"Every area in the country produces tea variants with different characters," said Wongso in between the 2019 Indonesia Tea Brewing Championship held in Jakarta, Thursday. The same type of tea leaf can generate multiple different taste profiles, depending on the way it was brewed, down to the temperature of the water, he explained.
Unfortunately, literature about Indonesian tea is limited compared to that of coffee. The people have also yet to be familiarized with special tea variants that have gone through certain standards and come out as top quality products, he added.
Wongso, who acted as a judge in the tea brewing competition held by Association of Indonesian Specialty Tea (AISTea), believed that the event can help educate consumers about the diverse tea types in Indonesia.
"When it comes to tea, we still need more education," he said.
The 2019 Indonesia Tea Brewing Championship was attended by 24 participants who had to brew classical teas of 12 specialties from Indonesian plantations, including Harendong (Organic Sinensis Black Tea and Sinedis Rolled Oolong), Tobawangi (Imperial black tea and Loose Oolong Tea).
There was also the Bukitsari (organic OP Black Tea and Silver Needle) tea, Liki (Red Tea and Silver Tip White Tea), Chakra (Leafy Grade Orthodox Black Tea and Indonesian Sencha), and Pasircanar (Silver Needle Red Tea and Yellow Tea).
The competition was aimed at promoting specialty teas from Indonesian plantations, AISTea's PR representative, Ratna Somantri, said.
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