Alas, that the answer cannot be different but the truth is this tea is indifferent at best. Java is home to fifty volcanoes, some well over six thousand feet high. Altitude combined with volcanic soil and tropical rainfall should surely yield better teas than the unastringent and distinctly plain produce of Java’s premier tea district, Goalpara. Indonesia’s black teas are used all but exclusively for blending, and teas distinctive enough to be “self-drinking” – that is, enjoyed for their own qualities without blending with other tea – are all but unknown.
Taloon is the garden said to produce Java’s best self-drinking Orthodox tea; on Sumatra, Bah Butong produces a darker, stronger cup. Neither compares with average quality Ceylon. More and more of Indonesia’s black tea is CTC and thankfully more and more of her total production is green tea for domestic consumption, mainly by Indonesia’s large Chinese minority.
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