The first time that Josh and I got out of the Jakarta area was when we went to Bandung on Christmas. We’d just spent a morning trekking around a volcano when our driver suggested that we make a stop at the nearby tea plantation.
As tea lovers, Josh and I could hardly say no. Five minutes later, our vehicle came to a stop at the side of the road, and our driver gestured to the rolling hills of tea plants that stretched off on the left with the volcano in the background.
The experience didn’t quite meet my expectations. We walked around the rows of tea plants and took a few photos until a rather large spider scared me off and then we got back in the car.
Though seeing the tea in person was underwhelming, I often found myself praising Indonesian tea throughout the rest of my year in the country.
Despite the country’s heat, you don’t have to look far to find somebody sipping on a cup of hot teh or drinking from a bottle of teh botol. Where you’d expect to see children drinking soda, they are instead enjoying sweet tea. And one of the nicest parts about my regular in-school was that I was usually greeted with a mug of tea along with a small snack, in typical Indonesian fashion.
I was on board with Indonesian tea from my first trip to the supermarket, when Josh and I bought our mugs, which we would sip delicious jasmine tea from almost every morning for the next year.
After I spotted a Wonderland-themed tea parlor in a nearby neighborhood, I soon became a fan of the Lady Alice Tea Room’s strawberry hibiscus tea and made a point of going back several times for another pot of it.
With Indonesia’s heat, it’s hard not to enjoy an occasional ice lemon tea.
Soon after visiting Bandung’s tea plantation, Josh and I headed east to the chilly Dieng region of Java. We appreciated the hot tea that was waiting for us on a frigid morning as we prepared for a sunrise hike.
We spent much of our first trip to Yogyakarta at the Ministry of Coffee, where we appreciated not only coffee and cakes but also many pots of their tea.
And I found many opportunities to indulge in my favorite hot drink on my next holiday in Bali.
I had several pots of tea, including a wonderful afternoon tea, in the adorable cafe Kismet.
The view from this restaurant in Bali was beautiful, and I appreciated it even more since the buffet meant unlimited tea.
A visit to a coffee plantation in Bali introduced me to flavors of coffee that I never knew existed as well as all sorts of fruity teas.
When Josh and I found ourselves in Yogyakarta again, we visited a local music teacher who immediately seated us outside his house and poured us glasses of tea, which he made sure stayed full during our time there.
I spent months lamenting Indonesia’s lack of soft chocolate chip cookies until I discovered a Mrs. Fields cafe at a nearby mall that served up many delicious varieties of soft cookies as well as plenty of hot drinks.
These are just some of the many teas I happily sipped on during my time in Indonesia. I’d like to think that at least a few of them came from the same field that I visited all those months ago. And who knows, maybe some of these tea leaves have made it all the way to where you are!