(Left: Teh Botol, too sweet; Right: Pokka green tea, tasteless)
We were loitering in a shopping mall when we saw a Chinese tea shop called Teh 63, so we checked it out. The store carries quite an extensive line of tea accessories but only a few types of Taiwanese oolongs (Gao Shan, Dong Ting and Li Shan) and Jawa oolongs. The saleswomen were very friendly and polite, more than willing to let us try every tea, and they know how to brew gongfu style too!While I thought their Taiwanese oolongs were so-so, the Jawa oolong was actually quite interesting! It’s got round, full body and smooth mouthfeel with plenty of caramel, burnt sugar, deep floral, soft roast/smoky, and nutty aromas. Though it’s a green oolong, its vegetal taste is subtle and does not dominate.
The lady who brewed the tea for us said that this Jawa oolong came from tea farms around Bogor, harvested from 5-year old bushes that were grown from Taiwanese seeds. Apparently, Teh 63 owns and manages the tea farms for their Jawa oolong. She also said that their Jawa oolong is slightly more astringent than its Taiwanese counterpart, but I didn’t notice that somehow.
Anyway, after liking the Jawa oolong in the store, I decided to get 100gr first. We drank this tea almost every morning with breakfast at my parents’ home. I grew fond of it. Before we left Jakarta, I bought another 800gr, 200gr of which is mixed with jasmine petals. They’d make nice everyday tea. In Los Angeles, I was able to brew it with better artesian water than the sub par filtered water in Jakarta. As a result, the tea came out noticeably smoother and lighter.
Maybe I like it because it reminds me of “home”…a nice cup of tea grown near my hometown. Nostalgia. A classic example of enjoyment through association? Maybe.