Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Selangor : Teatillating Tea Plantation Ride - Bukit Cheeding

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Selangor - Teatillating Tea Plantation Ride
BOH Tea Plantation, Bukit Cheeding, Jenjarom : 1st February 2013
Small Group Ride : Jenjarom>Kg. Sungei Jarom>Kg. Seri Cheeding>BOH Tea Plantation Bukit Cheeding & Back
Distance covered : 35 km.
Time : 9:00 am - 12:30
Time Taken : 3-1/2 hrs. (including stops for photo shoots, tea education & a fun time)


PRE-RIDE

Our biking buddy, Jason had proposed a bike ride to a tea plantation, the BOH Tea Plantation at Bukit Cheeding, Jenjarom.
Now this will be interesting; I am not too sure about the other riders, but I myself have not really visited a tea plantation before, not to mention cycling in one!


Jason's Proposed Ride Route
But Jason had quite a dilemma. As the tea plantation is on private grounds, expectedly the Management could not allow too many people into their ground lest it interrupts their operation. Only ten riders were allowed in, and Jason had to choose nine from so many of his cycling friends. I was one of the lucky ones to be invited.


We met at the the shop-lots opposite the Dong Zen Temple at Jenjarom  and quickly re-assemble our bikes.


And soon we rode off for breakfast along the street that was lined with red lanterns in anticipation of the coming Chinese New Year.
Jason will be leading the ride and Yong Sin will be the sweeper, They will be communicating by walkie-talkies.


Breakfast was at this place, about half a kilometer from our meeting place. Apparently, in the evenings, this is a popular spot for the local to gather and eat Bak Kut Teh.
But we were here in the morning and had to settle for something less.


Making our orders fast, we were soon happily eating away.


The salted duck egg / Century Egg combo broth was pretty good... 


... it was serve with a bowl of crispy "Yeow Char Keow", which when dipped into the broth became part crispy & part soft, YummY!


The beehoon soup, served with fish balls, mince pork and pork tripe (spare parts we call it) was okay.


Stomachs sated and physically charged, we are now ready to start our unique adventure.


THE RIDE

Bukit Cheeding BOH Tea Plantation Bike Ride Route Map (see Map Link)
Note: Flag=Start/End Point, Cup=Breakfast, Tree=Tea Factory
The plan was to ride to the tea plantation from Jenjarom  attend a presentation by the factory management and then ride around the tea plantation. But things don't turn up as planned, no worries there - it was a pleasant straying from the plan. We will come to that later.


We rode off along Jalan Sungei Buaya heading towards Jenjarom old town. The mid-morning air was getting somewhat warm.


Just into Jalan Kampong Jenjarom, we rode pass this Indian Temple, a landmark to the locals.


The weather was getting hotter, and we could feel the heat emanating from the ground.
It's the hot season in the tropics now.


A break in the shade.


Taking a RIGHT into Jalan Aman. We are half-way there.


Along the way here, we noticed some plants at the road side seemingly to be some sort of berry.
On closer inspection, they were coffee beans!
Will we be expecting Jenjarom Coffee in future?


Forget about that coffee, we a going for TEA!
We made a LEFT onto Trunk Road B60; as our destination got closer, our excitement was building up.


Further on we made another left from the main road, THIS IS the road into the plantation, we are at the entry point.


Some of us took a group photo here.


Somehow, from here onward the weather was cooler.
And it was not only from the shady trees, the air blowing onto our faces had a certain chill too.
Perhaps this is why Bukit Cheeding, although on a lowland, is suitable for tea planting.


And we started to see tea plants.
We are into TEA TERRITORY!


We are riding on gravel roads now, but we did not mind, as we see tea plants everywhere (this plantation, although considered relatively small, still covered about 1,000 acres) ...


... tea plants on level ground and ...


... tea plants on the slopes.
The oil palms here are not harvested and as such are much, much taller than those at the oil palms estates. There are here basically to provide shade, and their height does not interrupt the cool air flowing through.


Here we were met by Mr. Samaraweera, that's him in his 4-wheel drive following behind us.


