History of Ceylon Tea

Strange as it may seem, the story of Ceylon Tea begins with coffee. The tale begins in the early 1820s, barely five years after the surrender of Kandy, the last surviving indigenously-ruled state in Ceylon, to the British crown. By then, the rest of the island had already been a British colony for more than a generation. Its possession was considered vital to imperial interests in India and the Far East, but the cost of maintaining the military presence and infrastructure necessary to secure it was prohibitive. Attempts to raise revenue by taxation could not by themselves fill the gap; how to make the colony pay for itself and its garrison was a problem that had troubled successive governors since the first, Frederic North, took office in 1798.

This tenacity is spoken of in plantation legends and can be seen in inscriptions on gravestones of Scots and English pioneer planters - many of whom died prematurely from disease - in Ceylon’s hill country. These bear silent testimony to the harsh conditions in which the tea industry was built and most importantly, to the fearlessness and dedication of the founders of this great industry.;xNLx;;xNLx;The 'History of Ceylon Tea' project is a tribute to those courageous men of whom Conan Doyle spoke, that the memory of their sacrifice and dedication in creating a great and life-giving industry shall not be dimmed with time. The Tea Industry of Ceylon, now called Sri Lanka, is the lifeblood of the country today, providing direct employment to over 500,000 people, and producing for the world a beverage that is healthy, refreshing and delicious. It is an imperative for the future of this industry that we shall not forget the past, and those that made history in creating our tea industry.

1888 - The National Geographic Society (NGS) is founded

The National Geographic Society was founded on January 27, 1888 in Washington D.C. It has gone on to become the world's largest scientific and geographical distribution organization.

1944 - Ceylon Estate Employers' Federation is founded

As the estate based trade union became a significant player in tea plantation sector, estate owners created a collective movement under Ceylon Estate Employers' federation to balance the bargaining power

1886 - John Pemberton starts selling Coca Cola

John Pemberton begins selling his formula (a mixture of cocaine and caffeine) at Jacob's Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia in 1886. It was initially sold as a patent medicine for five cents a glass at soda fountains. Coca Cola no longer contains Cocaine but that is how it got its name.

1894 - Coca Cola is first sold in bottles

With Coca-Cola having been trademarked in 1893, the Coca-Cola Company starts selling its produce in bottles for the first time on March 12th, 1894 in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

1944 – Formation of the Ceylon Estate Employers' Federation

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1983 – Start of CTC black tea processing

The Crush, Tear, Curl (CTC) method of processing of black tea was introduced

1877 – The British decides to settle the Indian workers permanently

British considers settling the Indian workers permanently British Report on Indian Tamil coolies in 21.4.1877 revealed that they wanted to settle these slave workers permanently.

1929 – The dawn of “Black Tuesday” (October 29, 1929) leading to the Great Depression.

The market begins to drop on Thursday October 24, 1929 and the fall continues until the huge crash on Tuesday October 29, 1929.

1933 – Telex becomes an operational teleprinter service in Germany

Initiated first as a R&D project in Germany in 1926, Telex became an operational teleprinter service in 1933.

1939 – Breaking of World War II

WW II was the most widespread war in human history and directly affected more than 100 million people from over 30 countries.

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