Progress in Tea Drying 1889 – To Date

The history of Tea Drying in Sri Lanka opened on the first day of January 1889, when the first Desiccator designed by Mr. John Brown left the Colombo Commercial Company Ltd.’s workshops for St. John del Rey Estate in Bogawantalawa. Some of the 2,000 Desiccators built since then are still in operation in small factories – a tribute to Mr. Brown’s skill and to the fine workmanship of the craftsman responsible for their construction

As larger acreages of tea were planted however, the capacity of the Desiccator became inadequate for the increased crops which the larger estates harvested. Tilting trays and travelling tray driers were developed culminating in the latest range of 2 and 3 band Driers incorporating design improvements and unique features based on experience gained through construction and operation of Driers commencing 1889..

The progress begun in 1889 eventually saw the advent of the world-famous range of CCC. Automatic Endless Chain Pressure Tea Driers, fine products of CCC craftsmanship which were the most modern and efficient machines for drying tea.

In the early 70’s with the rising of cost of production and the increased demand for smaller grades of teas for the tea bag market, a more efficient and economical process for drying tea was required to overcome the limitations of the Automatic Endless Chain Pressure Drier. The Tea Research Institute of Sri Lanka together with Colombo Commercial Company Ltd, conducted research into the possibilities of adopting the principle of “fluidization” for tea drying and after exhaustive experimentation produced the Fluid Bed Tea Drier which has now been tested, tried and proved the world over as the most efficient and economical machine, an invention that has revolutionized the science and techniques of tea drying.