High in the mountains of central Sri Lanka you’ll find vast plantations of tea. Interspersed among these are tea centers, wherein you can stop, sample some of the local tea and purchase some to take with you. Some of these stops include a free tour of a tea production factory; here you can see how the tea leaves are dried, fermented, roasted, crushed and prepared for market.
Near the city of Nuwara Eliya we stopped at St. Clair’s Tea Center, which is only a tea shop with no adjoining factory tour. St. Clair’s was founded in the 19th century by James Ryan, who was among the first in the region to begin growing and experimenting with tea. The plantation is named for the St. Clair waterfall, which cascades through it.
The shop is quite lovely and has a large assortment of tea and gift items. I bought a bunch of bulk tea to take home with me as gifts for friends, family, and fellow tea-lovers. We also enjoyed a tasty spot of tea and piece of cake before we continued on our journey. Their Bright Orange Pekoe is such a lovely color!
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