Savouring Sri Lanka: Kandy tripping 4

After the elephant orphanageelephant poo-paper factory and the spice garden visit, we moved on.

The advertisements of any tea beckon to me like few do. There is a freshness and green aura about these ads that leave me feeling energized after watching one, even if I cannot have tea that instant. Naturally, tea estates and tea factories rank high in my list.

Initially when K and I planned this trip, we wanted to stay in a tea estate. We were not bothered much about what star accomodation it was.  We just wanted to stay in the estates, I wanted to pluck tea leaves and fling it into my basket with elan and sing and gossip with the ladies who work on the plantation. Ah well, it did not happen this time. So, we wanted to atleast visit a tea estate and see the beauty for ourselves. R was more than willing to take us and after a hearty meal, we found ourselves at a tea promotional centre and small cottage industry of sorts.


As soon as entered, there was a winding stairway that led us to this sitting area. We were just seated a little behind these chairs as the manager of the promotion centre spoke to us of Ceylon tea and the tea-making process. He mocked the use of tea bags saying that they are nothing but tea dust and the least flavourful by-product of the entire process. We had a great time learning the process. Since it was a powerpoint prsentation, there really wasn’t much I could capture.

Visiting a real tea factory where the process happens right before your eyes is something. But I guess, something of this sort was better than nothing. Moreover, we watched videos of a real factory in full swing as well. While they served us some amazing green tea and jaggery to go along, I admired the beautiful attires of the ladies who worked there. The prints were so detailed and they had such grace about them.


Often, I have watched tea estates in movies and always wanted to be there. I still have that longing. To smell a new tea leaf, to walk amidst the aroma of coffee beans is a joy inexplicable for a tea-coffee lover like me. There used to be a time when I would shamelessly gape at people who would turn down tea/coffee. ” Really?” was written all over my face. That was once upon a time. While I still try my best to advertise coffee and tea, I don’t bug people anymore. And definitely, no more gaping.


Being a promotional centre and a very small cottage industry, they only rolled and dried a small quantity of tea leaves across the area. I stooped silly and tried to get a whiff of the magic called smell of tea.


Being a promotional centre, a small sale was expected. However, they were very endearing and definitely did not impose the purchase. The colourful packaging and souvenir tea packages were vey pretty. We ended up buying a few boxes of green tea leaves grown on their farm. And trust me, they are amazing ! Everytime K or I brew some tea, the whole home smells of it and it creates such a positive energy.


Tea, these days is available in flavours that outnumber one’s strands of hair. Trust me. There is blackberry, plum, chrysanthemum, apple peach, blueberry, citrus, ginger, ginseng and what not! All this is apart from the red, black, green teas. We did not buy any of these flavours though. We just stuck to the original estate grown ones.  Not the ones that are flavoured and imported from somewhere to Sri Lanka.


Finally, on our way back, we got to see what we wanted to for so long.


I cannot share the obscene number of photos I clicked there. A few ladies came to me along with kids, especially an elderly lady and requested for a photo. You know that feeling when someone asks for your autograph? Okay, I don’t know either but it probably matched the feeling I had, in intensity. Feeling flattered, I asked K to click a snap of hers and mine together. K gave me a mischievous smile and clicked. While I pondered the reason behind the smile, the lady stretched her palm and said, “Money. Money. Photo money”

All the big temples I constructed for myself in that past one minute, out of elation for having been asked for a photo, vanished! We gave her some money. All through the rest of the walk along the estate, I just meekly smiled at the 20 -30 more elderly women, children and teenagers who asked me for a snap and walked unabashedly.



  1. Jas · February 14, 2013

    The sitting area is very calming…. and they ask for photo money !!!!

  2. Destination Infinity · February 14, 2013

    LOL@Photomoney. Wonder why their Indian counterparts have not picked up this technique! I once visited a tea factory in Konoor (Ooty). We even trekked in between tea estates in munnar. But these things were many years back. I do remember that the tea bought from these factories tasted much better than packaged tea. I guess it’s because of the freshness. I never knew that there are so many flavours of tea. Need to try some of them. Have you tried any?

