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'.
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.
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.