Ah, so cool! This is the first time i return to berlibur di Kebun Teh Wonosari, Lawang, after about a decade! This very first tea plantation in East Java is located about 1,200 m above sea levels at the foot of the mighty Mt. Arjuna. Went there with Pi and the day was almost over. Before, we stopped by Pak Slamet’s. Pi had a nice trick he repeated. The guard was just amiable, then, and he opened the gates for us.
It was a small yet beautiful house. The front terrace was full of blooming flowers, especially the colorful dahlias (Hey, Roald Dahl!). They let us in. Ah I remember this mister. He din change an inch, perhaps only his thinning grey hair. And imagine, he and his family used to walk down the hill to Lawang on Sundays just to attend the (very long) sermon! How faithful he was (and still is).
The boy Elisa has grown up (I remembered his red shiny mini ankle boots). His sister was not around. There was his mother. Her cheeks still looked tight as drums and were rosy. I guess that’s the wonder of tea has done for her. She always smiled the way she always did. It was a nice surprise to know that Elisa was going to go to Germany as an exchange student. I saw his pa’s face beaming. He must be very very proud of him. (We could have changed numbers, no? Sem pls remember next time).
The hostess served us warm black tea with oily kucur (remember the boy who sold this kind of dessert. “Kucur…kucur…,” he called to everyone’s attention. I felt sorry for him but now I realize he must have been a fighter.) Think the Dutch brought this custom of tea drinking in the afternoon here, but people serve tea regardless the hour.
I passed the chance to take pictures of them which I deeply regret! anyway it was good to know they live well. I guess they have a big faith like those of children.
The rain has just stopped and we cruised about for a while, sniffing the fresh air. It had a slight tea smell. and we did some tea walking. And I searched the blooms, but found none. Remember tea blossoms are quite like those of ornamental camellia. Years ago i visited the plantation with Kak Harry and Charisma. It offered more difficult tracks compared to the newly paved walks.
Learn that the century old plantation is well managed. There are good enough facilities for travelers: hotel, mini zoo, small dept store, etc. you can also do factory visit. Also learnt that 95% of the products are exported and the remaining (lower grades) teas are sold for local consumption. So i was happy to buy some premium tea, export grade tea.
The plantation is 15 minutes drive from Lawang, Malang. It is relatively pollution-free compared to tea plantation in Puncak. So if you have much time, say long weekend, just go here to berlibur di Kebun Teh Wonosari.