Rabu, 09 Januari 2008

Tea Time! (Wonosari)

ah, so cool!

this is the first time i return to Kebun Teh Wonosari, Lawang, Malang regency, after about a decade ago! This very first tea plantation in East Java is located about 1,200 m above sea levels in the slope side of Mt Arjuna.

i went there with Pi and the day was almost over. before, we stopped by Pak Slamet's. Pi had a nice trick he repeated. the guard was just amiable, then. so, he opened the gate.

It was a small yet beautiful house. the front terrace was full of blooming flowers. They let us in. Ah I remember this mister. he din change an inch, perhaps only his thinning grey hair. And imagine, he used to walk down the hill to LBTC like weekly to attend the very long sermon. How faithful he was (and still is).

The boy Elisa has grown up (i remembered his red shiny mini plastic ankle boots). His sister was not around. there was his ma. her cheeks still looked tight as drums and were rosy. She always smiled as she always did. I guess that's the wonder of tea has done for her. it was a nice surprise to know that Elisa was going to go to Germany as exchange student. I saw his pa's face beaming. he must be very very proud of him. (we could have changed numbers, no? Sem pls remember next time).

his wife served us warm black tea accompanied with oily kucur (remember a boy that sold this kind of dessert. "kucur...kucur..." he called everyone's attention. I felt sorry for him but he must have been a fighter.) i think the dutch brought this custom of tea drinking in the afternoon here. but i think people serve drinks to guests regardless the hour.

i passed the chance to take pictures of them. i regret! anyway it was good to know they lived well and their simplicity was amazing. I guess they have faith like those of children.

the rain has just stopped and we cruised about for a while, sniffing the fresh air. it had a slight tea smell. cool, eh? and we did some tea walking. and i searched the blooms, but found none. i remmebr tea blossoms are quite like those of ornamental camelia. the older version--which i visited years ago with Kak Harry and Charisma--offered more difficult tracks compared to the newly paved walks.

i learnt that the century old plantation is now quite managed. there are good enough facilities for travelers: hotel, mini zoo, small dept store, etc. you can also do factory visit. i learnt 95% of the products are exported abroad and the remaining lower grades are sold for local consumption. so i was happy to buy some premium tea, export grade tea.

it is 15 minutes drive from Lawang and visitors are expected to contribute Rp 3,500 for the ticket. it is relatively pollution-free compared to Puncak. great place for long weekend.


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