Once tasted never forgottten: New Vithanakande Tea

New Vithanakandeor or NVK for short, is a perfect tea; Not too strong, not too light, and perfect at any time of the day. Anyone who has tasted this tea will never forget when and where they were. Believe me it’s that good.

New Vithanakande sits south of the town of Ratnapura and the tea is classified as low grown as the estate sits at an elevation of only 130m or 430 feet. NVK was first established by Mr P.B.H Pilapitiya in 1940 and then by his son Mr N.B. Pilapitiya, and today the estate is still family run. The estate works in the low grown manner which means that the majority of tea is grown by local small holders who have small plots and then the leaf is collected by NVK who produce it to make the distinctive black tea. These small holder growers, and there are probably around 6500 of them, have in some cases micro plots of tea (similar in size to a home vegetable garden) where they grow and hand pick their tea, therefore every sip of NVK supports the livelihoods of every family.

Mr N.B. Pilapitiya 

It was whilst I was being trained in tea at Asia Siyaka Tea brokers, that I first tried NVK. The ruby coloured cup and the sweet caramel flavour immediately stood out against all the others. I then first visited NVK in 2012 and I immediately saw why this estate produces quality tea. Mr Pilapitiya’s drive to only use the very best two leaves and bud for the making of teas was evident when we visited the withering troughs. 

NVK use modern manufacturing processes which is quite different to the older traditional methods one finds in more up-country estates. This modern approach is responsible for its taste and aroma characteristics.

NVK borders the northern boundary of the Sinharaja rainforest. The teas that are grown in this area have a wonderful natural caramel aroma and this is evident as soon as you arrive on NVK. The smell outside the factory reminds you of being in a sweet shop, and its memorable aroma is present in the bungalow I stay at which is located just above the factory. 

The NVK factory nestling against the Sinharaja rainforest 

If you are yet to explore low grown teas, then New Vithanakande is a great place to start. 

The black leaf is littered with the silvery green tips and helps provide a balanced cup that is ideal as an all-day drinking tea. 

Please purchase some here, and experience for yourself that never to be forgotten taste