Uva Halpewatte Tea Factory was built in 1940 during the British rule. The factory was constructed in the cool climate, on 1230 meters. Sri Lanka is exporter number 1 in the world when it comes to tee, and today it exports its famous tea to UK, the Middle East and Russia. Sri Lanka, during British rule, was named Ceylon, the name of the Sri Lankan tea today.
What makes a visit to this factory very interesting is the fact that visitors have the opportunity to see the entire process of making Ceylon tea. The entire process starts from the tea harvest to the final step when the tea is located in huge sacks ready to be picked up for an auction. Yes, huge tea sacks are always sold in auctions.
At the entrance to the factory visitors will immediately get a guide, a qualified person who works at the factory, who will explain and show the entire process of processing the tea. Guides will also explain the tea grinding process and how this affect the final taste of the tea. There are numerous tea qualities that are clearly sold at varying prices. Obviously, the ones we can find packed in small white bags, ready to be used, are the lowest quality teas that we can get. The finer the grinding the tea gets, the stronger it is.
At the end of the visit guides will take the visitors to a beautiful terrace where they will be able to taste the famous Sri Lankan tea and they will also present traditional teas to visitors, some special naturally flavored teas (the one with Jasmin and mango are truly divine) and their finest specialties such as silver and golden tips. Those teas are quite expensive and they tend to have a particulate taste. These teas arguably have beneficial effects on the better health of your whole body.
Here below visitors may find different Ceylon tea quality categories.
- OPA – long and bold tea leaf with air twist. This is a low grown tea lighter in color and milder in flavor. OPA has no dust and tea leaves are the finest quality.
- FF1 – also known as Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe Fannings 1 (FBOPF1).This tea contains low to medium amount of tips and it is characterized by sweet flavor. Due to the high elevation the tea is bright in color.
- BOPA – it is also called the clear tea due to its flake leaf grade without stalk. This tea has mild flavor. This tea is also characterized by high elevation and has a rather light color.
- BOPF SP – tea leaves are larger in size thn BOPF and it does not contain dust. The BOPF falls into the category of high grown and medium grown tea.
- PEKOE – PEKOE graded tea leaves are categorized as high grown tea which is renowned for taste. It is characterized by great flavor and rich taste.
- PEKOE 1 – are a bit smaller in size but very similar to PEKOE. Tea leaves are categorized as high grown tea which is renowned for refine taste. Given the high elevation at which it is picked, the tea is bright in color and greater in flavor and freshness.
- BOP Sp – Broken Orange Pekoe Special. A bit larger tea leaves than BOP and it is without stalk. The BOP Sp is a high grown and medium grown tea. The tea has bright color and nice flavor.
- BOP 1 - Broken Orange Pekoe 1. of this tea are golden and medium length. BOP 1 is one of the best of the broken tea category and bears a mild malty taste. The BOP1 range falls into the category of high grown and medium grown tea. This is also the most expensive of all tea types
Visitors are not obliged to buy the tea in the tea factory if they do not want to. Visitors can find some lower prices in local supermarkets.
The entrance to the factory is free of charge but visitors should give a tip to the guides.
Working hours of Uva Halpewatte Tea Factory
Uva Halpewatte Tea Factory is open every day from 08:00am to 4:00pm.