When in Rome, do as the Romans.
When in Sri Lanka, drink tea.
Lots and lots of tea.
There is nothing more upsetting to me than a crappy cup of coffee. Truly, it breaks my heart. On the rare occasion that I drink black tea, I always enjoy it with milk and i let the tea bag steep for a long long long time....almost like I'm trying to replicate the intensity of a cup o joe. Well, I've started, and not finished, one (crappy) cup of coffee since I've been here, and enjoyed one expensive (albeit delicious and creamy frothy sips of heaven) cappuccino. And then I surrendered. I always attempt to eat a local, speak local, and do as the locals, so it looks like I'm becoming a tea drinker. It's now 10:50am and I'm on my 6th cup of tea, and it certainly won't be my last. Know that I am not drinking them out of the huge mugs we use in the states, but instead drinking them out of delicate tea cups...saucer underneath and all. The tea here is freaking boiling in its cup it's so hot, and I love how it burns me throat as it goes down. If my cup has become lukewarm (which it rarely does thanks to the small, perfect cups) then ill start fresh with a new cuppa tea. I've been drinking it without milk, and with "seeniteecock", a "little bit of sugar". I only let the teabag steep for about 2 minutes and then I remove it so it doesnt get bitter. I've found that my first thought upon waking up in the morning is bout my first cup of tea. I look forward to it with all of my meals and after my meals...and I look forward to sipping a cup before retiring to sleep. I dare say that I may be off coffee all together, the craving has gone.
Here's a bit about tea in Sri Lanka, a country that was called Ceylon up until the name was changed in 1972....
Tea, or "thay" as its called in Sinhalese, first came to Sri Lanka in 1824 as part of a botanical exhibit planted by the British.
Tea plantations cover about 1900 sq km.
Sri Lanka overtook Kenya as the second most important tea-producing nation in 2008, with an annual production of 330 million kilograms.
Sri Lankan tea (branded internationally as "Ceylon" tea) enjoys a premium positioning and its auction sale prices are more than 50% higher than main rival and market leader India.
The annual value of Sri Lankan tea crop is nearing US$1 billion and it represents 15% of the economy.
Sri Lankas tea industry is responsible for more than one million jobs - about 5% of the entire population. Wages for tea pickets remains very low, about US$3 per day, and the hardworking pickers must pick a minimum of 20kg of leaves per day.
On that note, my tea is getting cool so I'm going to finish it up and continue on my day. I did a tea-fueled vinyasa this morning, followed by a crossfit (10 rounds of 20 box jumps, 20 sit-ups, 60 single jump ropes) and some chores around the house. I've decided to spend the today and tomorrow here in Galle and then head to midigama on Sunday morning for a few weeks of surfing before India. AAYU-BOWAN.
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