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Calling all virgins – it’s time for White Tea

Calling all virgins – it’s time for White Tea

By Juliet Coombe

Sri Lanka is world famous for its teas and Jetwing Hotel group prides itself on serving the best high teas around the island in exceptionally beautiful locations from Bawesque settings to classic colonial gardens like Jetwing St. Andrews. Now they will organize tea tours to exciting tea planters properties like Handunagoda, which is perhaps the most southern and coastal of tea plantations.

Herman Gunaratne, the owner and manager famed through out the land for producing the worlds best white tea has a lifetime of rich experience, and lives by such initiatives as ‘teas without tears’. A commitment to his staff, and recognition that they are the key to the on-going success of this wonderful business and it is their passion that makes Handunogoda world famous. He started his life as a plucker, working his way through the ranks at a number of different estates, to become manager of the most prestigious plantations, a grand master of the tea industry if you like.

The Platation people that bring you tea from plot to tea pot
The Platation people that bring you tea from plot to tea pot

When asked what makes his white tea unique, Herman tells you, in inimitable style, a great story about the Chinese emperor of an ancient dynasty and how he would be given, as a tribute to his lofty position, tea that was untouched by human hands and plucked by virgins with golden scissors. Realising that getting proof of such plucker credentials would be tough and that there was no obvious benefit from untouched tea, Herman wanted more to the story and his diligent search was rewarded with another remarkable tale about a perfume maker he met in Drasse, France, who sourced jasmine flowers from 12 different countries and who could identify each country by the sweat on the hands of the flower pickers. The third and final major point about his Virgin White tea is that it has the highest naturally occurring content of immunity boosting antioxidants of any beverage, at 10.11%.

On the tour with the islands leading expert to tea you will learn the secret of white tea
On the tour with the islands leading expert to tea you will learn the secret of white tea

Herman, despite his very busy life making the finest white tea in the industry, has written five extraordinary books, mostly centering around the tea industry but his latest offering, God’s Secret Agent, is as unique as his Virgin White tea and will have you mesmerised with its Blues Brothers type storyline involving the battles between the powers of darkness in Sri Lanka and a Buddhist exorcist and his mate, casting out demons with Christ and the Holy Spirit and digging up buried evil-charmed bottles all over the island, sometimes to help out presidents and prime ministers. Jetwing Travels can organize for you to meet the islands most notorious tea man and author so you can try his tea including one with a tipple of cognac created for the launch of his best selling book ‘The Suicide Club’.