Barely 3.5 kilometres from Nuwara Eliya town, Pedro's Tea Factory lies nestled in the hills. The view is stellar, the Lovers' Leap Ethical Tea Boutique chic, and the factory a bit small but nevertheless interesting.
If you're wondering what the Lovers' Leap tag is about, it's in reference to the nearby waterfall of the same name, supposedly named after an ancient prince and his lover who leapt to their death rather than be separated. Gory stuff to ponder over as you delicately sip on your tea.
The pioneer planter James Taylor planted a few bushes here in the early 1880s, which was apparently the first recorded planned tea planting in the country!
The factory burnt down in the 1940's, but a lot of the original steel structure and wheels were salvaged, so you'll find plenty of vintage machinery still in use.
There are certain areas of the factory that don't allow photographs, which your guide will point out to you. They'll take you through the areas within which the sorting, threshing, drying etc all take place.
The tea boutique itself is perched right above the tea estate, which means you have a lush green view spread out ahead of you, featuring a couple of bushes planted by famous international visitors (even a Thai princess!). The vista also includes some lovely conifers and the Bomburella Reservoir, all incredibly charming.
The boutique has a whole host of tea boxes for sale, along with a vintage weighing scale, and plenty of seating area within glassed walls. There's also an outdoor section which is lovely in the early evening.
The factory itself is smaller than say, Lipton's in Hatton, but it's equally old and interesting. If you're interested in the process, there are usually a few very knowledgable and articulate young ladies to take you on guided tours.
The factory is closed between 12-2 PM, so time your visit accordingly. You don't need to book ahead or anything, and the whole tour is about half an hour so plan accordingly. They'll kit you out in a little apron and everything so you don't get tea and grease residue on your clothes (and also so you look cute as a button).
After your tour, you can settle in for a free cup of their tea and do some souvenir and tea shopping. The whole experience is very cheap, generally about Rs. 250 a head (but there may be concessions for locals/ students).
An informative and historical experience, made better by the gorgeous views and delicious tea. The only downside is that the factory is generally only functioning later on during the evening/night to protect the light tea, so you won't always get to see much action.
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