How to take a tour of a tea factory
A captivating experience for tea-lovers
While Sri Lanka is commonly known for its golden sandy beaches surrounding the island there is a gem of a creation that is reaped from the hill country of the little island. The tea that is oh-so-delightful in Sri Lanka is produced on the island and one of the best ways to learn about tea and its process is by taking a tour of a tea factory that is functioning and doing business during this time.
Most of the Sri Lanka sightseeing tours include a visit to a tea factory. The outside tour is the first part of the tour in a tea factory as you will first get to witness the stunning tea plantations. Tea trees are easy to identify as they are more like bushes than trees even though they are referred to so. While you will be able to see a massive area of tea trees you might also get to see other plantations being cultivated amidst the tea trees. If you are going in the early morning hours you will get to see the tea pluckers heading to their allocated locations for work. The clothing they wear seems heavy and uncomfortable but that has been developed to what it is over a long period of time. To be able to bear the heat, be able to keep the dust brought from the wind, and to be able to earn the respect of working mothers and wives their attire has been developed to what it is today. However, you will get to see the tea pluckers at work and you will also be taught why only a certain leaf is picked while the others will remain. The tea pluckers vary from a large age range and you will get to see their genuine smiles and the welcoming spirit when you greet them.
The tour inside the factory is about the process that goes beyond the naked eye. There are several processes that need to take place to create the finest tea you get from the island. Withering, rolling, fermenting, drying, and sorting are some of the steps that come after the tea plucking. The withering process which comes first is done after the leaves are weighed in. The leaves' humidity is reduced by about 30% in order to prepare it for the next step which is the rolling. The withering process will take from 12-18 hours depending on the humidity of the leaves. The next process is where the leaves are put into a rolling machine where the cells are broken and the fluids inside the cells are exposed to air stepping on to the next process the fermentation. The fermentation is a tanning process along with oxidation that was started in the rolling process. The fermentation will take from up to 2 to 3 hours and the technicians will keep a close eye to make sure the fermentation is done to the required level. The fermentation is complete when the desired smell and the copper colour is achieved and then the leaves are taken further for drying. An industrial machine called tiered dryers is used for this step and you will get to see how the process is put into place. The final step is sorting which is done by experienced technicians who can identify the best through a process of shaking the tea leaves.
If you love tea and want to experience something amazing on the island then you are going to love the third part of the tea factory tour as you will be able to taste a steaming cup of tea. You will also be able to learn how to enjoy the perfect cup of tea even though most people are used to enjoying tea with milk and sugar. The perfect cup of tea is the tea leaves brewed well in water and enjoyed while it is nice and warm. Learn more about Sri Lankan tea and where you can go to visit tea factories on the island by checking out online sources such as Truly Sri Lanka.