    Destination Infinity

    • kismitoffeebar · February 14, 2013

      Some things must not be learnt 🙂 Wow ! Munnar and Ooty are on my wishlist too. Ya the tea tastes amazing and I think it is cause of the freshness and the grade – usually what we buy is tea powder and dust.
      I have tried all the flavours I have mentioned here 😛 It is fun to try them but I need a masala chai for the energy nevertheless. Ginger ocmes close. But these flavoured ones are drunk without milk, basically!

  3. Smita · February 14, 2013

    lol @ money for photo 😀

    Lady u have increased yje font soze of your post and done wonders to this blog 🙂

    And I have no interest in Tea but the pictures look lovely 🙂

    • kismitoffeebar · February 14, 2013

      hehe Smita! Thanks so much 🙂 I like it better too now with this font 😛
      I have been to your food blog but my comment never goes through. I liked it and you know you have another reader there 🙂
      et tu? No interest in tea ?? Kidding 🙂 Thankee !

  4. Filter Kaapi · February 14, 2013

    The header looks lovely. We have a almost similar picture from our trip to Waynad. I felt just as elated as you until I read about the ‘money’ part. Sad!

    • kismitoffeebar · February 14, 2013

      Thanks Filter kaapi ! 🙂

      Filter kaapi likes tea estates – tee hee. Waynad is beautiful! 🙂 Have you shared that trip on your blog? I would love to rad!
      Yeah money part is a bit disappointing 😦 🙂

  5. Swaram · February 14, 2013

    Phew! if all those women I have taken pics with come over asking me for money, I will be looted 😉
    Luv the sitting area 🙂 🙂

    And *sob* *sob* me not on ur blog roll 😦 😉

    • kismitoffeebar · February 14, 2013

      hehehe Swaram ! Sitting area is very cool 🙂

      Arey ! the blog roll is from last february-april time when I was new to blogging. There are umptten great additions to the list. Will update soon and how can I forget you? 🙂

      • Swaram · February 14, 2013

        LOLz 😛 😛

  6. techie2mom · February 14, 2013

    you are a big tea lover!!!! this sure was a treat for you…

    • kismitoffeebar · February 14, 2013

      Absolutely right t2mom – I love coffee and tea 😛 One of my other ambitions is to study and understand these beverages 🙂

  7. Yash the PolymathGeek · February 14, 2013

    Hey KismiToffeeBar,
    Nice pics and blog post.. Reminded me off my college trip to Munnar… Dash it… Now I have a craving for a cuppa of hot, steaming Masala Chai with Cardamom, Tulsi, Clove and Ginger and …. Never mind 🙂

    • kismitoffeebar · February 15, 2013

      Thanks Yash! 🙂 Ah, nothing can replace masala chai. You had a college trip to Munnar? Wow! 🙂

  8. Little Fingers · February 15, 2013

    Waw beautiful narration and love the pictures, that green looks so unreal ..I had similar incident in hydra bad, where one guy came and snatched our camera and started taking our pictures. He clicked 4 snaps and asked for 40 rs…we finally gave because he had our $800 worth camera..

    • kismitoffeebar · February 15, 2013

      My God!!!!!!!!!!! That is atrocious! Snatchign a camera to click? Heights LF.

      Thank you 🙂

  9. pixie · February 15, 2013

    Lovely!! 🙂
    simply lovely!

  10. Amit · February 15, 2013

    You must visit Munnar too. It is one of the most beautiful places in India. 🙂

  11. Lifesong · February 15, 2013

    I love the refreshing greenery of the tea gardens 🙂 reminds me of the ones we saw in Darjeeling
    We usually give the factories a miss during our travels… but your post tells me we are missing out something… next time will remember to visit them too 🙂

    • kismitoffeebar · February 16, 2013

      Darjeeling ! Sigh. I also want 🙂
      Higly reco factories and cottage industries and small enterprises LS. They also take the pains to educate you in a very patient manner 🙂

  12. Visha · February 21, 2013

    ahh…beautiful, beautiful nostalgia hitting left and right 😛

    ok now dont the tea estate we visited, I found the accompanying biscuits more inviting than the tea..they were yummy 😀 😀

    Photo money 😯 This is the first time I am reading such an account…if only you had ‘read’ the smile K gave 😛

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