The story precedes to say that he was part of a Scottish Company ‘Anglo-American Direct Tea Trading’ that commenced operations in the year 1930, along with ‘James Finlay & Company Limited’. With his profound love for the industry, and passion for creating a brand of tea that would be so exquisite in flavour, and unique in its character, Alexander introduced to the world the ‘Wikiliya Teas’ that were especially in demand in the European market.
Archaeology has it that a species of anatomically modern Homo sapiens, possibly the earliest dated record of modern humans in the whole of South Asia, resided in the Balangoda area. They are aptly named the ‘Balangoda Man’. Perhaps the geographic location of Balangoda; comfortably situated between the wet and dry zones, and reaping the benefits of the breeze that sweeps over from both the Uva and Bogawantalawa hills, made it conducive for an early human habitation to thrive in Balangoda. These very same geographical conditions and climate give Wikiliya Teas their distinctive full-bodied flavour. Just as Balangoda historically nurtured human settlements, in the current context, the Wikiliya Plantations strives to uplift, care for and sustain the local area communities.
Unfortunately, though, decades later, owing to climatic changes that affected the crops, the factory had to close down, causing the redundancy of many employees. However, in the year 2010, Mr Ranjan Walpola, the current Managing Director of Wikiliya Plantations, resumed its operations, emphatically to sustain the livelihoods of the many local community habitats, whose sole hope was the plantation. With it began the movement to not just enhance the profitability and manufacturing capacity of the factory but to also enhance the quality of life of the estate community, through infrastructure and road development, building of schools, hospitals, staff housing, crèches, and temples.
Broadly all teas can be classified into four basic types: White, Oolong, Green and Black. They are all made from Camellia sinensis. The difference is in the manufacturing process and the amount of fermentation / oxidation required to make each type of tea.
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