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A visit to the Virgin White tea factory – Koggala

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30 minutes from Galle Fort lies the Handunugoda Tea Estate, perhaps the closest tea plantation in the world to the sea. However, this is not the only thing that makes the Handunugoda Tea Estate special. The estate is known as the Virgin White Tea Factory – it produces a white tea completely untouched by human hands. The process of tea plucking follows an ancient Chinese Ritual where the choicest of teas were cut by virgins who never touched the tea with their bare skin and offered the resulting produce up as a tribute to the Emperor. Handunugoda mimics this tradition, although these days the ‘virgin’ concept only applies to the tea, not the tea pluckers! This white tea is rich in anti-oxidants and is said to be the healthiest tea in the world. Coincidentally it is also one of the most expensive teas in the world fetching at over 1500 USD per kilo. According to the latest testing Virgin White has an anti-oxidant content of 10.11 percent, which is said to be the highest naturally occurring content of anti-oxidants in any beverage. Marriage Freres which is perhaps one of the world’s most exclusive Tea Salons situated at Faubourg Saint Honore in Central Paris offers its exquisite client Handunugoda’s virgin White tea.

Experience Overview

A resident tea planter will meet you and take you around the private paradise of a working tea plantation. The plantation, which lies at sea-level, is the famed Handunugoda Tea Factory founded by Herman Gunaratne. Herman (or a team member) will take you on a private tour of his Virgin White Tea Estate plantations, where you will learn how the famous white tea is plucked and made into one of the best teas in the world. The visit ends with a tasting session and a piece of chocolate cake! There is also a small shop where you can buy Virgin White Tea – and other less expensive options as well.

Includes:  - Experience - Sri Lanka In Style
Includes:

A factory visit and tea tasting

Duration:  - Experience - Sri Lanka In Style
Duration:

Approx. 1.5 hours

Difficulty:  - Experience - Sri Lanka In Style
Difficulty:

Easy

Suitable for children:  - Experience - Sri Lanka In Style
Suitable for children:

Small children won’t follow, but they can play in the garden which is very safe and the local staff will keep an eye on them. Children who are a little older will enjoy learning about the process, particularly in the Tea Factory which has lots of noisy machines.

Meeting time:  - Experience - Sri Lanka In Style
Meeting time:

9.30 am at Handunugoda Tea Estate. The travel time from Galle is approximately 30 minutes.

What to wear or bring along:  - Experience - Sri Lanka In Style
What to wear or bring along:

Cool, light clothing, hat, sun cream.

Private or not?:  - Experience - Sri Lanka In Style
Private or not?:

There may be other people visiting the Tea Plantation at the same time.

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Managing Expectations

It is important to remember that, whilst they are experts in their field, the people who run or host our experiences are not necessarily used to working in the tourism industry and may not offer the level of service you would find at a five-star hotel. For example, instead of a formal lecture, you may get a relaxed conversation where open discussion is encouraged. All of our hosts are, however, extremely engaging, knowledgeable and passionate about educating visitors about their chosen subject and we have worked with them to ensure that they deliver worthwhile, fulfilling experiences. We welcome feedback, so please let us know what you thought and if you think any improvements could be made to the experiences we offer.

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