Pioneers & Legends of the Ceylon Plantation Industry
Jewish brothers born in Frankfurt, Germany, Maurice Worms was arguably the first person to introduce tea to Ceylon with samplings from China being experimented with in 1841. However, due to high production costs and labour issues, and with coffee thriving at the time, tea failed to gain a foot-hold. Nonetheless, the Worms brothers went on to establish one of the largest coffee, and later tea plantation proprietorships in the island with a portfolio of more than 2,000 acres in coffee and tea, and 6,000 acres of jungle. The brothers were famed for their efficiency and competency and were held up as the role models of the plantation industry. The brothers were also famous for their philanthropy across the island.
Scotsman James Taylor started Sri Lanka’s first tea estate, 19 acre Loolecondera Estate, marking the birth of the tea industry in Ceylon.
The first Shipment of Ceylon Tea, a consignment of 23lb (10kg) arrived in London for trade
The first public Colombo Tea Auction was held at the premises of Somerville & Co. under the auspice of Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.
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