Best time to visit Java

Tea Harvest in Java 2023-2024

Visit beautiful Indonesian tea plantations where tea leaves are picked by hand

Best time: all year round

Tea Harvest
Tea Harvest
Tea Harvest
Tea Harvest

Indonesia currently occupies the seventh place in the list of the world's largest tea producers. Its major tea growing areas are Central and West Java, as well as North Sumatra. Due to massive palm oil production, tea growing, which is less profitable, has somewhat declined in recent years. However, tea is still one of the main crops of Indonesia.

Tea production started in Indonesia under Dutch colonial rule. Black tea is the most widespread type of tea in Indonesia. To learn more about this crop, you can visit biggest tea plantations of Indonesia—Gibuna, Taloon, Santosa, and Malabar.

Gunung Mas is the closest big tea plantation to Jakarta. It's located 90 kilometers south of the capital. The Gunung Mas tea plantation was founded in the Dutch colonial era and now is owned by the state. The plantation covers the area of about 2500 ha. You can observe tea-pickers as well as drying, processing and packaging of the tea with the help of antique machinery. Local tea is exported all over the world, and to such brands as Twinings and Pickwick.

Tea is harvested in Indonesia all year round as the volcanic soils are fertile and the air is always warm. Some people consider the dry season a better time to visit tea farms, though.

Practical info

When is the best time to visit Java's tea plantations?

The best time to visit tea plantations in Java is during the dry season, which ranges from May to October. During this season, there is less rainfall and it's more convenient to observe tea pickers in action. However, tea harvesting takes place all-year-round in Indonesia, thanks to the fertile volcanic soil and warm climate. Show more

Where can I find the biggest tea plantations in Indonesia?

Central and West Java have the biggest tea plantations in Indonesia. The state-owned Gunung Mas is the closest big plantation to Jakarta, located 90 kilometers south of the city. Other major tea-growing regions include Java and North Sumatra. Notable plantations in Central and West Java include Gibuna, Taloon, Santosa, Malabar, and Gunung Mas. Show more

What types of tea are most commonly grown in Indonesia?

Black tea is the most commonly grown tea in Indonesia. The tea industry adopted CTC processing, a method that produces small, compact tea pellets that brew quickly and are resistant to long shipping periods. Other popular teas include green tea, oolong tea, and jasmine tea. Indonesia exports its tea all over the world, including to brands like Twinings and Pickwick. Show more

How long has tea production been a part of Indonesian agriculture?

Indonesia began producing tea during Dutch colonial rule in the early 1800s. Tea plantations were established in Java to rival China's tea industry, which was disrupted by wars. Since then, tea production has grown significantly, thanks to fertile soil and a favorable microclimate. The industry has provided employment opportunities and contributed to the country's economy. Show more

Are there any unique techniques or traditions involved in Indonesian tea harvesting?

Indonesian tea harvesters still follow the tradition of hand-plucking tea leaves instead of using machines. This ensures that only the best leaves are selected and minimizes the number of damaged or broken leaves. Indonesian tea farmers also used to practice the unique tradition of producing high-quality white tea by plucking only the topmost leaves and buds of the tea plant. Nowadays, white tea is rare and expensive. Show more

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