“Craft Teas that Refresh your Spirit.”
Lushantha was born and raised in the world of tea. As a toddler he took his first steps on the vast lawn of the Rosita bungalow on Stonycliff estate in the famed Dimbula valley. When he was eight years he would follow his father around the plantation and the tea factory, absorbing the intricate details of growing and manufacturing the quality orthodox, handcrafted teas that make Pure Ceylon Tea prized worldwide.
At fourteen, Lushantha was smitten by a new love: rowing. He then spent more time on the waters of the Beira lake in Colombo than in tea country. Rowing for his college in one of the oldest recorded Intercollegiate Regattas, he earned a place on the Colombo Rowing Club team for the Madras – Colombo Regatta which is one of the oldest boat races in the world.
As the third generation in tea, Lushantha realised that the future challenge for Ceylon Tea would be to compete in world markets rather than produce tea. Hence he joined a tea company as a trainee tea trader and learnt the secrets of buying good tea. His career in tea trading was made easier by his skills as a rower because the top echelons of the tea trade were all members of the Colombo Rowing Club. While this network helped him to rise rapidly in the tea trade, equally important were the management lessons he learnt in rowing.
‘I earned my MBA on the waters of the Beira Lake,’ says Lushantha. Rowing is a sport that depends on high performance teamwork and teaches you to stay in the moment. Not looking back, or too far ahead.
After 10 years as a Tea Trader, Lushantha founded Empire Teas (Pvt) Ltd. in 2000. A few years of impressive growth and the company attracted investment from Food Empire Holdings, Singapore.