Sipping Tea at Pagilaran Tea Plantation
The expanse of the tea plantation and the mountain breeze provides a wonderful welcome. The fresh scent of tea is wafting in the air. Welcome to Pagilaran tea paradise, about 1.5-hour drive from Pekalongan.
On the slopes of Mount Kemulan, lies a tea plantation of 1,111 hectares. And it’s not just another tea plantation. This plantation—that has been operating since 1899—is one of the largest tea exporters from Indonesia.
Pagilaran tea plantation produces 8,000 tons of tea leafs per year. Under the Sigma brand, this plantation sends out orthodox-processed black tea and premium green tea to America, Britain, Russia, and Japan.
Why not market it in Indonesia?
Reportedly, Indonesian consumers prefer fragrant tea—that is usually mixed with jasmine—rather than plain green or black tea.
However, Pagilaran also has some products for local market, under the name of Kepodang and Sigma Rasa. These tea brands have not been marketed widely, but they can be purchased directly at the Pagilaran’s Employee Cooperative during your visit.
Pagilaran tea factory produces black tea, green tea, and red tea. There are two qualities: premium and medium. Premium quality means the tea is produced from tea leafs only, without the branches. The taste won’t lie to you. Premium tea is way more concentrated and strong.
This tea plantation and its factory are located in Batang Regency, at an altitude of 800-1,100 meters above sea level. The plantation was first established by a Dutch national—before the ownership was taken over by the Dutch Government. The factory was once burnt down, and then the ownership was changed under the banner of England.
In 1964, the plantation was handed over to Gadjah Mada University, and was designated as a research facility. Since then, the name was changed to PT Pagilaran; and the University of Gadjah Mada transformed the plantation into a laboratory, a factory, as well as an agro-tourism destination.
Pagilaran tea plantation resembles a paradise for tea lovers. Imagine, you can sip premium-quality tea, right there, in the plantation! Mr. Sugiono, a researcher from Pagilaran Tea Laboratory opens a tea booth every Sunday, so visitors can taste their delicious tea, for free.
Sipping premium tea while breathing in the cool and clean mountain breeze?
Who can resist it?
The tea plantation is also equipped with many facilities. Homestay or villa provide a relaxing accommodation based on your budget. You can sit leisurely while sipping tea, do a hike around the plantation, or examine the tea production and packing at the factory.
If you’re an early riser and love an adventure, explore the natural beauty around this tea plantation, and visit one of the waterfalls nearby. Currently, Pagilaran also offers adventurous activities like flying fox and rafting.
To reach the tea plantation, you can get on the public transportation from Batang to Bandar, head to Blado, and finally to Pagilaran. If you have a private vehicle, the plantation is 90-minute drive away from downtown Pekalongan; or about 2.5-hour drive from Semarang.
To enjoy a cup of prime quality tea, the cooling fresh air, and the beautiful mountain scenery, surely the distance won’t matter!
Oh, there is also a myth about Pagilaran tea: it tastes so good because it is brewed with Pagilaran spring water. Are you interested in proofing it yourself?