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Largest and Longest Global Ceylon Tea Party Held Worldwide 6th July 2017

Monday, July 10th 2017 @ 10:47 PM

SRI LANKA and Ceylon tea hosted what is popularly known as “The Global Ceylon Tea Party” at Sri Lankan diplomatic entities in 37 countries, while partner tea companies, cafes, and homes across the globe hosted similar parties on the 6th of July. If you would like to view photos and videos of these celebrations around the world, please visit the dedicated Facebook Group here and the page for Sri Lanka Tea Board here. See also The Tea House Times Facebook page for four posts from the NY event including photos and two videos.


“Locations in up to 50 countries with populations in excess of half the world, celebrated this unprecedented event that set a world record for the largest and longest global tea party ever. Starting in the Pacific and ending on the West coast of the Americas the parties, commenced at 5pm or 17 hrs GMT in each time zone and sprea
d from East to West. This global chain resulted in 24 hours of cumulative celebrations for Ceylon Tea in all corners of the world.  The Ceylon Tea Party in Sri Lanka was held in Colombo on 6th July 2017, Thursday at 5.00 pm at Jubilee Hall of the Galle Face Hotel with a gathering of over 300 invitees consisting of industry stakeholders, officials from government ministries and institutions, diplomatic missions based in Colombo and tea trade representatives from overseas.  Hon. Navin Dissanayake, Minister of Plantation Industries (left) was the Chief Guest and Hon. Harsha de Silva, Deputy Minister of Policy Planning and Economic Development / former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs also graced the occasion. The Planters’ Association of Ceylon had also organized 20 Ceylon Tea parties in tea growing areas. In addition, 25 tea factories had also arranged to celebrate with Ceylon Tea Parties,” said Premala Srikantha, director promotion at Sri Lanka Tea Board.


Some members of the Tea Board / TEAm in Colombo! Great job organizing the Global Tea Party!

 
USA events in New York, Washington, DC, and Los Angeles, CA were equally magnificent and successful.

NEW YORK

According to Sonali Samarasinghe (left), Minister at the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations who moderated the event – she conceptualized the NY event based on the basic idea provided by the Sri Lanka Tea Board. Particular conversation pieces in NY were the cake structure and edible centerpieces made of tea cake and royal icing flowers. Guests were immediately wowed by the whimsical, Alice in Wonderland inspired cake structure as they took the red carpet route through the hall.

As the historic Ceylon Tea Party swept across the globe, Diplomats, Journalists, business owners, traders and buyers flocked to the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka in New York on 06th July 2017 to become a part of history as Sri Lanka celebrates 150 years of the Ceylon tea industry.  The global Ceylon Tea Party was held with the collaboration of the Sri Lanka Tea Board and the Colombo Tea Traders’ Association. The celebrations at the Mission premises in New York also featured a photo exhibition titled “The Story of Ceylon Tea” that included banner style story boards narrating the story of Ceylon Tea, beautiful Black &White prints of a bygone era and large colorful panels detailing the health benefits of tea.

  

 

The Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York Ambassador Dr. Amrith Rohan Perera (left) in welcoming ambassadors and other guests noted that the Sri Lanka tea industry has the most developed marketing and value adding capacity amongst the tea producing countries in the world. Sri Lanka therefore, has the highest percentage of value added exports amongst all tea producers and has one of the most advanced and competitive auction centers that add to the total value.

Sustainability, both environmental and social, takes pride of place. Sri Lanka tea industry adheres to almost all the international conventions, agreements and certifications related with the environment, including the Montreal Protocol to protect the Ozone layer. It is the first “Ozone Friendly” certified tea in the world, the ambassador also said.  

Dr. Perera also stated that North America is the world's most lucrative market for tea and that Ceylon Tea has a long relationship with the USA.

Gail Gastelu (right) the owner/publisher of The Tea House Times currently serving on the Tea Association of the USA's Specialty Tea Institute Advisory Board also spoke to the quality and cleanliness of Ceylon tea but also the amazing work ethic of the Sri Lankan people as they work tirelessly to provide a quality product approved through the Sri Lanka Tea Board and displaying the well-known Lion Logo.  

