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  • Tea and Indonesia

    Tea has been part of the way of life in Indonesia for more than 200 years. The Dutch founded the tea trade in Indonesia in the 1700s. The industry went into decline after the 2nd World War. In 1984, Indonesia's tea industry was revived after decades of isolation. After much effort and investment, tea exports from Indonesia began to make their presence felt in the tea market. Since then, constant improvement and modernisation of tea production and replanting of old estates have continued to this day. Indonesian tea differs from other tea producing countries in respect to location, soil, and the climate where the tea estates are found. Teas there are planted in the highlands where volcanic soil and tropical climate are predominant. The main product is the black tea and about 80% of production is exported. Indonesian teas are light and flavourful and most are sold for blending purposes as this translates to excellent financial returns through foreign exchange for the country. In recent years it has even become possible to purchase Indonesian tea as a specialty tea. The Research Institute for Tea and Cinchona in Gambung, West Java, has a vital responsibility to increase tea production and to improve its quality. To-date, several clones have been invented that are more suitable to the soil, climate and for modern tea processing in Indonesia. Export quality tea is sold mainly through auction in Jakarta. The Joint Marketing Office or Kantor Pemasaran Bersama (KPB conducts the auction)

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