Thursday, July 4, 2013

Sri Lanka: Tea Factory

Our next adventure in Sri Lanka was to a tea factory. We had actually hoped to visit a tea plantation, but that would be a full day's drive round trip and with such limited time, we decided to stick with the factory. We love to visit factories to see how things are made and processed so we very much enjoyed our visit.
Sri Lanka is famous for it's Ceylon tea. These are the tea leaves recently harvested - they take only the top 1/3 of the plant to get the most tender leaves. They are moved slowly along a conveyer belt for about a day to dry them out a bit.
They are then dropped into this grinder and the process of separating the leaves from the stems begins.
The leaves go through 3 different sized grinders to get to the consistency desired.
A close up of the grinder and below is how they come out when finished.
The next step is to put them in a dryer oven type machine to fully dry them out and then they are ready for packaging.
Belt used for the packaging - the leaves are stored in big gunny sacks or boxes and then shipped to packaging plants.
Our guide was talking us through the different type of tea this factory produces.
After the tour, we were treated to a free cup of tea in the shop. It was nice as the room overlooked the street so you could sit, sip and people watch.

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