Andrew’s Tea Tales : The truth about Camellia Sinensis

Nestled amid the dark green highlands of the tea valley, the four bungalows at Tea Trails offers you more than the chance to put your feet up and rest easy amidst tranquil tea plantations. It also provides you with the opportunity to learn everything there is to know about that wonderful herb, Camellia Sinensis. Yes, Tea.  Dubbed the “Tea Experience,” the Tea Trails experience gives guests the chance to interact with a hands-on tea planter, one of a dying breed.

Andrew Taylor, the Resident Tea Planter, is a descendant of James Taylor, who can be identified as the ‘father’ of tea industry in the island. Andrew is a fourth generation tea planter, and it can be safely assumed that passion for tea runs in Andrew’s blood. With a highly refined palate for tasting tea and a wealth of information in his arsenal, two hours with Andrew will give you a deeper understanding of all that goes in to making the perfect cuppa.

As you follow the fascinating stories of the planters trail, you can observe local tea pluckers, armed with their trademark wicker baskets, dotting the landscape and  picking two leaves and a bud with incredible speed and precision.  The tour will come to head in the factory, where everything from the drying to the actual conversion of black tea happens. The ever present scent of tea permeates each nook of the traditional tea factory and its surroundings, which have remained unchanged for years, and will undoubtedly invoke a sense of nostalgia (real or imagined!) for a simpler time.

The highlight of the Tea Experience is the chance to partake in a professional tea tasting session. Tea tasting is an art that has been perfected by a  few remarkable individuals, and guests will get firsthand knowledge from one of the best tasters in the industry.  Andrew  will take guests through the process, step-by-step and tell them what flavours, smells, and other characteristics to watch out for in each sip. Discover the particular characteristics that make up your own perfect cup of tea.

While the recreational usage of tea has increased the popularity of tea exponentially, Camellia Sinensis is also resplendent with various health benefits. At the end of the “Tea Experience,” Andrew will hand out a list of health benefits of tea, and how this wonderful herb can help with heart problems, arthritis and more.  Not only will you leave Tea Trails with a new found appreciation for this powerful beverage, you will go back home with memories of a relaxing, eye-opening, and unique holiday in Sri Lanka’s beautiful tea country.

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