Handunugoda Tea Estate is a family owned plantation in Tittagalla, Ahangama within the Southern Province, Sri Lanka. The estate is 150 acres (0.61 km2) in extent and comprises 75 acres (300,000 m2) of tea. The balance plantation is of rubber, cinnamon and coconut. There is a well equipped tea factory on the property. Most machines were made in the United Kingdom and are over 140 years old. The factory is a living and working museum. The estate is not a mass producer of tea. Handunugoda makes very small quantities of the choicest teas, winning international recognition. Handunugoda produces the famous 'Virgin White Tea', a tea untouched by hand which has attracted attention from tea enthusiasts all over the world. Malinga Herman Gunaratne is the sole proprietor with over 45 years experience in plantation management, originally for the British plantations in Sri Lanka and then for the state owned and managed plantations. Before becoming sole proprietor of Handunugoda Tea Estate he was the regional manager of over 100,000 acres (400 km2) of the best tea lands of the Island in the country's most prestigious plantation District of Nuwara Eliya. He has written three books. The Plantation Raj, For a Sovereign State, and The Tortured Island. The latter two books are in the 7th and 6th reprint respectively. The Ceylon Souchong, Ceylon Oolong, and Flowery Cammellia were awarded "Most Innovative Teas" at the Anuga Fair in Cologne, Germany.
Recommended review time for sightseeing: 1 h
Really great tour, explaining the tea making process from a to z, possibility to taste many kind of teas. Recommended for everyone.
for the first time hear about virgin tea, as the guide explain they cut the first un open leaves by not touching it. so as he explain until end of the processes those leaves are not touch by human hands. guide explained lots of things about flora in the garden, also he show us black monkey at the first time we saw in sri lanka. after had a tea at the house on top corner of the garden, then experienced of a great factory explanation about the machines they have used. it is excellent.
after taste all type of teas they have we can decide what we need. that is a great service which we didn't see in other tea factory we visit on the way to nuwara eliya.
We visited this tea plantation with kids age 5 upwards and all of us enjoyed the tour.It was hidden away and we drove through the beautiful Sri Lanka countryside to reach it. The guide managed to keep the children interested all the way around. Our kids were particularly interested in the rubber tree and how they harvested it. The guide then gave us tea and cakes at the plantation owners house. it was like stepping back in time.
The factory and museum were all equally fascinating and it was great to taste all the teas at the end.
After a series of twists and turns along pot-holed roads we reached The Virgin White Tea Plantation, a beacon of serenity. Our guide was an extremely knowledgeable older gentleman whose passion for the flora and fauna was infectious. We were shown plants of coffee alongside white and black tea, peppercorns, trees of mangoes, jackfruit, cinammon, teak, mahogany and rubber. A live demonstration of the latex sap collection was fantastic. This part of the tour was followed by an equally as long tea and cake break, soundtracked with the history of the estate owners. Later we had a tour of the working factory to see the tea being produced. The tour ended with a tasting room filled with the 27 teas, there was absolutely no pressure to purchase anything. Small bags of tea were priced around 700RPS. I can't believe they do not charge for this tour, that there is no hard sell and that the staff are so happy to talk about tea. This place is a real gem; the practically overflowing tip box is testament to this.
We had a superb tour of the estate, factory and tasting room. It's a very peaceful, professional yet authentic place. Our guide, Mahendra, was very knowledgable and we thoroughly enjoyed the visit!
A large group of us ranging from 2 to 50 years old visited the Handunugoda Tea Estate a few weeks ago. We had a great afternoon being shown around the estate, drinking tea and eating cake up on the hill, admiring the owner's former race horse and all the classic original giant British machinery still churning reliably away in the factory before descending to the tea museum where we sampled - and my wife went on to buy - practically every tea under the sun, as well as a colourful range of historic Ceylon postcards and posters. This is a serene and informative place, quite a winding road to get to it but one of the best outings in the South of Sri Lanka without a doubt. Highly recommended.
This Virgin White Tea Plantation is a must see during your stay in Sri Lanka.
Even if you are not visiting the Hills area of Sri Lanka (Kandy & south which seems to be more well known areas for tea plantations), you will be very well served by visiting this small private tea plantation, about 45 min from Galle (if I am not mistaken). Both the plantation and its machinery is over 150yrs old which makes this visit so special. Make you way up to the Tea House and enjoy the view while sipping away at your virgin white tea !
On the way out, keep some time to stop in the boutique to purchase some products and make a volunteer donation for the tour.
On visiting the estate we received a most charming and generous welcome by the manager Mr Manickam, who spent a good deal of time showing us the many interesting plants and animals on the estate (not least the tea!). My daughter uses a wheelchair, and although some of the paths are not optimal for her, with some assistance we were able to reach the estate house for some refreshing tea and cake. The tour also incuded the tea processing plant, which was fascinating in itself, and leaves you with a memory of the great smell of tea. There is a store which carries a wide range of the teas produced on the estate, some quite modestly priced, and some less so, but if you want some of the only virgin white tea in the world, that's not unreasonable.
I thoroughly enjoyed this visit and I wish everyone at the estate continued success.
We never knew there was so much to learn about tea. Great duration, warm hospitality and the opportunity to buy some teas that you might otherwise never have know about (but with no obligation to buy).
A really enjoyable couple of hours!
The owner was the pioneer in manufacturing virgin white tea in Sri Lanka. He is also the author of several books, Suicide Club being one who is a must read! Spend 2 hours there to learn all about the manufacturing of low grown tea. I dont think there is an entrance fee, but its polite to buy some tea from the small tea shop there.
We took a lot of interest in the lowland teas - the owner is passionate and extremely knowledgeable about teas and the history of the area. He is a published author on the transition from British colonial rule