Java Malabar Plantation Black Tea

Tea type
Black Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Astringent, Brown Toast, Cream, Earth, Herbs, Leather, Spices, Tobacco, Walnut, Wood
Sold in
Not available
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Courtney
Average preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 8 oz / 236 ml

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2 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Finally coming back to black tea after a stretch that saw me primarily drinking oolongs, I decided I needed to clean out some more of the black teas that had been in my keep for awhile. This...” Read full tasting note
    61
  • “This is from a swap with Courtney, a swap to expand a little my tea horizons. Because this is really not my type of cup of tea, but I find myself really interested in this type of tea. Not sure it...” Read full tasting note
    74

From Simpson & Vail

Tea plantations were established in Indonesia in the early seventeenth century, but did not begin to flourish until the 1800’s when the tea bushes grown from tea seeds from China were replaced with tea seeds from Assam. Indonesia is made up of thousands of islands with tea cultivation on Java, Sulawesi and Sumatra. The main tea producing island is Java with tea gardens located in the western mountainous region. Their perfect environment of high altitude, rich volcanic soil and nearness to rain forest preserves produces teas with characteristics of a high grown Ceylon.

The Malabar Tea Plantation is owned and operated by the state-owned company PT Perkebunan Nusantara in Malabar, West Java, Indonesia. The plantation, established in 1896, resides at approximately 4900 ft above sea level. The tropical climate and the volcanic soil found here make this an ideal place to grow tea.

The medium-brown leaves brew to a greenish-brown leaf, with a flowery aroma. The amber colored cup is medium-bodied, brisker tasting than a Ceylon, and has a flavorful infusion with a delightful oak cask aftertaste.

Brew tea at 212º – steep for 3 minutes.

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2 Tasting Notes

61
853 tasting notes

Finally coming back to black tea after a stretch that saw me primarily drinking oolongs, I decided I needed to clean out some more of the black teas that had been in my keep for awhile. This Indonesian black tea was the first one I came to, and since it had been kept under wraps at the back of my tea cabinet since somewhere around April, I decided to go with it. I made this decision because I’m not super familiar with Indonesian teas and wanted to try and review something that would be totally new to me.

I prepared this tea using a simple Western infusion. I steeped 1 teaspoon of loose tea leaves in 8 ounces of 212 F water for 3 minutes. I did not perform any additional infusions. To further put this tea’s capabilities to the test, I also performed 4 and 5 minute infusions, but they did not really differ all that much from the 3 minute infusion, so I will limit my review to the initial preparation.

In the glass, the infused liquor showed a dark amber. The nose was not all that strong, though I managed to detect slight aromas of wood, toast, cream, roasted nuts, and leather. In the mouth, the tea presented a rush of wood, brown toast, cream, black walnut, tobacco, leather, and slightly earthy, herbal, spicy notes. There was a slight astringency on the finish, as well as a lingering woody aftertaste with hints of spices, toast, and leather.

In my opinion, this is a decent little tea, nothing more and nothing less. Its greatest strength is its inherent drinkability. I found this to be one of those approachable black teas that I could drink quite a bit of in one go, which to me means that it is the sort of tea I would pick to unwind with in the afternoon, especially on days where I need a little bit of a pick-me-up to get through the rest of the day. I could also see it making a solid breakfast tea. Its greatest weakness, however, is its lack of depth and complexity. It’s hard not to notice that this tea is very simple-there’s just not a ton going on with it. That’s not necessarily a bad thing if you’re just looking for an easy rush of caffeine, but it’s most definitely not a good thing if you are looking for something interesting and challenging. In the end, this tea is a mixed bag. I would recommend it to casual drinkers or people looking for something easy to put away, but I would encourage those looking for something unique and flavorful to maybe look elsewhere.

Flavors: Astringent, Brown Toast, Cream, Earth, Herbs, Leather, Spices, Tobacco, Walnut, Wood

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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74
359 tasting notes

This is from a swap with Courtney, a swap to expand a little my tea horizons. Because this is really not my type of cup of tea, but I find myself really interested in this type of tea. Not sure it will be love or if they will overcome my beloved afternoon-type teas, but I am definitely intrigued.

This is presumably a black tea from Java. I never had indonesian tea before, so not sure what quite to expect. Maybe something Ceylon-ish? And somehow that was what I got, though a bit more delicate, flowery (and ok, thinner bodied) than I would expect of a Ceylon tea. It had that some copper-y (I can not think of any other way to describe it. Kind of metallic but not unpleasant?) feeling I associate with some ceylon teas. I think it had some wood (besides floral) notes, and a bit of tannin as well, which was not unpleasant. Sadly not quite as much body as I wanted of a first-thing-in-the-morning tea, but I can put this in afternoon service with please. Really interesting. Thanks Courtney!

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 45 sec

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