For over a century Ceylon (Sri Lanka) has been recognized the world over for producing the finest tea with refined taste, superior flavour and unmatched aroma. A.F.Jones (Exporters) Ceylon Ltd a fully owned Subsidiary of The Capital Maharaja Organisation Ltd one of Sri Lanka's largest privately owned group of companies have been part of this rich tea tradition since 1912.
In keeping with tradition, our expert and highly skilled team of tea testers cater to the diverse tastes of far flung markets around the world, achieving an international reputation for it's premium quality and taste. We presently cater to a wide spectrum of customers around the world and are in deed proud to count several reputed tea companies amongst our clientele. We have the capacity and the capability to supply tea in bulk, consumer sachets/packets and in double/single chamber tea bags.
We possess a centrally located warehouse/factory complex in Colombo equipped with mechanical blending, tea bagging facilities which permits us to handle any specific requirements of our customers.
The teas packed in our range of products are grown in the lush green highlands of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and are carefully selected and blended by our team of tea testers to suit the individual tastes of our customers.
History of Ceylon Tea
The beginning of the Tea Industry in Sri Lanka (then called Ceylon) is a classic story. The British conquered the last Kingdom of Kandy which had defied their rule in 1815 and unified the country under the British flag. Ceylon from the earliest times was geographically located in the center of the traditional trade routes between India, Cambodia, China and other parts of the Far East. In spite of the many natural resources the tiny island of Ceylon in the Indian ocean had to offer, the climatic conditions were considered ideal in the early days for cultivation of Coffee. Many young British pioneers arrived in Ceylon and planted coffee. The first highland coffee plantation was established in 1825. By 1845, there were around 25,000 acres cultivated in coffee. The area under cultivation doubled within a short span of time and by 1869 the coffee industry in Ceylon was booming. However, when the future of the coffee industry seemed assured disaster struck in the form of a fungus, which within a decade drastically reduced the quantities available for export.
However, prior to ills which befell the coffee industry, the cultivation of tea was introduced to Ceylon on an experimental basis. with 200 tea plants that was imported from India in 1841and planted in the hills of Nuwara Eliya. This experimental cultivation of tea continued for a long period of almost three decades when the British planter James Taylor proved that tea could be grown as an alternative crop to coffee in 1867 when he first established a commercially viable tea plantation at Loolecondera. Thus was born the tea industry of Ceylon.
During these early days, Loolecondera was the center of attraction. It wasn't long before James Taylor's neighbours, acquired the skills of cultivating tea from their friend and "guru" James Taylor and followed his example. Before long properties surrounding Loolecondera such as Hope,Rookwood and mooloya situated to the east of Loolecondera and Le Vallon and Stellenberg to the south were transformed into tea plantations and were amongst the first tea estates in the island.
By the year 1875, the cultivation of tea in the island was well established and a commercial success. Although the pioneer Ceylon planters had much to learn, they proceeded with undiminished enthusiasm and determination to become part of a rapidly expanding industry which helped them to recover earlier losses.
The Mercantile sector in Ceylon commenced in the 1840s with the success of the early coffee plantations. Pioneering names in the field of trade in Ceylon were Mackwood, George Stuart , Cargill, J.M.Robertson and Brodie, all members of the newly formed Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and was later joined by many others amongst whom was one of the most famous Sir Thomas Lipton, who brought a new dimension to the tea industry.
With the opening up of the plantation sector in Ceylon it required better facilities for its successful growth. Development of the road network was given priority at the time. The government undertook a massive program of road, rail and urban development in the plantation areas. The early cart roads carved out through thick vegetation were soon transformed into metalled roads and ultimately by the construction of the railway.
It has been over two centuries since the first tea plant was planted in Ceylon and the vast areas that are now cultivated in tea demonstrates the success story of this commodity in this tiny island. What started off as a substitute cultivation for coffee has now become the back bone of the countries economy in the modern era, earning over 60 billion rupees of revenue annually and employing over 15% of the countries population. Ceylon tea is at its best today.
A.F.Jones & Co was established in 1912 by Arthur Fredric Jones of Pyfordshire, a British gentleman. His two sons, Alan and Dennis soon joined the family business and continued the tea tradition. When the family left the island in the early 1960's they handed over the business to their hand picked and trained successors. Thus was born A.F. Jones (Exporters) Ceylon Ltd., in 1964 as it stands today, a fully owned subsidiary of The Capital Maharaja Organisation Ltd., one of largest and diversified groups of companies, comprising 35 subsidiaries. The activities of our Group includes, Food & Beverage, Communication, Consumer Products and Services. What started as a small family owned tea business in the early 19th century, has grown today, to stand as one of the leading exporters of renowned Ceylon tea to the world.
We the next generation are proud of continuing this rich tradition, offering the same exclusive service to our valued customers across the globe. Our expert and highly skilled team of tea tasters cater to the disparate tastes of far flung countries from Chile in South America to New Zealand in the South Pacific. Today, as a leading exporter in Sri Lanka (Ceylon) we offer our customers tea in bulk, consumer packets and Tea Bags. We design and develop packaging to suit individual needs of customers, whilst marketing our range of tea products under the famous 'Jones" Brand amongst others.
Click on the images for description
P.O. No.330, P.O Box 261,
Colombo 10, Sri Lanka.