15 minutes by car from our hotel 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 products a white tea completely unscathed by human hands. The process of tea plucking follows an ancient Chinese Ritual where the excellent of teas were cut by virgins who never affected 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. Marriage Freres which is perhaps one of the world’s most exclusive Tea Salons situated at Faubourg Saint Honoree in Central Paris offers its delicate client Handunugodas virgin White tea.
A resident tea planter will meet you and take you around tea plantation. The plantation, which lies at sea-level, is the famous 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 popular white tea is plucked and made into one of the best tea 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 exclusive options as well.