Around Kayu Aro tea plantation: a journey of the heart

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Kayu Aro
The area around the Kayu Aro tea plantation still has Art Deco-style wooden houses, constructed by the Dutch to house the tea plantation and factory overseers. Photos: Freddy Wally

Jambi, IO – Mount Kerinci, the highest mountain on Sumatra and home of the provinces of Jambi and West Sumatra. With a height of 3805 meters above sea level, it is both the highest volcano in Indonesia and its tallest mountain outside of Papua. It is an attractive destination, worthy of exploration: whether you’re a serious adventurer or casual hiker, you’ll find yourself getting into an unforgettable adventure. 

What are we talking about? Naturally, the Kayu Aro tea plantation! Sprawling hugely on the slopes of Mount Kerinci, with a total of 3,020 hectares spread throughout the altitude of 1,400-1,600 meters above sea level, it is famous for producing Indonesia’s best tea. Built during the Dutch colonial era, it produced premium ingredients for the beverages to please Queens of both England and the Netherlands.

Kayu Aro produces orthodox or black tea, with a quality in its distinct taste and aroma that rivals India’s Assam and Darjeeling teas. The plantation was established and developed by Dutch company Namlodee Venotchaat Handle Verininging Amsterdam in 1925-1928, but the tea factory only started up in 1932. It is the oldest tea plantation and factory in Indonesia, still producing excellent tea under the management of PT Perkebunan Nusantara VI to this day. Every year, the factory produces an average of 5,500 tons black tea for export to Europe, especially Russia; the Middle East; the United States; Central Asia, especially Pakistan; and to our fellow Southeast Asian countries.