Tuesday, May 18, 2010

It's BOH time at Bukit Cheeding !

The tea we love - BOH ada UMMPH!

An invitation from Mrs. Joan Russell, of the BOH Plantations Sdn Bhd, to the MCG (Malaysian Culture Group) members to visit Bukit Cheeding Plantation was just too super an outing to miss.

Not only was it to be among the rolling hills of the tea garden, we had a guided tour of the Bukit Cheeding tea factory, savoured her wonderful lush garden and colonial bungalow which sits atop a hill overlooking the tea plantation.

In 1929, BOH started in Cameron Highlands. Equipped with only a single steamroller, some labourers and several mules, John Archibald Russell and his partner A.B. Milne,veteran tea planter from Ceylon, having obtained a land concession, tackled the virgin jungles of Cameron Highlands, 5000 feet above sea level. Thus began the first highland tea garden in then Malaya. To this day, BOH is your daily cuppa - for most of us, myself included!

Bukit Cheeding is a lowland tea garden, on the way to Banting, Selangor. It is one of the tea plantations owned by BOH Plantations Sdn Bhd, the others being BOH, Sungai Palas, Fairlie in Cameron Highlands. Collectively they cover a total of 1200 hectacres. Unlike the other tea gardens, Bukit Cheeding is a palm oil estate underplanted with tea. This is to protect the tea from the sun.

BOH dominates the domestic retail market and it is one of the few vertically integrated companies in the world. The Company is involved in the entire spectrum of tea manufacturing. From the tea cultivated, it processes the tea to the final stages of packaging and marketing. It is at the Bukit Cheeding facility that BOH packs all its tea.

As a child, I've known BOH though if any tea I had, it was Chinese tea. The morning spent at Bukit Cheeding was exceedingly super. I couldn't help feeling proud that BOH is a Malaysian brand. To think BOH and Ummph are synonymous - the latter as we know meaning ' strength, robust'. Yay! have a cuppa and indulge in the excellent pick-me- up or 'kick' quality of BOH!

We were certainly rejuvenated. 'BOH puts the UMMPH! in Life'.

Tea leaves from the plantations being crushed - a green carpet indeed!

After fermentation

The tea leaves are slowly being sorted. The vibrating sieves sort according to size.

The different grades of tea - high to low

Our guide who patiently answered the many questions. The larger the leaf, the better and more expensive the tea.

The steel behind the the tea we drink!! The main processing steps for tea - plucking, withering, rolling, fermenting, drying, sorting and packaging.

Bags piled skyhigh - of tea leaves from different countries for blending, of which the content is mainly BOH.

Stringent quality is always maintained.
BOH tea is exported to USA, parts of Europe, UAE, Japan, Singapore and Brunei .

Hey! what does your nose tell you?

Tasting demo by students - gulp some , swirl them in the mouth, then spit into the basin. Lastly record your findings.

Chief tea taster - a great skill which takes many years of experience. Consistency is crucial. Tea tasting is like wine tasting - look for colour, brightness, aroma etc.

My favourite : Cameronian Gold Blend. BOH is Malaysia's largest producer of premium black teas.

Ooohs and aahhs greeted this lovely house, downstairs and upstairs. The ambience was just so serene amidst the rolling hills of the tea plantation.

A grand setting ready to greet us!

How does one eat all these? Even a butterfly wanted a wee, wee taste!! (on the carrot salad)

The garden which is so attractive and huge

Palm oil trees amid the tea plantation

Lovely setting in the lounge downstairs.

Our president, Elise with Joan Russell (facing camera) after lunch. It was such a wonderful outing - yes, it was time to say goodbye . But not without a lovely gift bag of BOH: Cameronian Gold Blend, gourmet garden teas, the Seri Songket range, iced tea etc for us to drink in the comfort of our home. Thank you, Joan.


  1. That Gold Blend is hubby's fav of all for sure. I only know of the plantation in Cameron, so this is new to me but I love it anyway. Good to know you all had a superb fun! Happy week ahead.

  2. I've been to BOH factory in Cameron more than 18 yrs ago...hahaha...because I have bad motion sickness , the winding road going up to Cameron made me very sick the last time we went with my 2 kids , I threw up few times and was in a daze when we finally reached Heritage hotel.

  3. What a wonderful experience this is! Last I was at Cameron Highlands and drove around the tea plantation was more than 10 yrs ago. The rolling hills are such a refreshing sight!

  4. What an educational visit I've just had with you! Lovely narration and pics, Keats! I love my tea, too. We had an MNS Selangor Branch Members' Day up at Boh Tea Plantations a few years ago. It was freezing cold but glorious. We climbed Gunung Cantek and pretended to be Hindi film extras among the tea plants.

  5. Oh what a truly lovely day. The banquet that awaited you didn't look like "ta-pau"s :)

    I still can't believe that tea can be planted in the Banting area. The variety you showed was amazing. And I see some familiar faces too, made me wish I was there.

  6. Thanks for sharing
    its very interesting !!!!
    I am a coffee lover
    but I drink also tea hehe....

    Hugs from Kareltje =^.^=

  7. Very interesting tour. Nice to see how tea is made. I visited the tea factory in Cameron Highlands so many many years ago (ie. during my teenage time)

  8. Hi
    M.Kate,BOH and Cameron H'lands are synonymous. How can one go to Cameron H'lands without visiting BOH?? I was there in 2003 and we enjoyed ourselves v.much. Bukit Cheeding is another lovely place.

