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Summer 2022 – James Taylor, The Father of Ceylon Tea, Part II

In 1867, 32-year-old James Taylor planted Assam (Camellia sinensis assamica) tea seeds on 19 acres of land at Loolecondera Estate in Kandy, Ceylon (present day Sri Lanka). His ultimate goal was to produce a tea that tasted like “the China tea sold in the shops.” To process the tea leaves, he transformed his bungalow into a tea factory, the leaves being rolled by hand on tables he had set out on his verandah. His industrious nature and dedication to learning all about tea production led him to devise a mechanical roller within 6 years, followed by a trip to Darjeeling, India, in 1874, to study tea growing and production. (read the full article on page 46 of our Summer Quarterly)

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Darjeeling's Royal Flush - Wine Spectator

Upton's tea procurer Nicole Patterson, 31,selects standout lots from hundreds of samples every year. Patterson developed a passion for tea while working at the now-closed Tealuxe in Harvard Square; five years ago, she transferred her expertise to Upton. She was planning to visit the Darjeeling district of India in March 2020 until the COVID-19 pandemic intervened, forcing her to cancel the trip. At press time, the country’s tea production was shut down due to the pandemic, meaning that first flush Darjeeling may be hard to come by for the foreseeable future. Click Here to read the rest of the article.

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“Reversals of Fortune in the Tea Industry” series