Monday, March 23, 2009

Tea In Thailand

Yes, its true, Thais are playing catch-up with some of its neighbours and is churning out some tea. The main tea area of Thailand seems to be in the mountainous areas and Northern provinces around the heavily populated Northern city of Chiang Mai.

Apparently, the drive to produce tea is influenced by the migrating hill tribes but more so by highly educated, entrepreneurial Thais. Even the Thai government has given support to these new exciting ventures as evidence from a Thai anniversary puerh cake that commemorated the kings 60th year of rule in 2006 that one had stumbled upon.

It was the only Thai puerh cake one came across, apparently a first time attempt. Almost all the tea produced in Thailand is organic oolong, produced by cutting edge machinery, not by hand. These teas are marketed to well-to-do Thais (and foreigners) who perhaps are looking for an alternative to the famous, sugary, traditional concoction of Thai tea.

One never got a chance to try the tea nor go up North to see the plantations and production facilities. This left one quite curious about tea produced in Thailand. Do you readers have any experiences with tea from Thailand?



Cecil Hill said...

Please check out my blog on Thai tea and specifically the #17 oolong that I tried:

Since I have lived in Thailand since 1992, I have observed the rising tide of good Thai oolong. Over the past three years, this tea has made great gains domestically and is now getting some good reviews abroad.

We plan to visit the plantations up north, especially at Mae Salong where we visited some twenty years ago during their cross over opium to tea period.

Good blogging.

Matt said...

Cecil Hill,

Apparently, one unintentionally stole the title of your February 21,2009 posting ( ) ‘Tea In Thailand’... So sorry. Readers do check this link out. This post confirmed some of one’s hunches about tea in Thailand.

Firstly, that most Thai oolongs are quite expense. One looked at some beautifully rolled loose leaf that was selling for 800 Baht for a small bag. The scent of the dry leaf was quite intoxicating. The honey tones over deep vegetation was quite tempting indeed. Just like you the price seemed to be the decider here.

Secondly, that this tea (or at least its producers) migrated from China. Interesting story.

Your other entry on March 8th, 2009 ( ) elaborated even more on these issues. And confirmed another baseless assumption about these oolongs.

That Thai oolongs are actually quite good!

Thanks for your tasting notes. Look forward to reading more about Thai oolongs on your blog.