Ceylon Tea Museum

Although small in size, the island nation of Sri Lanka has long been known for a great many features, be it coastal bliss, natural splendor and its ancient history and of course, its world renowned tea. The Ceylon Tea Museum that once functioned as the Hantane Tea Factory, in Kandy, is a unique museum that provides a comprehensive history of world acclaimed Ceylon Tea. From Its introduction by British colonial, James Taylor, in 1867 to the high demand of the product in the global market today, the Ceylon Tea Museum provides the ideal setting for the history buff and the tea enthusiast to revel in.

Best Known For

  • The Ceylon Tea Museum is famed for being one of the many museums in the country that explain a blend of Sri Lanka’s rich history. In this case, the rise and flourish of Ceylon Tea on the global stage.
  • Filled with artifacts in the form of old machinery, models of tea processing and a library filled with historical documents, the Ceylon Tea Museum certainly entices the history buff and tea lover.

Interesting Facts

  • The 4-storey Ceylon Tea Museum was really a functioning tea factory and proved to be instrumental in the boom of Sri Lanka’s tea industry during its introduction, during the latter half of the 19th century.
  • However, due to the ravages of time, the factory was abandoned and left in a dilapidated state until 2001, when the Sri Lanka Tea Board refurbished it and christened the building as the premier tea museum of Sri Lanka.
  • Presently, the ground floor and second floor of the museum houses a number of artifacts, including old machinery, vintage tea-processing paraphernalia and exhibits on tea pioneers, James Taylor and Thomas Lipton, giving quite a comprehensive lesson on Ceylon Tea.
  • Even better is the library in the first floor, allowing the more curious individual to delve further into the history of Ceylon Tea and influence through the ages.
  • The third floor of the museum is a dedicated sales centre that displays the many varieties of fine Ceylon Tea available for purchase, making it possible to take back home a world class product.
  • It is the fourth floor of the museum that really takes the cake, as it serves as a tea café, allowing you to have a cup of some of the finest Ceylon Tea varieties and offers resplendent panoramic views of the Kandy town, surrounded by the beautiful Hunasgiriya, Knuckles Range and the Matale range of hills, making it a fitting end after a journey through Sri Lanka’s tea inspired past.

Times, Seasons and Tips

  • The tea museum in Hantane is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 8:30am to 3:45pm (with the exception of Sunday, in which it closes at 3:00pm).
  • The tea museum is not open on Mondays or full moon Poya Days.
  • There is no particular season in which to visit the tea museum, however, the months of July and August are known to be a period where there is an increase in visitors.
  • Do keep in mind that the artifacts displayed date back to the time when tea was first introduced to the country in the 19th century, therefore making it invaluable to the country’s history.
  • If you want an in depth understanding of Sri Lanka’s love affair with tea, do partake in the guided tours organised by the museum.
  • Are you the hardcore history buff? Well, the tea museum possesses a library where visitors can delve into the history of Ceylon Tea and understand how Ceylonese tea came to be one of the premier tea brands in the world.
  • After the tour, do take the opportunity purchase some souvenirs and have a refreshing cuppa of the finest Ceylon Tea too to end the visit in typical colonial fashion.

In conclusion, should you be that history buff or the tea enthusiast interested in understanding the beginnings of Sri Lanka’s dominance in the global tea industry, the Ceylon Tea Museum in Hantane certainly would not disappoint, as it holds a treasure trove of timeless knowledge.

Title image by: Ceylon Tea Museum The information displayed is provided by Ceylon Tea Museum


LKR 50
Foreign Child
LKR 400
Foreign Adult
LKR 800

Tickets At


Culture and Heritage

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