On Tuesday’s after yoga, surfing, lunch and video analysis we jump in the tuk tuks and go to Virgin White Tea Plantation just 10 minutes away our surf & yoga retreat. This family owned Handunugoda estate is nestled along the south coast of Sri Lanka. A hidden gem. We think so too.
Herman’s Tea produces over 40 different flavours of healthy green luxury teas each having its own distinct health benefit for the body. The most famous tea is known as the Virgin White tea produced at the estate. This tea is completely untouched by hand but cut by gold scissors into a bowl at dawn. The anti-oxidant content of this tea is just over 10.1 % which is said to be the highest naturally occurring content in any beverage. A cup of gold we say and exclusively available to purchase only at the estate in Sri Lanka. The perfect holiday gift!
The friendly staff take us on a guided tour of the plantation, observing the committed team busy at work, plucking leafs, watering plants, rolling and drying leafs. During the tour, we sit down and enjoy a beautiful cup of Oolong tea and homemade chocolate cake in Herman’s Bunglow on the estate. There’s something about seeing the tea being produced first hand that opens up your eyes to the care and attention that goes into every hot cup produced. Now that’s a real cup of tea!
Refreshed after our delicious tea time, we continue around the plantation only to spot the owner himself cruising along the grounds. Herman is over ninety years old and is still very much involved behind the scenes in running his family business. We question where does he get his energy from? His staff share with us his top secret. A cup of virgin white tea every morning to start the day and a twenty minute run on his treadmill in his house. Let me ask you, is your boss as cool as Herman?
As we float around the Tea plantation deep in nature, we are surrounded by beautiful cinnamon trees, black pepper trees, hibiscus flowers, singing birds, fluttering insects and hard working staff reaping the land to provide the worlds best Ceylon’s luxury tea.
The black and green tea leafs dry for over 18 hours after they are hand picked. The leafs are turned and rolled every 4 hours by staff. We are told this is the most critical step as it prevents any breaking at the next stages. How tempting it was not to jump into this bed of green but we don’t think it would have gone down too well. This is one whole day of hard work … 25 -30 kilograms are picked a day and this is what it looks like.
Seeing is one thing but smelling the tea leafs is definitely another. We recommend you do the exact same when you visit!
These hardworking feet that bring you over 40 flavours of green and black teas do it in style. So much love for these matchy matchy outfits. Nicely captured brad.
At the end of the guided tour we are brought to the beautiful tea shop on the estate. Where every type of tea you could ever imagine is brewed, stirred and ready to be tasted. From black teas, Oolong teas, white teas, greens and herbal infused teas are all lined up waiting for us to sample.
At Sunshinestories, we like to serve our afternoon tea the authentic way, where all our guests get to experience and see first hand what makes the perfect hot cuppa. Such a relaxing afternoon after a busy morning filled with sunrise yoga and green wave surfing.
Thanks to the team at Herman Teas who look after us each week and thanks to Brad Golden for capturing the magic moments of the weekly excursion.