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Tea Workshop: Indonesian Tea Tradition Merges with Modern Tea Drinking Culture

Los Angeles, 6 October 2017 – The tea tradition deeply integral to Indonesia was presented in a creative tea workshop on Friday morning, October 6, 2017, at Chado Tea Room, Downtown Los Angeles. After stories about the Indonesian tea history and tradition by Melanie Halim, the workshop is followed by a live demo of making ginger tea latte by certified Tea Master Inggrie Wijaya.

Participants who attended were local tea business CEOs (such as from Tekola Tea), coffee shop baristas, local university students, and other tea connoisseurs.  By inviting business people and tea enthusiasts in the US, the workshop aims to educate the United States market about Indonesian tea tradition, history, and innovation.

The workshop featured one of the pioneers in Indonesian organic tea plantation, Melanie Halim and a certified Tea Master, Inggrie Wijaya. Melanie introduced the history of Indonesian tea traditions and presented the various ways that indigenous Indonesians drink tea, such as Tegal Tea and Talua Tea. Furthermore, Inggrie demonstrated the making of ginger tea latte using original Indonesian products, such as Singabera’s Premium Ginger Drink and Organic Coconut Sugar. Participants also enjoyed other Indonesian products such as JANS’s Banana Cookies biscuits and a variety of oolong, white, and black teas from Harendong’s organic plantations in Banten, Indonesia.

Indonesian tea exports to the US in 2016 rose 33% from 2015, reaching a total of US$8.8 million.Indonesia ranks 12th among other top tea exporting countries to the US, such as China, Argentina, and India. Meanwhile, according to the US Tea Association, tea consumption in the US reach about 84 billion cups with 84% of those consumption coming from black tea, 16% from green tea, and the rest from oolong and white tea. Data from Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC) also shows that the largest increase of tea products in America is in ready-to-drink (RTD) teas.

The tea promotion campaign continued the next day in the form of a public Tea Bar in the Ikat and Tea Explore Indonesia Festival 2017 at 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica, California. This tea workshop and festival is the result of cooperation between Indonesia Trade Promotion Center (ITPC) Los Angeles, Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia (KJRI) Los Angeles, Indonesian Women Alliance (IWA), and Agriculture Attaché in Washington DC.