods tea factory tea is meticulously processed to bring out its unique qualities
Of course you can get a free tour of the tea factories, then you get shown into the gift shop.
Interesting thing is that once you try the tea, I think almost everyone buys it.
Quality is far superior to the stuff you normally pick up off the shelves in the local Aussie supermarkets..
Withering is the first process of tea making.
Giant fans partially dry the tea leaves before it's left to ferment for a few hours.
Processed and bagged-up tea waiting to be exported.

Labookellie tea plantation produces some of the island's finest teas.
At the factory you can get free pots of orange pekoe teas.
It's some of the best OP tea I have ever tried - we bought a kilo of the stuff.
Labookellie is owned by Mackwoods, a company founded in1841 by Captain William Mackwood.
The whole region was subsequently developed by the British who brought in cheap labour from Tamil Nadu in Southern India to work the fields (the Singhalese didn't want to work for the paltry conditions offered by the English).
Interesting use of typography in this hand made advert for Hellbodde teas, a smaller estate adjacent to Mackwoods

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