15 Incredible Facts of Indonesian Tea
Tea is one of the world’s most consumed beverages. It is thought to have come from China where tea has been consumed for thousands of years. Around the 16th century, when the Portuguese expanded their power, this beverage was imported into Europe and soon became popular so the Portuguese and the Dutch later decided to set up large-scale tea plantations in their tropical colonies.
Indonesia becomes one of the biggest tea producers in the word. Indonesian tea even becomes more popular in the world. Here are the 15 Facts of Indonesian Tea.
- Indonesia is at the 7th position of largest tea producer in the world
West Java is the largest tea producer in Indonesia around 70% and planted in highland and wet. More than 50% of tea production in Indonesia is exported abroad but Indonesia also imports tea from outside. In 2015 Indonesia produces about 129 thousand tons of tea and makes Indonesia the 7th largest tea producing country in the world.
- Indonesia produces at least 150 thousand tons tea per year
Total tea production in Indonesia reaches 150 thousand tons per year. As much as 80 percent of Indonesian tea products are exported to Germany, the Netherlands, Iraq, Moscow, Japan, Autralia, etc. Most of the exported tea is black tea and green tea. This makes tea production in Indonesia a source of Indonesia’s GDP.
- Indonesian white tea is expensive
The most expensive tea in the world is white tea. Indonesian white tea has also been exported to Japan. White tea prices many times compared to other teas. The price is expensive because the process is difficult and only use the tip of the tip. Although the demand for this white tea is not much (just about 1,000 tons), it is considered as the best seller white tea in the world.
- Black tea is the most popular Indonesian tea in the world
Black tea or black tea is one type of tea is much preferred by people in the world. Black tea is often also referred to as red tea is a type of tea is quite popular in Indonesia and abroad. This black tea comes from a plant called Camelia sinensis. The content of caffeine found in black tea is quite high.
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- Tea is one of export commodities Indonesia
Almost half of Indonesia’s tea production is exported abroad. Its main export markets are Russia, Britain and Pakistan. Indonesia’s exported tea comes primarily from state-owned and private plantations (typically high-quality or premium tea), while the majority of small farmers are more oriented to the domestic market (because the resulting tea is of lower quality and hence have a cheaper sale price).
- Most of Tea farmers in Indonesia are not able to optimize the production
Compared to other major tea-producing countries, Indonesia’s production (per hectare) is low. It is because most of small tea farmers lack financial ability and expertise to optimize production, while most of Indonesian tea is grown from seed rather than from tea leaf.
- The tea plantation starts to be replaced by palm oil production
Because of the lucrative business prospects of palm oil, tea production has declined in recent years as some tea plantations have been converted into oil palm plantations, while other tea plantations have stopped production to produce more profitable vegetables or other agricultural products. Despite the decrease in land area, the amount of tea production remains relatively stable. This indicates that the remaining tea plantations are becoming more productive.
- The largest tea plantation in the world is in Kayu Aro
The largest tea plantation in the world is found in Indonesia, which is in Kayu Aro, Kayu Aro Subdistrict, Kerinci Regency, Jambi Province, about 452 km west of Jambi City. The location is precisely at the south of Mount Kerinci, the highest mountain in Sumatra (3,805 meters above sea level). Kajoe Aro tea plantation was opened since 1925 AD.
- Kajoe Aro Tea from Indonesia is favorite tea for British Queen Elizabeth II
All types of Kajoe Aro are recognized by its connoisseurs, as tea with the finest flavors in the world. That’s why the British Queen Elizabeth II is still faithfully enjoying Kajoe Aro Tea every day. In fact, 80 percent of the nearly six million kilograms of dry tea production per year produced by PTPN VI, is exported to the UK. The rest, exported to a number of countries in Europe, the Middle East, and within the country.
- Indonesian tea consumption is on the 40th position of the world
Indonesia is the 7th largest tea producing country in the world, but unfortunately, Indonesian tea consumption is quite low which is ranked 40th in the world. It was revealed by Tea Connoisseur or tea expert. This fact is very unfortunate considering the tea has been in the country since 200 years ago. Indonesia itself also has the best variety of tea in the world, one of which is jasmine tea.
- All Indonesian tea comes from one plant
White, green, or black tea actually comes from one plant, the Camellia sinesis. What is different is the period of tea leaves, adapted to the desired type of tea. White, green, or black tea depends on how long the tea leaves are processed and oxidized.
- The second most popular drink in the world
Tea is the second most popular type of drink consumed by the world’s population. The first popular drink is water. It even beats coffee for popularity affairs. Although in Indonesia tea consumption is still low, but tea is still known in the world.
- Tea plant of Indonesia was planted in 1684 for the first time
The tea plant first entered Indonesia in 1684, in the form of tea seed from Japan brought by a German named Andreas Cleyer, and planted as an ornamental plant in Jakarta. In 1694, a minister named F. Valentijn said that he had seen a young Chinese tea shrub growing up in the Governor-General’s Garden Camphuys Palace in Jakarta.
- Tea is not a native plant from Indonesia
Although Indonesia is the largest producer of tea, tea is not native to Indonesia. The tea plant was first introduced in Indonesia in 1686 by Dr. Andreas Cleyer as an ornamental plant. In 1728 the Dutch East Indies government brought tea seeds in the form of grains in large numbers because interested to cultivate it on the island of Java. Unfortunately, the attempt was unsuccessful.
- Have the highest level of catechins
Tea Indonesia is known for having the highest levels of catechins (natural antioxidants) in the world. Most Indonesian tea production is black tea, followed by green tea. Similar to other commodities, Indonesia relies on export of primary (upstream) tea products. The underdevelopment of Indonesia’s downstream tea industry reduces the competitiveness of Indonesia’s tea industry in the international market. Exports of downstream tea products contribute only to about 6% of total tea exports.
Those are the facts of Indonesian tea. The tea from Indonesia is popular in the world. Some people that come to Indonesia often bring Indonesian tea to their hometown.