Business Times

Lankan tea veteran trains Turks in tea-tasting

By Bernie Wijesekera

A Sri Lankan tea expert successfully imparted knowledge in tea tasting among a batch of 50 young men and women in Turkey. Bryan Baptist, with over 40 years experience as a Sri Lankan tea taster cum manufacturing consultant, has completed his new assignment in Turkey in the art of tea tasting with the assistance of Vahab Afereidun, Managing Director of Sun Tea (Pvt) Ltd who helped him in translation.

Mr Baptist told the Business Times that the Turkey student level of knowledge and assimilation was around 85% to 95%, after the completion of training. These students have been able to distinguish between teas of good quality and poor teas in respect of dry leaf, infusion, cup colour, strength, brightness, and quality.

They were taught to identify teas from other producer countries by leaf appearance and taste. He noted that these students grasped the methods of tea blending quickly.
They were also provided with an opportunity to gain knowledge on how to conduct tea auctions. Mock tea auctions were held with the participation of students.

Commenting on the teas produced in Turkey, he said he is confident that a few adjustments in processing and manufacture could result in a better end product. Mr Baptist has worked for six tea broking companies, five in Sri Lanka and one in Bangladesh. His longest stints were with Bartleets as Joint Managing Director (22 years) and John Keells, where he started his career, for almost 10 years.

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