A Tea Story, Celebrating 150 Years of Ceylon Tea at Jetwing Hotels

The Tea Story of Ceylon began in the year 1824, when the first tea plant was brought in to the country by the British from China and planted in the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya. This soon led to tea being a preferred beverage amongst all residents across the island. But it was in 1867 that James Taylor – a Scotsman who began tea plantation as a commercial tea crop on just 19 acres of land in Loolecondera Estate in Kandy. 150 years later, Ceylon Tea is synonymous with quality and is now a global favourite!

This milestone will see to a number of celebratory events including Tea Parties hosted across the world on 6th July, 2017 at 5pm. Together with the Sri Lanka Tea Board Jetwing Hotels too will be hosting Tea Parties at Jetwing Colombo Seven, Jetwing Jaffna, Jetwing Vil Uyana, Jetwing St. Andrew’s, Jetwing Kaduruketha and Jetwing Yala in line with the global celebrations.

Guests will be treated to a display of sweet and savoury delights served with the finest cups of tea while enjoying the best views across the Jetwing properties. From traditional sweat meats to a specialty high tea menu, celebrate 150 years of Ceylon tea with us at Jetwing amidst unique settings. At Jetwing Colombo Seven and Jetwing Jaffna, high tea will be served at the rooftop bars promising panoramic views of the cities. At Jetwing Vil Uyana guests will be spoilt by a view of the lake overlooking Sigiriya Rock and Jetwing St. Andrew’s will serve its guests in its lawn in a cozy set up. Jetwing Kaduruketha will be entertaining guests by the paddy fields overlooking the Poonagala mountain range and Jetwing Yala will be hosting a high tea by the beach.

Tea production in Ceylon grew rapidly with the failure of coffee plantation and soon coffee cultivators switched to tea as an alternative commercial crop. James Taylor didn’t stop there and continued to invest his time and energy in tea plantation which encouraged him set up his own tea factory in 1872 in the verandah of his bungalow in Loolecondera Estate. This is probably known to be the first tea factory established in Ceylon. In his tea factory Taylor invented basic machinery for tea leaves rolling purposes and had a number of people help him through the process of tea making. In 1875, Taylor managed to send the first shipment of Ceylon tea to the London Tea Auction. Later on, Thomas Lipton, a millionaire in the UK visited Ceylon in the 1890s, met Taylor and discussed the business of exporting tea from Ceylon. Lipton’s company became interested and started buying Ceylon tea.

James Taylor is known as the Father of Ceylon Tea and in order to honour his contribution a monument will be built at the entrance of the Ceylon Tea Board during the celebrations. Furthermore, a stamp and first day cover as well as a currency note will be issued in celebration of the 150 years of Ceylon Tea and a ‘Tea Table Book’, encompassing the 150 year journey of Ceylon Tea till the present day, will be launched during the celebrations as well.

For more information or reservations please call on 011 4 709 400 or email on

Family owned and in the tourism industry for the past 44 years, Jetwing Hotels has surpassed expectation at every aspect. Building on their foundation of being passionate, as well as the experience of true, traditional Sri Lankan hospitality, constantly pioneering discoveries captures the essence of the brand. Such a strong statement and direction have enabled Jetwing Hotels to imagine, create and manage marvels and masterpieces, where distinctive design and elegant comfort complement each other and the environment. In line with the Jetwing Hotels Sustainable Strategy, across all properties sustainable and responsible practices are given precedence with resource efficiency, community upliftment and education, and awareness being some of our key focus areas.


Media Relations – Jetwing Hotels
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Prasanna Welangoda (Manager – Marketing) –
Shimazie Adjumain (PR & Media Executive) –
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