Highlands tea plantations
Sri Lanka is one of the world's largest exporters of tea. Since the introduction of tea to Sri Lanka in mid 19the century Nuwara Eliya has been the capital of the tea industry. For many miles prior to reaching Nuwara Eliya from either direction you will find acres and acres of tea plantations, infact nothing but tea estates. There are many factories open for visitor's which also have tea sales outlets
Tea was first planted in Sri Lanka in 1824 at the Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya, when a few plants were brought from China. More were introduced from Assam in 1839. In 1867, a Scottish Planter named James Taylor planted tea seedlings in an 8 hectares of forest land, in the Loolkondura Estate.
In 1873, the tea export industry of Sri Lanka began with a modest 23 lbs. being shipped to London. Tea will grow only on rolling terrain and is classified by elevation into low grown, medium grown and high grown into 3 main groups. Today more than 200,000 hectares in highlands and other areas are under Tea and around 300 million Kilograms, with a 25% of world tea exports are done by Sri Lanka as the World’s largest Tea exporter
Recommended review time for sightseeing: 20 m
Wandering... [TA], , Geneva, Switzerland
As we approached this tea factory my husband and I were so impressed with the beautifully maintained plantation and lovely flowers place along the road. It was a lovely drive. The tour itself was interesting but got really good once my husband started asking lots of questions which perked up the guide and got her really engaged (and she did not expect or want a tip). The tea tasting (and chocolate cake - you only pay for the cake) was tasty. The prices were really good and the whole experience pleasant.
Danushka... [TA], ,
A great place to enjoy high quality Sri Lankan Tea. Dont miss the cake. Its delicious. Travelers can visit the adjacent tea factory as well
Julesgatz [TA], , Henley-on-Thames, United Kingdom
You only pay 60 Rs for the cake and the tea is free! Free tour around the tea factory too. lovely cup of tea and you can buy various varieties in the shop too. No dislikes at all.
PtownNick [TA], , Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Definitely a must if you are in tea country. The Mackwoods Estate factory is probably the best around. The drive up to the factory is beautiful and the Estate grounds are simply gorgeous. You are treated to a quick but very informative free tour that lasts for about 15 minutes. Then you are invited to sample the tea. It is brought out in a nice tea set and despite posted prices, we were told our tea was complimentary. As a thank you we went next door and purchased a few cartons of tea, which is very high quality. Its very cheap considering the quality of what you get.
You are free to roam the grounds a bit and we did. Youncan photograph the children and women picking the tea but they will ask for something in return. That is completely fair. They work for very meager wages and posing for tourists offers much needed income. Don't stiff them. They are very kind people.
Well worth a visit if you are in tea country. You can see this location in an hour. Two hours if you go at a very relaxed pace.
shehani m [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka
The drive upto Mackwoods Labookelle Tea Factory was breathtaking with a good view of the tea estates on either side and the tea pluckers standing in line to weigh their days pickings. We were given a guided tour and free cup of tea to taste. The tea centre has a variety of tea available for you to buy in very nice packings. Good for gifts if you are travelling abroad. The surroundings are clean and the view breathtaking.
MumbaiRid... [TA], , Mumbai
If you visit Nuwara Eliya then a visit to the Mackwoods Labookelie tea estate is mandatory.Situated amidst the beautiful tea-gardens and tourists are given a free guided tour of the factory and a free cup of tea,The distance from Nuwara Eliya town to Labookelie tea-estate requires bus or private transport.Bus conductors have a habit of overcharging tourists, hence a little bargaining is required.
Fawmy85 [TA], , Doha, Qatar
The place is amazing. Not really the factory itself, but the surroundings are beautiful and breathtaking views. The lady ends up with very short introduction and not interested in explaining. You can enjoy free cup of tea in the restaurant. There was a tea shop which you can buy various brands of tea at reasonable price.
piggyback... [TA], ,
We were given a short tour around the tea factory and got to taste only one type of their tea. The view was nice however!
You can purchase their products at the store, everything was quite pricey though.
OrlyNahar... [TA], , Nahariya
They have a short tour in the tea factory and in the end they offer you a cup of tea.The shop has a nice selection of tea
An_Dirk [TA], , Belgium
The visit (a short tour in the factory) is for free. The cup of tea is also for free. And the chocolate cake (not for free) is delicious! And there is a lot of choice in the shop for a fair price!
It is quite a drive by tuktuk, but it is absolutely worth the visit!
Vijay B [TA], , Singapore
Our driver took us to the tea factory and we were thankful to him for having recommended this place. It was nice experience walking through the factory looking at the tea manufacturing process. The staff is very kind and they take you through the factory and explain the process in great detail. Also with the cold climate a cup of hot tea is welcome and they are thoughtful enough to offer the guests tea and that too free of cost. One must also try the choclate cakes that are sold as they are freshly made and great to taste. You can also get a panoramic view of the tea estate and enjoy the natural beauty of Sri Lanka. It is also a great place to pick up some authentic tea if you intend to gift it to your friends and family when you return.
Mahinda W [TA], , Colombo
Wow, after a long drive, and when the cold climate hits you, then you yearn for that cuppa, and then looms the Labookelle tea centre.
