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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 5 Interesting Facts about the Ceylon Tea Museum – The reasons for visiting the Ceylon Tea Museum
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Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Interesting Facts about the Ceylon Tea Museum – The reasons for visiting the Ceylon Tea Museum

Ceylon tea has earned its reputation worldwide as the best tea you could possibly enjoy. This must be the reason why you want to visit the museum. But before you go, here are some interesting facts!

1

Did you know?

Tea was first consumed in ancient China no less than 5000 years ago. Tea that everybody enjoys all over the world has a fascinating story behind it – the emperor Shen Nung was out on one of his visits one day when he suddenly felt thirsty. His squires stopped to boil water for him, and as the water was boiling, it is said that some kind of leaves fell into the pot which gave the water a delightful brew – which incidentally liked by the emperor. He ordered that the samples of the leaves be brought to the palace. No sooner this happened than the tea became a popular beverage in the country.

2

The museum was abandoned

The museum is housed in the former Hantana Tea Factory. The place was not cared for about a decade, but now it has been refurbished, and there are quite a few exhibits on display. Among the exhibits you get to see are items that belonged to James Taylor and Thomas Lipton. The building has four floors – the ground floor and the first floor are adorned with old equipment while on the third floor, visitors can taste and buy their favourite kind of Ceylon tea. There's also a library and an auditorium. The trip can turn out to be quite educational, so if you are in Sri Lanka lodged at one of the Bandarawela hotels – the likes of Bandarawela Hotel for example – you should definitely visit the museum.

3

The story behind English afternoon tea

Duchess of Bedford – who was a lady in waiting to Queen Victoria – is to be thanked for the notion of afternoon tea. One day she was feeling a bit out of sorts, and she decided to have tea in the afternoon with cakes and sandwiches. The practice became instantly popular.

4

Tea Tasters

How do you like a job where you have to taste different types of tea and decide whether or not it is in good condition to be imported? The tasters undergo a training period of roughly 6 years – at the end of which, they are able to recognise any kind of tea without having to look twice. A professional tea taster can tell where the tea is from and if there have been any shortcomings during the process. They use all their senses to identify the best sort of tea – pretty cool eh?

5

What you can see

You can see a lot of tea machinery at the museum. The most celebrated equipment is the Little Giant Tea Roller which is used to prepare the tea leaves for cutting. There are also belongings of James Taylor who was a tea pioneer. Among his belongings are archival prints that date back to the 19th century.