Good morning, dear tea friends! With my tea choice this morning, I’m traveling to the island of Java, the largest in the string of volcanic islands that make up the Southeast Asian nation of Indonesia.
This tea was grown on the Malabar Tea Estate, located in West Java, near Mount Malabar, a stratovolcano built up from many layers of lava, pumice and volcanic ash.
This tea estate has been in existence for over 100 years. The well-known and beloved planter and philanthropist, Karel Albert Rudolf Bosscha, managed the estate for many years until his death in 1928. Sometimes called KAR Bosscha, he traveled to the Netherlands Indies in 1887, working at various jobs such as gold exploration and mining before he took on the management of Malabar in 1896. The son of a Dutch physicist, he carried on his family’s science interest by developing an astronomical observatory as well as a Cancer Center in the nearby city of Bandung. A lot of interesting history there.
I steeped the leaves for 4 minutes in boiling point (212F) water.
As I removed the infuser from my glass teapot, I detected a strong aroma of peppery spice and aromatic wood wafting up from the very dark tea liquor.
My first sip had a caramel-like sweetness, very smooth, which wrapped around the spicy, woody notes. The liquor is quite robust with an interesting flavor that draws you in like a magic spell. It’s the kind of tea that intrigues your palate with its aromatic spicy darkness. My first cuppa went very quickly!
If you’ve never tried an Indonesian tea before, I encourage you to give this selection a try. It’s definitely hearty enough for milk and sweetener.
My day will be spent wrapping tiny knitted things, preparing for my daughter’s baby shower tomorrow. Yes, I’m so excited to share that I’m going to be a grandma again! Life is truly filled with many blessings.
If one feels the need of something grand, something infinite, something that makes one feel aware of God, one need not go far to find it. I think that I see something deeper, more infinite, more eternal than the ocean in the expression of the eyes of a little baby when it wakes in the morning and coos or laughs because it sees the sun shining on its cradle.
~Vincent Van Gogh
Thanks for reminding me about this most distinctive tea!
It’s gutsy enough to fit in nicely with my steady diet of hearty Assams and low country Ceylons but (having already proven I have a coffee drinker’s tea palate) I will say that what it reminds me of most is a great Estate Java coffee. They too, at their infrequent best, have a black peppery spice combined with a luscious caramel smoothness – suggesting that the Javanese “taste of place” or terroir is so distinctive that it can imprint intself equally on both coffee and tea. This particular tea is certainly the most amazing Indonesian offering I’ve ever tasted. Thank you for telling its story!
Hi Kevin, you’re very welcome and thank YOU so much for your great comment! I’ve never had Java coffee before but am now very intrigued to try it. How amazing that the terroir can imprint on both tea and coffee. Be well, Karen