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Cindi Bigelow Travels To Sri Lanka: Tea Auction

Previously, we shared that Cindi Bigelow was heading to Sri Lanka to explore tea fields and tea auctions.  Cindi previously shared her first full day and below she shares the experience of a tea auction.  Enjoy!

Niraj de Mel and Cindi Bigelow outside the Tea Auction (no photos allowed once inside)

A real Colombo Sri Lanka tea auction…it was everything I had heard of and more! Three rooms filled with tea exporters all bidding on specific type teas. Rooms were dedicated to either low-grown teas of certain grades (leaf sizes like the famous orange pekoe, or OP as it is called in the trade), or medium-to-high elevation grown teas and the original type teas of Ceylon (or Sri Lanka as it has been called since 1971), the type Bigelow buys.

Rooms filled with so many buyers who have such trained palates and discerning eyes that they can look at the leaf and tell you where on the mountains it was grown!  With one sip they can tell you the plantation it was grown on and if it was processed properly. They can even taste if the harvesters have done a good job plucking the proper “two tender leaves and a bud,” not mature leaves that are not nearly as pleasant to consume.

Our stay during the morning was certainly noticed. There was not one trader who wasn’t checking out who these new comers were!  It was so fun.

Cindi Bigelow

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