Welcome to Tea Time Tales! It's a blog of daily happenings in the life of a tea room owner. Sometimes strange, sometimes wonderful, always interesting. The variety of people I meet and the things they say and do never ceases to amaze me. So, make yourself a nice cup of tea, sit back, relax and enjoy!
Also, we cordially invite you to respond with your own Tea Time Tales. We'd love to hear about interesting teas, intriguing tales, and special times with special friends you've had over tea.
All content and photos Copyright 2007-Present by Elaine Terman
Friday, August 26, 2011
This is the friendly greeting you receive everywhere in Sri Lanka. Lalith Guy Paranavitana, owner of Empire Tea Services is offering his wonderful Tea Tour of Sri Lanka again this coming January.
If you are even remotely thinking about going, don't hesitate a minute longer.
It was the trip of a lifetime, will be long remembered for its tropical beauty, kind and gentle people, and of course, all that wonderful fresh tea!
Here are a few photos of our memorable trip.
This official greeter at the Galle Face Hotel has been at his post for something like 70 years!
Ladies Plucking Tea -- only two leaves and bud for all tea from Sri Lanka!!!
We even plucked some ourselves!
We visited 4 factories and saw how tea is made from start to finish! First it is withered in large bins shown here, then rolled to crush the leaf and open the cells so that oxidation can begin. Then leaves are put on tables to oxidize. Then dried and sorted by leaf size. Then, lots of tea tasting.
We asked one of the experienced tea tasters how long it took to become proficient at tasting. He said, "Well, I've been tasting tea every day now, 7 days a week, for 10 years, and I think I am just now getting good at it!"
The tea tasting at each estate was so much fun. I have never, and may never again, tasted such fresh tea--some that had just finished that day! That fresh tea aroma in the factories is something I will never forget.
We got up close to the elephants!
And visited many temples and famous Buddhist sites.
Who knew Cocoa bean pods were this big?
I had to be drug out of this batik store! Beautiful wares!
The Jeep Safari was so much fun.
We waded in the Indian Ocean.
Wove through narrow, winding mountain roads.
And saw beautiful vistas in every direction! It's easy to see why Sri Lanka is now one of the top tourist destinations in the world!