Guests queued up to taste different flavored teas from the various regions in Sri Lanka, flavored teas, iced tea, tea punch, tea biscuits, as well as other traditional food items. Guests were able to smell the aroma of Sri Lanka tea samples on display, view the gift teas and exhibits, experience the serenity of Sri Lanka’s cascading tea gardens, and learn about tea production from leaf to exhilarating cup. Background music during the tea party included popular Sri Lankan melodies.  One of the main features of the Global Ceylon Tea Party held in New York by the Permanent Mission was a whimsical Tea themed cake structure and conversation piece that stood out among other novel ideas such as edible centerpieces on the tables.  

    

In Ambassador Rohan’s address in NY, he provided some history of Ceylon tea, noting James Taylor, recognized as the father of Ceylon tea who pioneered the commercial cultivation of this “green gold” in the paradise island of Sri Lanka then known as Ceylon.  Tea replaced the coffee crop which was wiped out by coffee blight and tea was brought as a substitute crop which has now been going for 150 years. (Learn more history through The Tea House Times recent coverage and dedicated blog: http://srilanka.theteahousetimes.com)

He continued in stating that Ceylon tea has become a household name and amongst the best specialty teas in the world. It is positioned to break new ground in the future because of the quality which cannot be substituted or compromised.  Tea grows from the coastal plains up to 6,000 feet and the uniqueness of it is created by the national contours of the island. The climate, soil, cultivars, and varied manufacturing processes all contribute to the diversity of Ceylon tea. Guests were given an opportunity to enjoy teas of all seven growing regions.

The Sri Lanka tea industry has the most developed marketing and valuating capacity among the tea producing countries of the world and one of the most advanced auction centers.  Known for its beautiful tea estates, more than 70 percent of its harvest comes from smallholder farmers and the tea industry supports more than 10 percent of the island through direct and indirect employment.  Sustainability both environmental and social takes pride of place.

 

WASHINGTON, DC

According to Upekkha Samaratunga, Minister Commercial, Embassy of Sri Lanka Washington DC, approximately 70 guests attended the event hosted by Baily Tea with the patronage of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington DC to celebrate 150 th Anniversary of Ceylon Tea in the east coast of the USA.  Senior officials of the State Department, Officials from US Trade Agencies,  journalists and representaives from Tea Industry  were among invitees for the event.

Mr Sudath Munasinghe (left), CEO of Baily Tea welcomed the guests and Dr. Gamini Keerawella (right), Acting Ambassador during his remarks highlighted the history of the Ceylon Tea industry and the significance of the 150th anniversary of Ceylon Tea. Specialty teas from seven regions were offered to the guests  with the special commemorative biscuits from Sri Lanka.   

   

LOS ANGELES

The Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Los Angeles in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Tea Board jointly with Ministry of Foreign Affairs presented Global Tea Party and Business Networking reception followed by a dinner with Sri Lankan Authentic food at the official residence of Consul General of Sri Lanka. The 150 years’ history of the Ceylon Tea was highly acclaimed by the entire industry representatives, decision makers and market players of the Global Tea industry. (at left, Consul General, Swarna Gunaratne)

The Global Tea party was attended by about 150 selected guests representing Tea trade, beverage sector, the corporate sector, entrepreneurs, US Government officials, Trade Support Institutions, journalists, Hollywood based entertainment sector etc., and it was a resounding success. The Tea sampling, Regional Tea display, networking, promotional presentation and serving the 7 region liquid Tea were able to create a great awareness about Ceylon Specialty Tea its 150-year long journey to the participants. Traditional Sri Lankan dancing performed by “Thathjith Dance Group” was admired by the participants.
(LA photo credits: Sadeepa Bandara Herath)

 

MORE 150TH ANNIVERSARY EVENTS PLANNED FOR 2017

Numerous events are planned to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Ceylon tea.  Find a complete list including the Colombo International Tea Convention set for August here:  http://www.150years.pureceylontea.com/event/  Learn more about Ceylon tea and where to buy it by visiting the Sri Lanka Tea Board website here: http://www.pureceylontea.com

 

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