Trust me, this is Aladins Lamp, you will not be disappointed, the cakes and tea........delicious and then you will naturally buy packets of this excellent leaf to take home and brew and enjoy
Samrong [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka
If you love tea and you are in Sri Lanka, and you are planning to go to Nuwara Eliya, you should visit this place. They staff who guided us the tour to tea factory process was very nice lady and she explained to us everything about the tea process, which was very brief but very knowledgeable. How the tea is selected, and then dried, sieved, fermented and finalized, it was quite interesting process.
Later on the Tea Factory has a Tea shop or Cafe where they offer you tea with or without milk for free. Frankly speaking, I am quite fond of tea, but I haven't tasted anything like that before.
I got tempted to buy a lot of tea then from there tea shop.
StevF [TA], , South Hadley, Massachusetts
A clean and bright rest stop for some delightful tea and biscuits! Beautiful views and you are in the middle of a working tea plantation and can watch tea being picked while you drink yours!
Australia... [TA], , Sydney, Australia
The milk tea and chocolate cake were yum. The whole place felt like a bit of a barn with tourists and staff fighting for attention at the counter.
BristolDa... [TA], , Bristol
We were a bit late here but were welcomed and shown round the factory immediately. Good tour, excellent explanation of the process. Tea afterwards was great, with cake, and there is a good shop too.
tulip-che... [TA], , Singapore
We visited Labookellie Tea Centre and had a tour of the tea process, it was very educational. We enjoyed some lovely cakes and tea at their cafe. Before we left, we picked up many tea products to bring home and as gifts for our friends. It was a wonderful experience.
Lasanga [TA], , Kandy, Sri Lanka
You should not miss the chocolate cake and the milk tea from this place. If you like to see the tea factory you can do that too and walk down to the tea estate as well and the tea estate extend up to Nuwara Eliya town border
Delan_Sil... [TA], , Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
I liked the tour of the tea factory (which is complimentary) and they have gift sets which are very affordable.
The location is great and has some lovely views of the surrounding valley.
Cat1272 [TA], , Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Excellent place to stop enrolee to Nuwara Eliya. Great shop for tea souvenirs and a good cafe for tea and cake
kapitanch... [TA], , Singapore, Singapore
We made a stop at the tea centre en route from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya. Since it was around tea time, visiting the tea centre, having a short guided tour, and having a good rest while enjoying tea in the garden was most appropriate. The cool refreshing air plus the colourful flowers made the stopover worthwhile.
annahutni... [TA], , Guildford, United Kingdom
The tour around the tea plantation factory is free which makes this place an instant hit with us. The woman who showed us around the different stages of making tea was very informative and was very pleased when we gave her a tip at the end. You also get a free cup of tea at the end. The location is absolutely stunning, although a little hard to get to, but well worth the effort.
Bunt83 [TA], , London, United Kingdom
After a short tour of the tea factory we were given a complimentary cup of tea, which is some of the best tea I've ever tasted!
The chocolate cake is pretty good too.
The shop has a large selection of tea to buy at very reasonable prices.
Definitely somewhere to go if you're in Nuwara Eliya.
larinetou... [TA], , Dubai, United Arab Emirates
wonderful place, great view,good Tea and cake...
Service was louzy
JTZ [TA], , London England
Informative tour at the tea house and it included tasting and chance to buy if you like tea. Surrounded by beautiful countryside and if you are lucky, you will see the pickers out on the hillsides.
jonathan... [TA], , Sydney, Australia
it;s very wonderful place to visit and worth for the money which we are paying.
Robert188... [TA], , The Hague, The Netherlands
Good tea, otherwise commercial like so many other tea estates-with-shop
1LifeStan... [TA], , Colombo
The Chocolate cake and tea is a refreshing start to the last 30min of the climb to Nuwara-Eliya!
Ctzee [TA], , Singapore, Singapore
Cosy tea-house that serves a fresh pot of tea and that delicious chocolate cake. Highly recommended. The tea they sell is aromatic and comes in a nice packaging. Good for gifts.
Georg H [TA], , Stuttgart
Well worth the visit. Guided tour takes 30 Min. Have some tea and chocolate cake at the restaurant overlooking the tea plantation.
wesshere [TA], , Islamabad, Pakistan
I visited this tea-factory on our way to Kandy. It was included in our tour package. It was a very informative trip because for the first time in our lives we learnt about how the tea that we make is made and the different grades of tea. They also give a complimentary cup of tea after the factory visit.
Sanjaya_W... [TA], , London, United Kingdom
A really nice diversion when in the region. A fascinating insight into tea production in a fully working factory topped off with a nice pot of tea. Well worth a stop over and with a fine collection of samples in the tea shop at the end of the tour.
Iandacre [TA], , Broughton-in-Furness, Cumbria
The proprietors do not want tourists to see the tea manufacturing process. As if this were a state secret we were told of the process not shown. Saw much better tour in Haputale.
