We’ve all heard about how tea is found in Sri Lanka’s hill country – from Kandy, to Nuwara Eliya, Bandarawela, Ella, Haputale and areas of the like. But who has heard of tea growing in the Southern coast of Sri Lanka?!? Yes, the late Mr. D. A Wanigasekara ventured into tea culture in this region, to make history.
The coastal terrain in Sri Lanka is well known for its thriving fishing industry, paddy cultivation, diverse vegetation, rich culture and heritage, architecture and intellectual pursuits. In 1910, Nandana Tea Factory added to that list, the cultivation and manufacturing of tea.
Nandana Tea Factory is a family-owned business – running a tea factory. The owner, Mr. & Mrs. Gunasoma Wanigasekara are a humble and generous couple who also have an intense passion for planting and love for nature. Their warm hospitality, friendly and kind nature is what visitors love about them, making it a highlight of their Sri Lanka tour, and do not fail to mention when reviewing this place.
So what’s in it for visitors?
Visitors to the Nandana Tea Factory are taken through a journey beginning from Mr. Gunasoma’s kitchen, where he prepares a traditional Sri Lankan lunch for all his workers, goes on to the well maintained Arboretum where you come across spice plants and some rare medicinal plants, and then through all the steps of making fine and exclusive tea, ending in a tea tasting session in a cozy little restaurant where the lunch is also served. Guests are also taken to the neighboring jungle and Nilwala River if opted for. The tour of the herbal garden, tea factory, and tea tasting is done absolutely free by this large-hearted couple.
Some knowledge about the tea factory itself…
Situated in Akuressa, Nandana Tea Factory (NTF) borders the waters of Nilwala (Blue) River. With over 80 years of experience, NTF has made its mark as the best producers of low-grown tea in Sri Lanka. With the fine export quality tea that they produce, NTF has managed to present its own brand image in countries such as Germany, United Kingdom, Australia, Russia, Japan, New Zealand, and the Czech Republic. According to NTF, hand-picked tea, premium standard machinery and experienced staff is just the right formula for producing a superior brew of tea. The factory supplies all kinds of Sri Lankan black or flavored tea and can be packed according to your requirements. And what’s even more attractive is that the tea is sold at local prices – so you can pick up as much as you want to take back home!
How to get there?
From Colombo to Nandana Tea Factory, it is about 168kms, a 2.5 hours drive via the southern expressway. If you have Galle, Weligama, Mirissa or any of the southern coastal towns on your luxury tour of Sri Lanka, a visit to Nandana Tea Factory can be easily scheduled on that route.
It is located about 15kms inland from the Godagama southern expressway exit and is also on the way to Sinharaja through the Deniyaya route.
How the owner manages the business…
Under the guidance of the owner Mr. G. Wanigasekara, the premium orthodox black tea found at NTF maintains the age-old tradition, preserves the intrinsic flavor, taste and quality. An average of 120K to 150K kg of green leaf tea is processed every month at this tea factory. The Japanese 5S system has been implemented to maintain high standards, production efficiencies, and hygienic conditions that contribute towards the premium quality of tea and well-timed delivery. NTF highly recognizes the sheer commitment and knowledge of its workforce, without which premium quality black tea could not be produced.
With such disciplinary methods, Nandana Tea Factory has received the following awards over the years:
- The best Entrepreneur of the Year 2002 and 2003 from Ceylon Chamber of Commerce
- Excellence in manufacturing practices from Ceylon Tea Board
- Awards for imparting knowledge and understanding
- Awards for training human resource and general management of the tea factory
- ISO 22000:2005 certified
- Production Certification Standard by Tea Association of Sri Lanka
- Ethical Tea Partnership – London
So are you curious now about how the tea you love so much is brought to you from those luscious tea estates?
Blue Lanka Tours will arrange a tour to Nandana Tea Factory while preparing your Sri Lanka holiday itinerary.