The Globe and Mail : May 2011 : On the trail of a perfect cup of tea in Sri Lanka
My destination is Ceylon Tea Trails, a luxury bungalow resort originally built for the tea barons who ruled over the estates. Owned and operated by Dilmah, one of the world’s largest tea brands, Ceylon Tea Trails is a love letter to anyone with a passion for tea, tranquillity, hospitality and the region itself. The four bungalows, which resemble large country estates, are at least four kilometres apart, serviced by butlers and private chefs, and encircled by gardens that offer breathtaking views of mountains and lakes.Entering the colonial Tientsin Bungalow, built in 1888, relics of the posh lifestyle of English tea barons are still on display: polished wooden floors, high ceilings, plush four-poster beds. Uniformed staff wait with an evening cocktail in a lounge that smells of old, expensive leather. Old, faded paintings of tea barons hang on the wall. The fireplace in the lounge is blazing, warming the chill mountain air that comes as a relief after the hot sticky weather on the coast.
And then there’s the tea. I’ve never enjoyed a fresher cup of tea than the one waiting for me on the patio. It tastes like fine Bordeaux after years of quaffing box wine. As I sip, the early-morning sun sparkles on the evergreen tea terraces that look like surreal layers painted onto the hills. “What are those yellow and blue specks moving around up there?” I ask my butler. (I’ve never had a butler before, and I think it rather suits me.) “Those are the tea pluckers, sir.” My education in tea is about to begin. Read more: On the trail of a perfect cup of tea in Sri Lanka – The Globe and Mail Canada May 11