It has been over 10 years that I had not been to Cameron Highlands. And this time, thanks to BOH Tea for the great arrangement and we are back to Cameron Highlands for a short and sweet trip.
It has been a question for me what is the story behind BOH? And how the name of BOH came from?
For those who are not aware, BOH Tea is one of the largest tea plantations in Malaysia and they are founded back in 1929 by J.A. Russel. And the business started back during the British Colonial Era where Russel had arrived in Kuala Lumpur at the age of seven in 1980. Prior to BOH, Russell had worked in the Straits Trading Company and from there he had started to invest in tin miners. And during the British occupancy, they had started invested in real estates and many more.
It’s the Great Depression and the world has spun into recession. Archie decided to start planting tea at Cameron Highlands together with A.B. Milne, a veteran planter from Sri Lanka. Virgin jungle terrain was transformed into the first highlands tea garden in the country, now known as BOH Plantations. The name BOH was derived from “Bohea”, the hills in Fujian Province also called Wuyi Hills, where tea was originally thought to have been discovered by the Emperor Shennong. Bohea was also the name of a premium tea grade in the early China tea trade. Boh means precious happiness in mandarin.
Did you know? BOH is also known as “Best Of Highlands”. This name was actually given by the locals and tourists over the years.
After Archie death in Singapore, his widow Kathleen insisted BOH be retained despite the financial difficulties. And during World War II, the estate was occupied by the Japanese and after the war, Tristan ( Archie’s son) joined the business. And with his determination, BOH remains till today and BOH’s founding family remained committed to staying in Malaysia, optimistic about what the future would bring, and themselves becoming truly Malaysian.
BOH made Cameron Highlands it’s home 90 years ago when J.A. Russell established the country’s first tea garden in Cameron Highlands in 1929. He discovered the Highlands to be prime cropland with its right attributes such as cool temperatures, high altitude, abundant rainfall, long hours of sunshine and well-drained and acidic soil; all ideal to produce highland teas that are brisk with robust flavors and delightful aromas.
And now BOH grew to 4 Plantation till today and to ensure the freshness of tea products, BOH Plantation had also set up their factory near their main garden.
The Sungei Palas Tea Centre is one of the places to visit when you are in Cameron Highlands. The Sungei Palas Tea Centre is the home of BOH and “BOH Café” where you can perfectly enjoy the beautiful scenery and cold air there. The view is just memorizing where each spot here is perfectly a place for photography.
And, in here we get to learn about the various variants of tea produce by BOH. Each tea which is produced are carefully prepared and the tea tester will need to taste the tea 3 times a day to ensure the quality of the tea is consistent.
As for the tea variant, BOH offers a wide range of tea from Black Tea, Single Origin, Classic, Flavoured Tea, Herbs & Fruits, Green Tea, Ice Tea and many more. We had learned that their tea is perfectly paired with food and desserts too.
And in conjunction with their 90th Anniversary, they had finally opened their Sungei Palas Tea Centre New Wing. A brand new wing called Tristan’s Terrace, in honor of BOH’s Chairman who served from August 1966 – July 2019, was officially launched by Yang Berhormat Tuan Muhammad Bakhtiar bin Wan Chik, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Malaysia.
“Now, with the unveiling of Tristan’s Terrace, they are able to host more visitors more comfortably, both from within Malaysia as well as from overseas, with a further 200 seating capacity. The concept for the new wing is akin to a terraced walkway overlooking a garden that has been carefully laid out to offer best vantage views.
Tucked away at the end of the wing is an exclusive meeting room suited for small events, with framed views of the tea garden as an inspiring backdrop. They also have a tea tasting room for visitors to gain a deeper sense of tea appreciation. All in all, it’s a comprehensive induction to all things tea and a feast for the eyes with the spectacular panorama,”
The Tea Centre also aims to provide visitors a sensorial and leisurely experience of BOH; from an understanding of the brand legacy and milestones to the intricacies of tea cultivation, tea processing and facts about tea.
And we walk around to understand more about how tea is done where you can go for a tour explaining the process of how the tea is being processed too. Asides, you can understand more about their teas and also the stories.
After a great trip and walkabout on this beautiful farm, you can also shop in their premium outlets. You can purchase a wide variety of choices of tea selections there. Some of their signature and must buy tea includes the latest addition flower tea and also Seri Songket as well as their Spa Infusion Series. And for this year, in conjunction with their 90th Anniversary, BOH came up with the BOH’s 90th Emerald Blend.
The Assortment of The Emerald Blend (16 pyramid teabag sachets) beautifully packaged in a book-styled canister, Exquisite BOH Teas (12 teabag sachets) and the sample sachet of newly launched Malay Herbs – Herba Ratus & Sirih Purut for you to taste the goodness of rainforest plants & roots. And now you can get them on their website as well as their exclusive shop in Sungei Palas Tea Centre and it is available till the end of the year.
The BOH Sungei Palas Tea Centre is open daily to the public except for Mondays from 9.00am – 4.30pm. Admission to the BOH Tea factory is free and information tours are conducted approximately every 30 minutes. For more information about BOH, you can visit their website: https://www.bohtea.com/