Ceylon Tea

Ceylon tea has made its way into the cups (and hearts) of billions of people for well over a century! While our daily dose of tea is a part and parcel of life, what led to the widespread presence of Ceylon tea? Here we lay the milestones. Read on below to find out!

1824 – The first tea bush was planted at the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens, as an ornamental crop.

1867 – With coffee plantations being struck by a disease, the subsequent downfall of these crops encouraged Scotsman James Taylor to cultivate tea at Kandy’s Loolecondera Estate.

1880 – With the tea industry gradually gaining popularity in Ceylon, the first tea rolling machine was introduced by John Walker & Co.

1883 – The first auction of Ceylon Tea was held at Somerville & Co.

1893 – One million tea packets were successfully sold at the Chicago World Fair. By now, the production of Ceylon tea had become well established. Many coffee plantations were converted to cultivate tea, and machinery was imported from England for processing.

1894 – The Ceylon Tea Traders Association was established.

1899 – Up to 400,000 acres of land was utilised for tea cultivation by this year, thereby signifying a massive surge in production of the same.

1925 – The Tea Research Institute was established, now giving tea manufacturers a government body that was able to regulate, monitor and enhance the quality of tea produced for the masses.

1927 – By this year, more than 100,000 metric tonnes of tea was being exported from Sri Lanka.

1960 – The quantity of tea being exported doubled to up to 200,000 metric tonnes.

1966 – Sri Lanka celebrated 100 years of tea production by launching the first international tea convention