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There's No 'I' in Tea

ceylon eco-friendly tea cultivation Joy's Specials and Promotions JT Herself morawaka estate social justice for tea workers Sri Lanka

[caption id="attachment_687" align="alignleft" width="223" caption="Kumari and Naomi at World Tea EXPO 2011"][/caption] What Happens When a Tea Estate Cares About More Than the Tea? by JT Herself Want to know what I expected to gain from the World Tea EXPO this year?  Contacts.  Order some great tea.  Maybe learn a thing or two. Want to know what I got?  A life changing experience with a woman that has a passion for people, the estate and the tea.  I was so touched and moved by my conversations with her, that I almost forgot that I would be able to sell their incredible teas on my site!  When someone can shift my focus like that...they've got something special going on. Meet Kumari.  Kumari is the wife of Sumedha and together they own and operate the Morawaka Estate in Southern Province, Sri Lanka.  Her official title is VP of Human Resources, but I would like to bestow the title of VP of Having a Heart.  In the US, we commonly think of Human Resources as the Omnipotent One that doles out paychecks, helps us with insurance questions and teaches us how not to sexually harass our fellow workers.  Let me tell you that the first thing she did when I met her was start to talk about the kids at her school.  Her kids.  All 100+ of them.  Knows them by name, knows what they eat for lunch, knows their families and knows their needs. With their giant hearts, Sumedha and Kumari provide more than just an income for their employees.  With the help of local social services the estate supports a school for under-privileged children, a nurturing daycare for the female dominated work force, medical, dental and eye camps for employees and their families, resident workers are provided with housing, neutering of animals, and countless other counseling and support services. As if that alone was not enough, they are also protecting their cultivators by growing these aromatic and spicy teas with clean, environmentally friendly practices.  Composting, use of recyclable packaging materials, soil preservation and planting responsibly are just a few of the steps being taken within the estate. I was motivated, moved, socially stimulated and ethically pumped!  The pumped part could have been the liter of caffeine pumping through my veins but I don't want to take anything from Kumari!  I immediately started thinking of ways to get involved with Morawaka:
  • Right off the bat, I bought tea.  And so can you!  Joy's Teaspoon now proudly carries Ceylon Morawaka OP1 and BOP1!
  • Kumari went into detail about the schools sponsorship of breakfast and lunch programs for their students.  Starting today, Joy's Teaspoon will donate (quarterly) 5% of the sale of all Morawaka teas back to the Morawaka Estate school meal program.
  • Joy's Teaspoon will spread the word about Morawaka, their fantastic teas and the incredible work they are doing in Sri Lanka.  We ask that you will do the same!
  • Sumedha and Kumari, being the ingenious tea cultivators that they are, realize that there are people like myself that are interested in traveling to Sri Lanka to experience life on a tea plantation.  The Morawaka Eco-Lodge is available for just such an occasion.  I am currently working on the details for a 2012 trip/tour, so, if this is something that interests you please email me directly (naomi@joysteaspoon.com) and I will keep you up to date.
I've been bursting at the seams to get the word out about Morawaka!  For more information about the estate, or to see additional pictures (beyond what is on the Joy's Teaspoon site), please visit www.morawakaestates.com.  Do you know of an estate, garden or plantation that is doing something similar?  We'd love to hear about it!

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  • Joy’s Teaspoon debuts summer teas - Uncategorized - - KeenTeaThyme on

    […] Check out her story about meeting up with a woman named Kumari and her husband Sumedha, owners of the Morawaka Estate in Southern Province, Sri Lanka. Morawaka Estate is a tea manufacturing company which produces some of the world’s finest tea while employing thousands of local workers. […]

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