It was around the year 1840 when Scotsman James Taylor (no, not the singer/songerwriter) first heard about agricultural business opportunities on an island in the Indian Ocean known, at the time, as Ceylon.

Hill CountryThe land, he was told, was perfect for growing coffee, a product which had a demand that far exceeded the supply at the time.

So a few months later, Sweet Baby James moved to the mountainous region in the middle of the island (known as the “Hill Country”) and planted acres of coffee plants, as well as some seeds he’d adventurously purchased from India on a lark.

The resulting “ugly little shrub” grew quickly next to his relatively slow-growing coffee crop, providing exceedingly large yields.

For a few years, Taylor was able to sustain both crops fairly well, and Taylor thought about how sweet it was to be a coffee farmer.  However, this was not to last.

After only a few growing seasons, a virulent leaf disease devastated all the plants on his whole plantation- with the exception of the “ugly little shrub” which, he had learned was the equally coveted tea plant.

Soon, the perilously steep mountainside of the Hill Country was carpeted with the vibrant green of tea bushes, and the first Ceylon teas were born.

Today, luckily, you don’t have to go through fire and rain like Mr. Taylor just to get a good cup of Ceylon… just go right here!