Nandana Tea Factory visit will be a three-phase walking tour, Kitchen – Herbal Garden – Meals, Factory Visit and a buffet of Tea Tasting.
- Kitchen – Herbal Garden – Meals: The first stop would be at the NTF kitchen that is comprised of primitive customary utensils such as firewood hearth, mortar, pestle, coconut scraper, and smoke-attic over the hearth, grinding stone and many other antique items.The well-kept, well-maintained herbal garden is the next destination. Here the visitors are often greeted with iced-tea, which would serve quite as an appetizer. While organizing the jungle-like land some forty years ago, Gunasoma Wanigasekara and the NTF team determined that the age-old significant trees and plants would thrive in the same place. Today, due to the unaffected soil’s natural richness in flora and fauna, the marvellously transformed, man-made small rainforest witnesses aloud as the home for a broad range of tropical spices, herbs, and trees, as well as a few rare medicinal plants, fruits, and nourishing vegetables.The coffee cherries in the botanical garden would surprise most visitors as well. They get to witness the process of coffee being dried and grinded into powder, which is truly fascinating. It is unconventional to have some coffee at a tea factory. Yet, this is just to demonstrate, us as a part of NTF portray a lifestyle entrenched culture.
Wild bees swarming and building nests would be another enthralling sight, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. A decomposing pit used to compost the organic wastes in order to reuse as fertilizers for the garden is one of those recycling masterminds adhering to zero waste principles building an ecological setting.
A separate entity of this aesthetic garden is the “Nursery”, where different kinds tea-plant saplings are nurtured before they are planted outdoors.
As a part of hospitality, the native damsels with the culinary tools and freshly grown herbs and vegetables prepare provocatively delicious and nutritious Sri Lankan traditional meals, for the workers and guests alike. Encompassed with a village-style dining hut, chairs and tables are made with small tree trunks, and the roof is built out of dried coconut leaves and supported by bamboo stalks, creates a lovely eco-friendly ambiance.
- Tea Factory: The third station is at the factory where visitors will see the drying bed in which 35% of the moisture is taken out of the freshly plucked green leafs. The leaves are then churned, crushed into smaller pieces, and divided based on size using contemporary cutting-edge machinery. The ultra-modern German-made machine sorts the colors while scanning and identifying each tea leaf particle (black, brown etc). Finally, the consumable teas are routed to various boxes and sent for packaging. Before the arrival of this machine, the separation was done with hands by experts, shows how much the modern machinery has saved time and efforts.
- Tea Tasting: Finally, as a revitalizer to tantalize the palates, a full cup of tea is served for visitors after they choose from a buffet of tea variants, tasting one by one. The selected choice of cuppa is accompanied with snacks, banana and the garden-made jaggery. Also, they will have the final bliss to take Nandana Teas to their homes, based on the choice of their desired flavors, which can be bought at a reasonable price from the stores.
- Study Tours: A visiting team of Nurses Training School as part of their research tour attested to the presence of fresh air due to the rainforest-like atmosphere. Through exploration, the team discovered that NTF was a safe haven and witnessed that there was plenty of oxygen that purified lungs.
Today, NTF glorifies in sustainable and ethical tea cultivation while contributing a valuable service to the society and future generations to come. A visit to NTF would certainly guarantee you more value that just money for the knowledge gathered, products bought and most significantly, peace of mind and relaxation that seeps in as you step into our garden of