Saturday, 23 May 2015

The Hundungoda Tea Estate

On Sri Lanka's south coast, not far from Koggala, is the tongue-twister tea estate of Hundungoda, famous for it's Virgin White Tea.  This tea, which fetches unbelievable prices internationally (68 euros for 100g), is never touched by human hand, or any hand whatsoever.  The tiny shoots or 'silver tips', at the very top of the plant, are used and the result is a tea that not only tastes good but also has incredibly high anti-oxidant content. 

We caught a tuk-tuk from Mirissa to the estate, not really knowing what to expect or even if they'd be open.  This they were, and amazingly our guide was Malinga Herman Gunaratne, the sole proprietor and someone with more than 45 years in the industry.  We joined a small group (there were 5 of us) and walked around the estate that comprises tea, rubber, cinnamon, pepper and coconut, having a short break, at the plantation bungalow, for 2 cups of (different) teas and a beautiful piece of chocolate cake.  We also visited the tea factory, where fresh tea leaves are transformed into the stuff we are accustomed to.  The tour concluded with a tasting of all of the varieties produced in Sri Lanka and the (completely optional) chance to buy some tea.  The tour was free and it was without doubt one of our highlights of Sri Lanka.               

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