About 2 km. into the plantation, we reached a guard house with a signboard stating that this area is a private property and that no trespassers will be allowed in.
This is the secured area of the plantation, where the worker quarters and the factory are.
Luckily for us Mr. Samaraweera was with us, and with a wave from him the guard let us in.
Phew!


The tea factory - here the tea leaves are dried, cut, processed and packed.


We parked our bicycles in a shady area cast by the tall factory.


And took a group photo with Mr. Samaraweera.
Oops! Somebody is missing here - it's me the AhPek, I was taking the photo.


But Samaraweera was a sporting fellow, and I got a photo of him & me!


At the tea-drying area, he gave us an elaborate and interesting talk on the operation of the plantation - from harvesting, drying, cutting, processing and packing.
The inner section where the tea leaves are processed and packed, were out of bounds to us - but that's understandable, trade secrets have to be respected.


Here's a brief rundown of the operation.
First the tea leaves are harvested by tea-harvesting machines like the one above and loaded onto collection bins pulled by tractors.


The green tea leafs are then sent to a side section of the factory to be unloaded onto storage & drying bins below.


Front view of the green leaves being unloaded.


Each of these bins are marked with the name of the field from which the tea is harvested, the date, time and weight.


The storage bins are then put into a bin storage area where the leaves are left to dry from between 12-15 hrs.
After these they are sent to the inner area where they are processed, packed and are ready for drinking within 24 hours of plucking.
This efficient & quick process ensures that tea-lovers gets their tea everyday.


The Tea Factory Operation Flow Chart.


Like a perfect British gentleman, Mr. Samaraveera invited us to morning tea at his meeting room.
Well, after all we are in a tea plantation, and drinking tea is the tradition. This was a nice surprise!


The food that were graciously prepared by his staff - Roti Jala.


Nice, spicy chicken curry to go with the Roti Jala.


Yummylicious chicken sausages.


Mouth-watering potato wedges.


Beautiful red apples.


And of course to go with all this - refreshing Iced BOH Passion Fruit Tea with honey.
Tea with an Umph!


It was a happy interlude to our ride and we are most grateful to them for taking the trouble to be such nice hosts.


On the walls were old memorable photos including this one of a BOH Tea advertisement on an old bus.


And one of BOH Tea founder, Mr. John Archibald Russell, who started the BOH Tea Plantations way back in the late 1890s.


Thank you, BOH!


Mr. Samaraweera even went the extra mile and invited us to his nearby resident bungalow - a house (built in the 1920's) that is close to a 100 years old!


And the interior was cozy too, even without any air-conditioning the house was cooling. Those architects of old certainly knew how to design houses.


Well, all good things have to come to an end. We had planned to ride around the tea plantation a bit, but it was getting late (we were so taken in by BOH's hospitality that time flew) and we started our ride back.


Well, almost the end - we passed by this interesting Tea Harvesting Machine, but this one having wheels instead of tracks. It looks like something out of a Transfromer movie, can it morph into a bicycle?


A memorable group photo at the entrance into the plantation.


It is now 1:30 pm in the afternoon, the afternoon sun was scorching down on us.
How we wished for a glass of refreshing, ice-cool BOH tea now!


But we had to make do with coconut water at a road-side stall.


And...... we are back at Jenjarom.


To end the ride we had lunch at near our finishing point. An interesting lunch of stewed tortoise, stir-fried wild boar meat, kangkong & noodles.
Thanks Jason for organizing & leading this interesting & educational ride.



THE TEA RIDERS

Ride Organizer & Leader Jason

Ride Sweeper Yong Sin

Hui Min

Kookkeong

Nash

Pak Wee

Rita

Shirny

Siew Yung

Jotaro
(the AhPek Biker)

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You are at - Jotaro's Blog / AhPek Biker / Selangor / Teatillating Tea Plantation Ride
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5 comments:

  1. Good reading and well-taken photos. Inspiration for all cyclists :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What is d height of d btk cheeding boh plantation?

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    2. Whats d height of d cheeding tea plantation?

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    3. Adrian Gandi,
      It's a low-land plantation, so not more than a 100 meteres, I think.

      Delete