gail gastelu, the tea house times, ceylon tea, sri lanka, colombo international tea convention
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Ceylon Tea, Sri Lanka, Colombo International Tea Convention

Monday, August 28th 2017 @ 10:33 AM

I’ve just returned from two weeks in Sri Lanka to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Ceylon Tea. If you are in the tea industry or simply love tea or appreciate the good ways that tea has touched many lives, you will want to read past the first three lines of this post and enjoy my upcoming series of entries to understand the important discussions taking place, the actions necessary to carry on, and the passion it will take to fuel future success.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve seen it all. I’ve read it all. I have heard it all. From great feedback, which it mostly was, on to bits of not so rosy feedback when some pointed their fingers at the expense of such a huge celebration and convention while others might not be as fortunate.  But let me say this.  Yes, it was a great expense for anyone attending and for the organizers. The travel, the lodging, the convention, and events, not to mention the immunizations needed for travel.  A great expense yes. But in my opinion, the most worthwhile use of my time and money in a long time. It was the most impressive convention I have ever witnessed. It was a celebration of the hard work involved to create such an industry from the planters to the pluckers to the factory workers and on up to the very top executives.   

Overlook the cost of putting it on…. Think of the people it reached. The very top executives from around the world gathered there. Every single business card I collected is of a CEO or Chairman or Director or President.  Decisions and action take place from the top down. Important discussions on the future of the industry took place with decision makers. There was serious discussion about every aspect from improving all lives involved, making the best use of the land, on through to ensuring there is an industry in the future. With so many challenges including weather, resources and more, it is imperative that this type of event take place for many brilliant minds to come together.  At the end of it all, after listening to so many quality speakers, it was perfectly understood from varying points of view, main objectives for the Ceylon tea industry are to make moves to remain current, modern, relevant, special, luxurious, high quality, clean, efficient, resourceful, cognizant, and proactive. That takes one very huge TEAm effort!!

If you have been following my tale of Ceylon tea since my first trip to Sri Lanka in January, you know that I will once again have a lot to tell you about this second trip.  My fabulous journey in August included another visit to the Colombo tea auction, I spent some time with an interesting group of journalists from around the world, I attended the Colombo International Tea Convention, tea festival, and all festivities, I also attended the CRT (Coconut, Rubber, Tea) Expo, I traveled to Lumbini to take their two day program to pluck and process your own tea, I took a day and a half off to rest at the beach at Cinnamon Bey, I returned to Colombo to experience afternoon tea at Cinnamon Grand, and took on many other important meetings with special people involved in the tea industry.  Lastly, I took one day off before returning home to play tourist and went kayaking on Bolgoda Lake.  That was a day for the memory books! This entire trip was.  (Continued thanks to the Sri Lanka Tea Board for enlightening me and working with me!!)

Busy-busy here getting caught up on work and sleep. It takes a good week for that kind of jet-lag to wear off! But it is worth it, believe me. . . I cannot wait for another opportunity to return to Sri Lanka.  Stay tuned… I will write more soon. And, of course keep watching each issue of The Tea House Times for special features on Ceylon tea as well.

Ta for now my dears. 

For the Love of Tea. . .


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© All content and images are copyright of author unless otherwise noted.
GAIL GASTELU is owner/publisher of The Tea House Times, producer of continuing education and online tea etiquette certification. She is also producer and presenter of Tea Course Fast Track and produces numerous other products and services to connect businesses and consumers to everything tea. Gail lives in NJ with her husband and two children. Her motto is "Just Do It!"  Learn more about Gail's work here. Contact Gail via email here.  (Gail is also known as "Lady Gayle" to  her Red Hat Society friends.)

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Gail is RINGLEADER of this fantastic group of Guest Bloggers!  Enjoy stories of our careers, tea experiences, and overall joy for tea.

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