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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Photo “Java Tea | Misai Kucing” is copyright under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License to the photographer Wizan Zaini and is being posted unaltered (source)
Anyone please kindly advise which company in Indonesia does supply Bahbutong Tea. I have tried to contact most companies there but they seem not to speak English. Anyone has ever trade with the indonesian trader please kindly recommend me.
It’s my understanding that this report is now out of date, that some great tea is coming out of Indonesia. I’ve drank it; that’s not based on hearsay. Producers like Toba Wangi and Harendong have been making very good tea for years (just maybe not back in 2009, when this was written). Bangkit Wangi teas might be a bit more mass-produced and standard market oriented but I’ve tried good orthodox tea from them as well. Main plantations I experienced as described in a visit there about four years back; teas were ordinary.