Indonesian Teas

During the time of globalization tea was introduced to many new countries as a viable crop, including Indonesia. Originally introduced as an ornamental crop in the 17th century but was planted as a commercial crop in what is now known as Bogor Botanical Garden in 1824. Soon after tea was planted in several other plantations and quickly became a staple of the Indonesia economy and diet. The government supported the planting and harvesting of tea and even developed a government plantation to satisfy the global demand for their tea. Over time Indonesia developed a healthy industry and a strong domestic demand for lower grade teas. Higher grade teas were exclusively exported for brands such as Twinings. In recent history the global tea market has become extremely competitive and has made it difficult for Indonesia farms to expand. Commodity tea production continues to happen in Indonesia, but has steadily declined over time. Most recently, enterprising tea planters from Taiwan have revisited Indonesia as a tea growing opportunity, bringing in Taiwanese varietals and processing techniques. The majority of tea production in Indonesia is still commodity, but more and more high quality is entering the global market and building a strong name for Indonesian tea.