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Land of Cinnamon, Coconuts & Ceylon Tea

Focus on Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is a small, yet culturally diverse, island in the Indian Ocean, which is separated from India by the Palk Strait. The country’s biggest agricultural export is tea and 4% of the land is cultivated as tea plantations, so it has long captured my interest! Let me share what I have learned.

Leading the Way in Sri Lanka
An economic crisis and shortages of essentials including fuel, food and medicine are putting Sri Lanka in the spotlight. The country is currently struggling with civil unrest; a result of rapidly spiralling costs and a new president has just been elected.

This news coverage projects one image of Sri Lanka, yet the country has many success stories, these include the following facts:

  • 40% of Sri Lanka’s energy is generated by hydropower, captured in the many natural waterfalls.
  • 91.9% of adults and 98.86% of young people are literate and 9 years of free education is compulsory.
  • Significant areas of richly biodiverse nature reserves and nature corridors are protected, with many birds, mammals and plants believed to be endemic to the country.
  • In 1960, Siramavo Bandaranaike became the country’s first female Prime Minister and the world’s first elected head of Government.


Sri Lankan Tea & Exports

When the country became a British colony in 1802, following both Dutch and British invasions, it was named Ceylon. It gained independence in 1948 and changed its name to Sri Lanka in 1972. Despite this, tea from the country is known as Ceylon Black, Ceylon Green or Ceylon White.

Sri Lanka has wide expanses of land which are ideal for growing Camellia Sinensis, the tea plant. It is globally renowned for supplying tea of exceptional quality. Our bespoke Emporium Breakfast blend features premium Sri Lankan tea.

Although it is a small island, Sri Lanka also produces over 80% of global cinnamon supplies; used in baking, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. They are the 4th largest supplier of coconuts and coconut products. Little wonder that coconut is an ingredient in many local culinary dishes! Coconut shells are also widely used as bowls.

Another famous export is gemstones. The Sabaragamuwa Province is especially rich in reserves and Sapphires, Rubies, Topaz and Garnet are some of the gems mined in the country. The Gemological Museum in Ratnapura showcases the variety of gemstones excavated in Sri Lanka.

Embracing the Ayurveda Lifestyle

A non-commodity export is Ayurveda; a practice of mental and physical well-being which promotes balance in body and mind. Ayurveda combines nutrition, hydration, yoga, meditation and self-care to enhance health. The principles have been widely adopted across the world.

Wildlife Highlight – Sri Lankan Elephants

Among the wonderful wildlife that delights locals and tourists is the Sri Lanka elephant. This is a larger and darker sub-species of the Asian elephant. This protected species wanders across the grasslands in matriarch-led herds, bathing in rivers and eating branches from trees. Sri Lanka is one of the most likely places in the world to see wild elephants. Although the animals are revered and killing them is a punishable crime, they are endangered.

A Taste of Sri Lanka in Aylesbury

Aylesbury is around 5,445 miles from Sri Lanka and with the current economic difficulties in both our counties, it isn’t easy or advisable to fly there at the moment.

However, if this article has piqued your interest, Holy Cow Home! can offer a small taste of this exciting country. We can provide loose leaf tea blends featuring Ceylon Black, coconut bowls and Ayurveda incense sticks. Our Holy Cow Unusuals include a selection of gemstones and we offer elephant print trousers, along with brass elephant hooks.

In addition to Holy Cow Home, you could visit Herali, Aylesbury’s Sri Lankan restaurant and Jaffna, a specialist Asian supermarket, stocking all the ingredients needed to make a great Sri Lankan curry – remember the coconut!

Sometimes we don’t need to travel the world to enjoy a taste of the exotic.