    A Full-Timed Housefly, I know what you mean about winding roads and motion sickness. Roads
    are much better now. So do visit again for an exhilarating time!

    petite nyonya,I love the rolling hills of tea. makes me want to roll and roll and... hopefully, land on my 2 feet!!

    ~Covert_Operations'78~, thanks so much! now we know where to get the extras for a local movie!! I was up the lookout point at the BOH plantation . It was fabulous looking down. I started singing, 'The hills are alive with he sound of music...' throwing my arms Julie Andrews' style!!

    Ocean Girl, that was really a banquet. We had to 'ta pau' as try as we could, we were full up to the nose!!! BOH has found a good place to plant tea at Cheeding tho we associate tea planting with cooler climes.

    Anya, should I visit a coffee plantation, I will defnitely write about it too :)have a good day!

    alicesg, we're just neighbours:)so do hop over again and enjoy Cameron H'lands once more. There's many more attractions.

  9. I just love reading about your adventures and experiences. I hope that one day I too can see all these places! Your life is so exciting!

  10. What a beautiful and educational tour! The grounds are superb and the house is gorgeous! What a lovely tablesetting and the food, wow! I can smell the delicious tea....mmmmmm!....Christine

  11. Wow, what an interesting post. I loved seeing all the pictures of how the tea is made.

  12. Hi
    Amanda Krzywonski,thanks! I'm glad to share and our world becomes smaller:))Do tell us about your own adventures. I'd love to hear about them too.Take care.

    xinex, thanks for coming by. we were delighted to be guests of Mrs Joan Russell - great hospitality.

    Rena, thanks! we had a great time at Bukit(Malay for'hill') Cheeding.

  13. Oh how I would love, simply love, to do something like this. I adore tea, my personal favourites being Chinese tea and Green Jasmine tea. It is so pallet refreshing, so soothing...it must have been so wonderful at the tea factory, the smells and sounds and sights must have been utterly brilliant :)

  14. Just tea for two
    And two for tea..

    Thankz Keats, think BOH oversold Cameron Highlands didnt know about Bukit Cheeding until today. tQ for the *ummphy* tour and pixs.

  15. I once went for a field trip to BOH's in Cameron Highlands. Your post brought back those memories - thanks.

    Have a nice day, Keats!

  16. HI
    Sam Lui,I am a tea person myself but there is no addiction to it!! Bukit Cheeeding was wonderful tho it does not have the cool of Cameron H'lands. With climate change, it is still cool but not as before.

    Bananaz,Thanks! Cameron H'lands has lots of attractions and BOH is one of them. I know of other organisations that have visited Bukit Cheeding but am not aware of private groups visiting. Perhaps if you are interested, a letter to them will surely get a visit there too. Granted, Cheeding is not mentioned in the same breath as BOH Camerons.

    Veronica Lee,a visit to Camerons inevitably includes BOH! That's how well -known and popular it is. Thanks, and have a nice day yourself!

  17. What an amazing tour! next time I dunk my tea bag I shall have to give it a little more thought:) great pics too!

  18. Hi
    ModernMom, thanks for coming by. Yes, drink tea and perhaps indulge in a little creativi -tea !! that's what it says on my mug!!

  19. Tks 4 sharing. Did not know of this estate. Will drop by one day. I'm a tea man in and out and I go for Marks & Spenser's "fair trade" black English Tea. Blog on. Interesting information and write up.

  20. Hi
    Thomas C B Chua, thanks for dropping in from Kedah. And for reading 4 posts of mine in one go! I'm also a tea drinker but am not fussy.

  21. Very interesting, I had visited one tea unit in Ooty long back. You have taken lovely shots and that made the post more interesting. I too love tea. :)

  22. Thank you, I have learned a lot!!

  23. Thank you for taking us on tour with you -such an interesting process!

  24. Hi
    Indrani, thanks! my husband has visited Ooty too many years ago.I remember the chai wallahs on the train when I was in Chenai.

    Laura in Paris,thanks for coming by.

    jeannette, thanks!do come by again.

  25. Thank you for connecting with me and commenting on my blog. It brought me here, which is so interesting. I like tea (I also drink coffee), but tea is more soothing. How fun to watch the process. And, what an interesting place to be.

  26. Excursions like this are so interesting, as we learn so much about things we take for granted.
    Thank you so much for your kind visit and a lovely comment.
    I hope you are having a lovely weekend,

  27. Hi
    Mary Aalgaard, glad to see you here too! we had a wonderful time from start to finish. Mrs Joan Russell even offered her swimming pool for us to enjoy.

    Zuzana, thanks for dropping in too. I remember school excursions which got us excited . This one 's for adults who still want to learn and fun! Have just returned from a classical concert by the MPO(Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra). The programme was a tribute to Schumann's 200th Anniversary. GREAT!

  28. That looks like a fun tour. We have Celestial Seasonings here in Boulder that is a pretty neat. Maybe those people even supply some of the plants for their tea mixes! We love the peppermint room the best.

  29. Educational!! I visited the Sg Palas plantation early this year... Thx for sharing.

  30. Hi
    Rosey, It'd be good to know if BOH has come there! Thanks for your comment . have a good sunshiny day!

    AJ7,thanks teacher!! I'm glad you visited the Sg Palas plantation . Drink more tea:)


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