Sri Lanka Tea Board and the High Commission of Sri Lanka in London joined hands in celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Ceylon tea in Scotland, the homeland of James Taylor, who pioneered tea plantations in the island in 1867. The occasion included a presentation at the esteemed University of Edinburgh on 23rd March under the theme of “Celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Ceylon tea & Scottish Entrepreneurship” and a networking session with tea trade on 24th March at the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian hotel. Both the events were organised in close collaboration with the Asia Scotland Institute, an Edinburgh-based non-profit organisation, which promotes a better mutual understanding between Scotland and Asia through knowledge sharing.
Presentation at the University was attended by over sixty tea enthusiasts. Delivering her opening address, Her Excellency Amari Wijewardene, the High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in the UK, highlighted the early stages of the Ceylon tea industry, with special emphasis on the pioneering roles played by James Taylor, the pioneer of Ceylon tea and Lipton Thomas, who was engaged in importing and distributing of Ceylon teas across Europe and the US.
Mr. David Birrell, Director of the Asia-Scotland Institute conducted the proceedings, while Ms. Premala Srikantha, Director (Promotion) Sri Lanka Tea Board and representatives from several private sector tea companies, including Euro-Scan Exports (Pvt.) Ltd. and Lumbini Tea Exports (Pvt.) Ltd. made highly informative presentations on the different aspects of the Ceylon tea industry.
The programme concluded with a tea tasting session, which highlighted the specific characteristics of the teas produced in the seven agro-climatic regions of Sri Lanka.