It’s well known, Sri Lanka used to manufacture 99,09% of black tea.
It is now official , The Waldemar tea factory has outsourced its black * tea processing and been converted by Browns & Co., Plc to a oolong** and green** tea factory for a regular production of both of these types of tea .
Why such a change ? Simply because the competition between black tea producing countries is huge and even if black tea remains the favorite type of tea by consummers , the demand for Oolong and green teas is continually increasing.
The possibility of fetching better prices bounds to the fact that the climate and the elevation are ideal for growing flavory, aromatic oolongs motivated the decision of the group. Considered as speciality teas, the requested price for these teas is quite higher than the current average price for black teas.
Today, in the tea world, there is a growing demand for speciality teas.
But what does the word « Speciality tea » mean ? Even there is no precise definition, for most people a special tea is the contrary of a commun, poor tea. It opposes the concept of mass production teas and integrates all or some of the following notions which make that a speciality tea has an added value.
It can be the influence of the climate or the season at some given time on the taste of the tea, a little known specific know-how in cultivation or manufacturing, a limited production making rarety, or an original blend from a local or a particular country.
Located in Udapussalawa, a terroir situated between Nuwara Eliya and Kandy, Waldemar wants to play the card of the speciality and to be the first one to propose a regular Oolong tea production of one of the 6 recognized terroirs of Ceylon.
For now, China and Taïwan are the major actors on this type of market. Waldemar makes the bet play in the big leagues and become a recognized supplier of Oolong tea .
The expertise of the Sri Lankan tea planters is not to be anymore made and also even if this conversion required the adaptation of the factory , the installation of new machinery and staff training , Waldemar is sure of its assets. The cooperation between Chinese and Taiwanese tea experts is a key element of its success. Those are the one who supplied the machines and who ensured the know-how transmission.
Waldemar nevertheless still continues the production of orthodox and CTC black teas that has been relocated to another unit.
* black tea a fully oxydisied type of tea
** Oolong tea a partial oxydized type of tea
*** Green tea a type of tea without oxydation