Clarabell... [TA], , Norwich, United Kingdom
Informative & short enough not to be boring - actually it was really interesting and I wasn't fussed about going!
impalauk [TA], , Sri Lanka
An old but nice centre. You can visit the tea factory and drink and buy good value teas in the shop. It is in a good place as it gives your vehicle a break on the way up the steep hill to Nuwara Eliya!
exeman [TA], , Exeter, United Kingdom
Lovely location and no pressure to buy. Like another contributor I wish I had heard more of the history of the plantation.
AdheeshKu... [TA], , Pune, India
The tea served is good. Though a little expensive..They also give you a free guided tour of the Tea factory. The location is exotic..quite extraordinary with tea shrubs all around. They serve tea in a nice pot with bakery items as required.
taxdoug [TA], , London, england
The setting is great for photos and the location of the cafe (free tea and paid for cake) is superb.
Shame that the tour doesn't cover a bit more of the history rather than focussing exclusively on the tea making process.
Laksman P [TA], , Melbourne
In December 2011 my relatives and I stopped by on the way to Nuwara Eliya for tea and chocolate cake. This is the best tea connoisseurs or tea lovers can ever taste in their palate, incomparable with the commercial tea bags. Due credit must be given to Captain William Mackwood of England who originated this wonderful tea garden in 1841, which extends as far as the eye can see. It is like a velvet green carpet adjusting to the natural land formation with majestic contours. On our return trip we stopped by again to taste this high quality Ceylon tea. In 2005 we visited this cafe for tea. Though the quality of the tea remain excellent, the standard of the chocolate cake has deteriorated. Also the tea they sell at the counter should be the same standard comparable with the tea they sell at their outlet. Overall Labookellie tea is the best in the planet. Importantly this tea is brimming with antioxcidants giving health benefits while one enjoys a refreshing cup of Labookellie tea. Added attraction in December were life size reindeers and snow sleigh, beautifully done with good taste.
The S [TA], , Zurich, Switzerland
There was a short introduction into the making of Mackwoods tea by a young and very resolute small woman :-)
It was very informative but a bit hasty, though for free. You get a complimentary can of tea afterwards (recommended!). The chocolate cake is also recommendable. Tea price is not too low, but we didn't find the Mackwoods brand anywhere else and the tea is good.
If you want to buy tea for souvenir: Do it in Colombo. In York Street there is a small shop, right beside Cargill's, where you get tea/spices for a better rate than in the supermarket. You can also get BOP tea for a good rate in the supermarket in Nuwara Eliya.
satyan_is... [TA], , Mumbai, India
Loved the scenery. We were taken on a tour of the factory and were given a detailed explanation of the entire process from plucking the tea leaves to the packaging. you can even sample the tea and then purchase the same.
Grummy [TA], , Scotland
You must have a cup of tea and their wonderful chocolate cake when yo visit here. It is a super place you can see how tea actually eventually arrives in your cup!!! great views and very helpful and knowledgable staff
Debpol [TA], , Melbourne, Australia
Loved the tea and the views. Had a very informative, although heavily scripted tour of the tea factory
JeffA55 [TA], , Melbourne, Australia
Unfortunately, we were here on the 1 day in Sri Lanka that it rained all day, but loved the Tea Centre. Had a very interesting tour of the factory & process of making tea & grounds are visually breathtaking. Enjoyed a cuppa in the restaurant area & bought tea to take home with us.
dabblanc [TA], , Edmonton, Canada
We were very pleased with the location and service at Labookellie or Mackwoods Tea Plantation. We had to force our driver to stop here as he did not get any kickbacks for taking us there. Make sure you stop here and compare the tea with the place the drivers take you. This is excellent and bought tea for all my friends here and it was worth it.
Andybhai [TA], , Ahmedabad, India
Oldest Tea Factory in Sri Lanka and breathtaking views on the opposite tea farms. You can shop for the Elephants which have tea in it. A complimentary tea in the old colonial ambiance seals the trip with a kiss.
Ankurrm [TA], , Surat, India
Wonderful tea served to us after a brief tour of tea making process...Further the shop sells wonderful tea and merchandise..
eby83 [TA], , Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
There are quite a few tea factories to visit. Though this one was highly recommended, the guide did not seem very interested in explaining or giving us a complete tour of the place.
James1503 [TA], , Manama, Bahrain
Really interesting to see the whole process of how tea is made.The staff are really friendly and there are some great gifts to be bought.
Janaka_Fe... [TA], , London, United Kingdom
Our visit to the tea factory (and nearby cafe and shop) was interesting and informative. We got to go into the factory and learn the process of making our cuppa. Got to finish with a refreshing tea and stock up in the gift shop.
HINAWASEE... [TA], , ISLAMBAD PAKISTAN
The visit to Labookellie Tea Factory (also called Mackwoods) was a highly educational and entertaining experience for my family. We all loved the detailed tour which started with an explanation of tea leaves picking, went on to processing packing and selling. There was free tea tasting at the end of the tour. Don't miss the yummy chocolate cake. Then there was a tea shop which sold good brands of tea at very reasonable prices. We got all our tea gifts from here. Over all it was a delightful experience with surprisingly no hard sale tactics from the tour guide.