Ceylon Tea: Tasting First Hand at Nuwara Eliya
I was on my way from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya and had heard about beautiful tea plantations on the way. On a little bit more of an inquisitiveness, I understood there are about a couple of tea factories, popularly known for Ceylon Tea, that are good and worth a visit. One of them is the BLUEFIELD TEA GARDENS.
This name came across & was recommended very strongly by the hotel staff, local people and even the bus driver & conductor on being asked. Besides, I am quite a tea-drinker, especially in a rainy climate, with clouds forming over and cool breeze flowing – as if you can smell the rains – this had seemed a great idea. So, I decided to visit this place.
Around 30 minutes before this place, you shall find beautiful hills and the ceylon tea plantations all around you, whichever mode of transport you take. This tea garden is adjacent to the main highway “Kandy to Nuwara Eliya”, just 18 kms prior to Nuwara Eliya town. On the right hand side, there is a one-storey structure made just like that of a Coffee Shop and some packaged foods (tea & allied products). You can enquire with the Reception and one of the beautiful girls there will assist you with escorting to another building (opposite to this building).
This is the Tea Factory. This is a place where the raw tea leaves are processed after undergoing 6 different processes i.e. Withering, Rolling, Crushing, Fermentation, Drying and Grading.
Authentic Ceylon Tea: This is how it looks finally !
Post the guided tour, you are welcome to taste the tea (technically known as BOP – which is most popular in hotels across the world & which you & I drink !). It tastes very nice. It is served w/o milk – as pictured above.
As mentioned earlier, there are packaged items’ section, mostly different types of tea in packets of different quantities starting from 250 grams to bigger lot. I also happen to click a picture of the good lady (Ms. Taaraka) who helped me with the guided tour and their Production Manager (Mr. Moiez), picture attached. Very helpful and friendly staff.
With permission, I also walked a bit behind this factory, in their tea plantations, where women were plucking the raw leaves & putting in their basket hung on their back and took quite a few pictures. And yes, the staff do not charge anything for the guided tour and the tea you taste.
Note: Kandy to BlueField Tea Gardens is around 46 kms by road and the local bus takes 110 LKR one way. But the road is zig zag and there is a strong possiblity of you throwing out (vomiting). Alternatively, you may take train from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya and come in here.