This Wild Sri Lankan tea rod is made from Twenty five two leaves, buds and stems hand Twisted by skilled artisans it makes a delicious vibrant cup full of the flavour of the forest
In more depth...
Tea Name : Wild Tea Rods 'the worlds best natural tea bag'
Tea Maker : Buddhika Dissanayake
Origin : Warnagala, natural forests of Rathnapura district
Size : 100 Hectares
Harvest Time : Throughout the year
Cultivar : Wild Tea Trees
Plucking standard : Twenty five two leaves, buds and stems
Processing : Hand Twisted by skilled artisans
Experience : A delicious vibrant cup full of the flavour of the forest
Last visited by Comins : Last visit from Buddikha to Comins Dec 2023
How to prepare [Western Style]..
Amount of tea per bowl (200 ml): 2.5 g (1 tsp)
Water temperature: 100℃ / 212℉
Infusion / brewing time: 3 minutes
Number of infusions: Multiple
How to enjoy: No sugar, milk if desired.
Tales of the Tea Trade : Forest Tea
Forest Hill Tea Company is a handmade artisan specialty tea company with the concept of forest friendly tea production, environmental sustainability & community empowerment. Located at the foot of the Adam's Peak in Sabaragamuwa Province, Sri Lanka they produce a range of high quality forest-friendly handmade artisanal teas.
They have also introduced the concept of wild tea of which these tea rods are part. Let's hear more in the words of tea maker Buddikha. Buddikha is a professional tea plater who worked for larger plantation companies for over 17 years and left to pursue the Forest Hill Tea project 4 years ago.
'Wild tea, most notably the tea plant, Camelia Sinensis Assamica tea plant [identified to be indigenous to the mountain chain between Assam, India, Myanmar, Northern Thailand and China] is a new concept for the Sri Lankan tea industry - although native tea plants are not found in Sri Lanka, there are tea trees believed to be growing wild among the natural habitat for more than a hundred years within the forests in the Rathnapura district. Buddikha identified an opportunity to provide the global tea industry specialty, handmade tea from the natural forests of Rathnapura district in a small-batch micro tea factory where the tea is naturally growing. This wild tea is made from a tea estate called “Warnagala” planted by Scottish planters during the British rule and abandoned for 130 years. This estate lies at 2900 feet and spans over 100 acres. This abandoned tea plantation has now become a forest with a large biodiversity where the tea trees still grows, today as big tea trees among the other vegetation. Tea leaves are plucked from 30-40 feet high tea trees and carted out of the jungle by foot. Its unique earthy character is given by the nutrients absorbed from the tap root in deep layers of the rich soil in unspoiled environment.
The quality of the Wild tea is maintained by producing in small batches by hand with great care. The company is established with the explicit mission to maximize local income-generation, while promoting environmental stewardship in less-developed parts of Sri Lanka. Part of our responsibility is to empower the women of the village, small scale tea farmers and local industries of the area. We employ village women and ensure the sustainable skill development and living standard improvement by sharing the profit percentage with them. Some of our packagings are locally produced by villagers providing an extra income source to their families. The company aims to do so by employing and training the local workforce (and neighbouring outgrowers) to produce high value-added products and services, using locally available products. The farmers are encouraged to practice reforestation and forest friendly practices to preserve forest and wide biodiversity, while protecting and restoring local forests, water systems and other ecosystem service. The farmers holding hands with us are paid high rates for the tea leaves
Looking to the future : [the aim is that] each cup of Forest Hill Tea will benefit root level farmers. The company wants to become a role-model for other smallholders, demonstrating how they can produce and sell their own value-added products.
With wages and other costs increasing, the Sri Lankan tea industry will not be able to survive if it keeps producing low-priced teas for the commodity tea market. We would like to train hundreds of tea cooperatives and small farmers to produce hand-made teas – generating much higher incomes for farmers and workers in the tea sector We also want to promote the availability of small-batch hand-made teas from Sri Lanka in leading tea boutiques around the word, as a way to boost the overall brand image and price-realization of all Sri Lankan teas.