Oliver is…

He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man

…having a nice cup of tea

Anyone who knows me, even in the slightest, should know three things about me. I like beards. I listen to great music. I drink more tea than most.

relaxing_tea

It should come as no surprise, then, that my first real trip to Malaysia included a stop in the tea-growing region of the Cameron Highlands.

tea_harvesters

Staying in the decidedly chilly town of Tanah Rata was not only a great way to break up the long journey from Penang to Kuala Lumpur, but a beautiful area full of tea plantations.

tea_plantation

First, the journey. I’ve talked highly of Malaysia’s public transport system already, but where it really excels is with its long distance buses. It seems like, as long as you don’t get a mini bus, you automatically get something special. This trip, and many that would follow, was in complete comfort: a big bus with just three seats in a row (a two and a one) and each like a large, comfy cinema chair. I can’t remember if I got water or snacks on this trip, but that would happen at some point too and, despite the incredibly windy mountain roads that drivers in other countries take at ridiculous speeds, the trip was all very smooth.

tea_factory

Tanah Rata serves mainly as a gateway to the tea estates nearby and I made sure to visit a couple, from farm to factory to tasting. For someone like me, it was the perfect experience, although, admittedly, the tea wasn’t all that nice because the milk in Malaysia is something kinda weird.

boh_tea_estate

For those who want to make a nice cup of tea, here’s the secret:
Boil some water.
Put that water, along with a tea bag, in a mug, or similar.
Wait for a few minutes (the water should be a consistent dark browny colour — you may need to swirl the tea bag a couple of times).
Take the tea bag out and squeeze it over the mug with your fingers. If it’s too hot to do that, it’s not ready (or you have sissy fingers).
Add milk, stir (or swirl the mug), serve.

Another variation is the comfort brew, perfect if you’re feeling a bit sick. It’s basically the same except you use two tea bags, two spoons of sugar, less water and more milk.

Of course, if you’re Australian, you might do it this way, but you should really stop.
Boil some water.
Put that water, along with a tea bag, in a mug, or similar.
Immediately add in some milk.
Serve a weird, almost tasteless and colourless concoction.

Advertisements

Filed under: asia, , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: