Sri Lanka High Commission organises a Ceylon Tea Tasting session at the Royal Hospital Chelsea
As a gesture of goodwill to appreciate the service rendered by the iconic veterans of the British Army, a Ceylon tea tasting session was organised by the Sri Lanka High Commission in London at the Royal Hospital Chelsea on 30 September 2021.
The Royal Hospital Chelsea established in 1692 is a retirement home and nursing home for some 300 veterans of the British Army including those who have served in Korea, the Falkland Islands, Cyprus, Northern Ireland and World War II.
The tea tasting was conducted by Manuja Peiris, previously a tea taster in Sri Lanka and currently with the International Tea Committee. The participants explored the unique flavours, aroma and textures of Ceylon Tea from the seven regions of Sri Lanka namely, Nuwara Eliya, Uda Pussallawa, Dimbula, Uva, Kandy, Sabaragamuwa and Ruhuna. They also tasted a freshly brewed cup of tea of their liking.
During the event, Sri Lanka was projected as the next holiday destination and the range of features it offers to tourists were also showcased. Ceylon tea packs, tea masks and tourism souvenirs were gifted to the participants.
High Commissioner Saroja Sirisena and the diplomatic officers of the High Commission were taken on a tour around the hospital explaining its historical significance by the veterans John Byrne and Jim Little.
Tea drinking was a long-established tradition in the British Army, with reports that tea was liberally distributed among the men on the morning of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. When the British Government bought all the tea on the market in 1942, they made the tradition official. The tea the British Government bought for the Army was strong black tea from Ceylon, Assam, and Africa.
The event is emblematic of Sri Lanka’s commitment to the longstanding bilateral relations with the UK.