The tea plant was brought to Sri Lanka from China by the British back in the year in 1824 and was planted in the Royal Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya. It is considered to have been the first non-commercial tea plant in Sri Lanka.
19 acres of tea was planted in the city of Kandy in Sri Lanka by a Scottish, James Taylor after nearly two decades in 1867 at the Loolecondra Estate as the first commercial tea plantation. In 1872, the eventual sale of Loolecondra teas in Kandy took place and the first consignment to London in 1873.
The coffee cultivators moved over to tea as an alternative commercial crop after the devastating coffee blight that swept through the coffee plantations. Taylor configured his own tea factory in the verandah of his bungalow in the Loolecondra Estate as he was eager to experiment the tea which was probably the first in the country. The end result of the delicious tea which was probably the first commercial cup brewed which was done by rolling the leaves by hand on tables and the firing done on clay stoves over charcoal flames, with wire trays to air the leaves. Over the years, with the introduction and improvement of tea processing machines and methods by various individuals and companies, pioneering efforts have been made, and improved on through trial and error. In order to accommodate the first tea dryer and the first tea rolling machine, coffee stores were converted into tea factories. The tea industry was continuously developed by Taylor with his innovative speculations until he died in 1892.
In today’s world, the Pure Ceylon Tea in Sri Lanka is renowned for its finest tea in the world. One of the most important sources of foreign exchange for the country is the export of tea today. The tea industry is the world’s fourth largest tea producer as it employs over 1 million people both directly and indirectly. Despite the growing competition, the tea industry in Sri Lanka has been continued to have international success. Tea is a specialty in Sri Lanka and Tea Gathering is incomplete without a refreshing cup of Pure Ceylon Tea.