5 terrific tea tours around the world to celebrate International Tea Day

18th Dec 17 | Lifestyle

Which of these experiences is your cup of tea?

Sunrise over tea plantations in Munnar, Kerala, India

Tea addicts, rejoice – it’s International Tea Day, a time for us to finally sit back and relax with a hot cuppa in hand. Not unlike any other day, then.

There’s no ritual more sacred to most Brits than the tea round, but we’re not the only nation obsessed with making the perfect brew.

Tea is the most-consumed drink in the world after water, and it’s produced on every continent. So if you consider yourself a tea buff, you’ll want to explore these tours further afield.

1. If you like… Ceylon

Where: Sri Lanka

Railway 🚃 track through the Tea Gardens in Sri Lanka 🇱🇰 #railway #tea #dilmah #teagarden #ceylontea #cuppatea #teaestate

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Over one million Sri Lankans work in the production of the country’s world-renowned Ceylon tea. Most plantations are many miles above sea level in the centre of the country. take a scenic drive into the remote Uva province to see its mountainside plants, or try tea-picking yourself and explore colonial-era tea estates on Rickshaw Travel’s two-day tour of the Nuwara Eliya region, starting at £115pp. The region’s opulent Mlesna Tea Castle, which claims to have the world’s largest tea shop, is a must-visit.

2. If you like… green tea

Where: Japan

Japanese green teas are steamed, making them unlike those from any other country, and a very small proportion are exported – so to truly explore the country’s offering, you need to visit. Go beyond the commonly-drunk Sencha and try the stronger Gyokuro and Kabusecha blends. The family-run Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms offer a tasting and a look at the production process, with day tours for around £80pp.

3. If you like… your tea strong

Where: China

Tea tourism is a relatively new attraction in China, despite the country producing around a third of the world’s brews. A walk around Longjing village, though, should not be missed by any tea die-hard. The small village near Hangzhou produces China’s most popular green tea, and is home to countless plantations – as well as the National Tea Museum. Viator run private day-long tours from £65.

4. If you like… your tea black

Where: Turkey

Turkey is the fifth highest-producing tea nation in the world, despite the industry only emerging in the middle of the 20th century. It mostly produces a sweeter black tea, served after meals throughout the country. The Ziraat Tea Garden, well off the beaten track, offers freshly-made blends and stunning views of Rize, the country’s tea production centre. Use the chance to explore the area; Yuki Tour offers a four-day expedition through Rize and the rest of the Black Sea region.

5. If you like… a proper builder’s cuppa

Where: Cornwall

For something a little closer to home, a weekend in Cornwall can provide tea enthusiasts with their fix. The one hundred-acre Tregothnan estate is the only major tea producer in Britain, conquering the English climate to make Classic and Earl Grey blends. They offer a variety of hands-on courses, including a one-day masterclass for £145.

© Press Association 2017