Funnily (Oddly? Strangely?...not sure of right word) Indonesian Tea takes a bit of a back seat to the coffee coming from these islands. While we all know the coffee is excellent, the tea grown here is also some of the best in the world. What are peoples perceptions of tea from here?
For me a recent experience reinforces the negatives impressions of Indonesian Tea (and coffee) within this country. Visiting a premier Hotel in Jakarta the GM and FandB Director were chatting to me about local coffee and tea. While they agreed the coffee (ahem...our coffee) was excellent, they said that the tea from Indonesia was poor...compared to the tea from LONDON! It brought back memories of my early days talking with Indonesians who insisted coffee grown in ITALY was far superior to that grown in Java. London has, for hundreds of years, been a major trading port for tea but not ever a place where tea has ever been grown (although perhaps in the Botanical Gardens Glasshouses???). Anyway Indonesia has some award winning tea- including some Java Blacks, and of course the Oolongs and Orange Pekoe from Java. Education... it is key.
in regards to education i couldnt agree with you more...tea from london??? but u must say that the tea grown i indonesia, although called black, oolong, ect., is actually camellia assamica a bit of an offshoot from whats concidered the true tea plant camellia sinensis, assamica is a variety grown in hotter regions, so a true purist would consider it innately worthy of the back seat
aside from that, indonesians do seam to sel themselves short a bit when being compared to western cultures, i really wish they would they would embrace the richness of thier culture in a broader scale and the western world off its pedestal
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