Hello tea lovers, it’s independence month! Since August marks as a victorious month for Indonesia, this month we think it would be fitting to have a discussion closer to home. What makes our country so special? You might think of the diversity and rich culture this country has. Aside from that, did you know Indonesia is also filled with tea-drinking traditions? Ever since tea cultivation first began in Indonesia around 1648 during the Dutch colonial times, tea has been a big part of Indonesians’ routines. Here are some of the most significant tea traditions from different parts of the country!
1. ‘Jayengan’ tradition from Solo
The reason behind this tradition is quite simple. The people in Solo believe that just one tea can’t have all the good qualities they’re looking for. So, it is common to see people mixing different kinds and brands of tea, just to find the perfect brew. This tradition can still be seen in cafes or teashops if you drop by Solo for a visit.
Photo by Asedinodotcom
Photo by Kumparandotcom
2. ‘Moci’ tradition from Java
‘Moci’ actually comes from the word ‘teh poci’. Just like its name, tea from pots are poured into smaller cups and shared. Rock sugar is added instead of fine sugar. But what makes this tradition unique is the tea-drinker is not allowed to stir! While stirring surely makes the sugar dissolve faster, according to tradition, not stirring the tea symbolizes life, which may feel bitter now, but will be sweeter in the end. So if you happen to participate in this ritual, be patient and refrain from stirring!
3. ‘Nyaneut’, the Sundanese tradition
Did you know that traditionally, Sundanese consume more tea than water? They even have a traditional festival every year, inspired by their ‘nyaneut’ tea-drinking custom! Although the tradition is starting to fade, some Sundanese still enjoy their tea with the ‘nyaneut’ process. High quality tea leaves are steeped by feet and brewed in a claypot, and then served in coconut shells as teacups. Once it’s served, you need to turn the teacup twice and inhale the tea aroma thrice before you are allowed to sip it. The tea is also usually sweetened with brown sugar!
Photo by Javanews tv
Which of these traditions surprise you the most?
Nevertheless, each one is unique in their own way, and proves how diverse and special our country can be. Happy Independence Day!