Carolina Overview

Carolina Tea Factory stands as a guide at the entrance to the western highlands, where teas of exquisite quality are manufactured almost throughout the year. It is at this point that the entire scenery changes from the clusters of tea to an unbroken mantle green. To the disconserting visitor, Carolina tea plantation will offer a true representation of the immense work that goes into producing their favorite beverage.

It would be an unforgettable encounter to watch the tea pluckers with their fine glossy hair and dreamy eyes, decorated with silver ornaments, and other gay clothes of many colors, wending their way through cramped tea bushes, to pluck just the two leaves and the bud that required producing the best teas in the world.

To such extent does practice quicken the action of eyes, brain and finger, which is difficult for the inexperienced to believe how carefully chosen is each leaf that falls into the basket. Only the young and succulent is used in manufacture. For over hundred years, Carolina has taken immense care of its priceless possession of tea and continues to do so, to offer the world a perfect cup of tea.

Carolina Tea Company of Ceylon Ltd. Incorporated in 1892 is one of the pioneer tea companies in the country, set up primarily to plant tea. It consisted of a group of plantations situated in Lower Dickoya. They were Agarawatte, Carolina, Kandawella, Mount Jean, Wigton, Udeapola Group, Trafalgar, Goarfell and St.Margaret Estates.The Management of this group that was originally with Leechman and Company changed to Mackwoods Estates & Agencies Ltd. at a later date.

According to the times of Ceylon Green Book of 1939, this group had over 1,000 hectares in tea, 245 hectares in rubber, a few hundred coconut trees, and 726 hectares uncultivated, comprising a total extent at the stage was considered a substantial area for administration.

The Carolina tea factory was one of the original “central factories” constructed by the river that ran by the estate, to avail themselves of water power. It was indeed an improvement to some of other factories of the day, with no mud floors and cadjan roofs. The building was of wood assembled firmly on stone pillars. It had three floors going up to the height of 42 feet from ground to ridge. Provision had been made for further expansion, but there was sufficient space to accommodate all the leaf not only from that group, but from many other adjoining plantations who were satisfied with a return of 9 cents (about 2p) per pound. The novelty was that very often than not, the green leaf arrived by train.

Jhon Walker, who was responsible for founding the present Colombo firms of Walker sons & Company and Walker & Greig, had by then acquired much prominence as a designer of plantation machinery. The task of planning and equipping Carolina factory was entrusted him. A modern factory has now been built by the road side offering a panoramic view to the causal visitor travelling up to the hills.

At the time the plantations were nationalized, Carolina group had in all 1023 hectares with 579 hectares in tea. Many other subsidiary crops had been planted on this property by then.

Carolina can boast as having within its mini hydro power project and it shows efficient energy usage in Carolina

Few Past Managers’ Detail

Name From To
Mr. R.F. Megginson Prior to 1908
Mr. S.P. Blackmore 1908 1932
Mr. A.R.T. Gibbson 1932 1952
Mr. C. David Gibbson 1952 1960
Mr. R.A.A. Doudney 1960 1961
Mr. V.E. De Silva 1961 1970
Mr. V.T.H. De Mel 1970 1971
Mr. R.E. Wickremaratne 1971 1972
Mr. R.T. De Sylva 1972 1973
Mr. W.D. De Mel 1975 1978
Mr. S.B.L. Perera 1979 1984
Mr. R.J. Dobbs 1984 1986
Mr. L.N. Abeyasekera 1987 1990
Mr. P.N.S. Kamaragoda 1991 1993
Mr. M.S. Madugalla 1993 1993
Mr. R.G. Somaratne 1993 1994
Mr. R.T. De Run 1995 1997
Mr. M.R.M. Yatigammana 1997 1998
Mr. R.G. Somaratne 1998 1998
Mr. P.U. Wanigatunge 1998 2000
Mr. A.C. Samuel 2000 2002
Mr. G. Rathnayake 2002 2007
Mr. S.K. Navaratne 2007 2008
Mr. A.C. Samuel 2008 2012
Mr. A.P. Premachandra 2012 2017
Mr. Robin Winter 2017 2019
Mr. L.K. Abeywardena 2019
To date

General Facts

Region

Medium grown

Temperature

16-22˚C

Total Population

3961

Elevation

960m

Rainfall

5000mm

Contact Details

Telephone

+94 (0) 51-4921371 (Office)

+94 (0) 51- 4921370 (Factory)

Email

Carolina@hattonplantations.lk

Location

Carolina Estate

Watawala, Sri Lanka

Characteristics

CTC medium/ silver tips

Leaf Appearance – Fairly blacker, curly neater and clean leaf.

Infusion – Brighter – Reddish/ Coppery

Liqour – Reddish Colour thicker and more brisker with useful strength

Certifications

Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP)

ISO 22000:FSMS

The Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP)

GMP