James Finlays Tea Bangladesh
Tea is one of the most widely-consumed beverages in the world, second only to water. Tea is an infusion made by steeping processed leaves, buds, or twigs of the tea bush, Camellia sinensis, in hot water for several minutes. The word tea came into the English language from the Chinese word for tea (茶), which is pronounced tê in the Min Nan spoken variant.
Fine-leaf tea is hand plucked, and hand shears are used on mountain slopes and in other areas where tractor-mounted machines cannot go. A skilled worker using hand shears can harvest between 60 to 100 kg of tea per day, whereas machines cut between 1,000 and 2, 000 kg. The latter, however, are usually applied to low grade teas that often go into teabags. The tea "fluff" and waste from processing is used to produce caffeine for soft drinks and medicine.
Srimangal is famous for its tea plantation and it has the biggest tea garden in Bangladesh. British James Finlays established his factory in Srimangal around 1850 on 20 thousand hector areas with the labor from the tribe of Assam/Orissa. This is a vast piece of land full of green tea plants, your eyes won’t get tired of seeing those over and over again.
Finlays has 8 factories, 7 of those produce black tea and 1 produces green tea. This is the only green tea factory in Bangladesh. Its yearly production is 30 million KG finished tea. Finlays uses natural gas (smell is used to identify leakage in normal household gas supply, natural gas don’t have any smell) in tea baking process so that no extra smell gets into the tea. This is way its tea stands out from the rest.
Finlays has 30 thousand direct employees and another 45 thousand indirect employees. It provides their accommodation along with land within the company boundary so that can they maintain a healthy living.
Last owner Richard Muir of James Finlays family sold his entire properties (to Swire & others) from all over the world including this tea garden in Srimangal and settled in Kenya. Finlays Tea Company now belongs to 8 businessman of Bangladesh.
This is a part of a series from my tour to Srimangal, I will update daily between my breaks. Please check back when you can. It would be a treat for me to know what you think.
Lens: Sigma Zoom Telephoto 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO DG Macro
Camera: Canon EOS Rebel XTi
Location: Sylhet, Bangladesh
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