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Tea and EmpireJames Taylor in Victorian Ceylon$
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Angela McCarthy and T. M. Devine

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781526119056

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526119056.001.0001

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The rise and fall of ‘King Coffee’

The rise and fall of ‘King Coffee’

(p.32) 2 The rise and fall of ‘King Coffee’
Tea and Empire

Angela McCarthy

T.M. Devine

Manchester University Press

James Taylor’s eventual fame undeniably came from his achievements as a tea planter. Yet, for several years, cultivating coffee, the main enterprise in Ceylon during his early years on the island, was his prime responsibility. The first sections of this chapter describe the broad context of the coffee industry, before focusing on Taylor’s role within it. Our analysis includes the importance of the West Indian connection, Ceylon’s plantation labour force (both Tamil and Sinhalese), the devastating coffee leaf disease, and innovations in manuring, pruning, and engineering and surveying.

Keywords:   Coffee, Tamil labour supply, Sinhalese workforce, Plantations, Loolecondera, Climate, Coffee leaf disease, Manure, Pruning, Engineering and surveying

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