Sunday, August 4, 2019

BOH Sungei Palas Launches New Wing Tristan’s Terrace

Ada BOH, Ada Ummph! Thank you BOH for the #90yearsofUmmph! goodness.
Can you believe our favourite homegrown tea BOH just turns 90 last week? We were lucky enough to be invited to their exclusive anniversary celebration along with the official launch of the brand new wing call Tristan's Terrace, in honour of BOH’s Chairman who served from August 1966 – July 2019. The new wing at BOH's Sungei Palas Tea Centre  was officially launched with a bang by Yang Berhormat Tuan Muhammad Bakhtiar bin Wan Chik, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Malaysia.

Caroline Russell, Executive Chairman of BOH Plantations said, “Today is a significant milestone as we celebrate two very special occasions – the opening of Tristan’s Terrace at the Sungei Palas Tea Centre and BOH’s 90th Anniversary which is themed 90 Years of Ummph!

Russell said that the naming of the new facility as Tristan’s Terrace is very special and meaningful for BOH and for her personally. Her father, Datuk Tristan Russell, who she dubbed as Tea Connoisseur Extraordinaire, is as synonymous with the brand BOH as was J.A. Russell, her grandfather. 

Tristan Russell joined BOH in the 1950s, when he was just 21 years old and had a long and illustrious history in growing BOH to be a trusted household name in Malaysia,  mastering the art of tea, from the tea bush to teacup. His love for the estates is evident and his passion for tea second to none. Reminiscing the past, Caroline recalled him examining the tea fields clad in his signature bush hat and planters shorts, determining the health of the tea, its yield and quality. 

Many milestones were achieved during his 53-year tenure as Chairman. He grew the area of planted tea and the number of estates and modernised the art of manufacturing tea by investing in innovative techniques and infrastructure to keep BOH at the forefront of tea-making technology. He raised the productivity of one tea harvester from 40kg a day to 200kg and thanks to his foresight, where 27 people were once needed for the rolling room, today, only 1 run the machines. 

Tristan pioneered the early use of television advertising in an era of black and white TV when there was only one channel. He was responsible for bringing Mr. BOH to life, a loveable yet iconic character and one of the 1st televised company mascots in Asia. 

In a personal tribute to Tristan Russell, Caroline thanked him for building a strong legacy brand, committed to giving consumers the excellent quality of BOH tea that they love. “Naming this new facility in your honour is a small way for us to thank you for your love and passion for BOH. There is no doubt that BOH is who we are today, due in a large part, to your dedication, commitment and tireless efforts.” 

The Emerald Blend based cake was created by Just Heavenly to mark the occasion of BOH’s 90th Anniversary.    

“The Sungei Palas Tea Centre has been intentionally designed to integrate with the natural highland landscape. Built in 2007 as a one-stop Tea Centre with a contemporary architectural style, it includes a 20-foot overhanging balcony as a viewing deck now called J.A.’s Balcony.

“The Tea Centre 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. Thousands of visitors have since walked through our Tea Centre and have thoroughly enjoyed the captivating panoramic views of the plantation while enjoying a delicious cup of BOH tea,” shared Russell. 

Over the years, BOH’s tea gardens have become emblematic of Cameron Highlands. Photographs of BOH’s overhanging balcony have graced websites and brochures of tourism, hospitality and travel related organisations.   

Russell also shared about BOH’s partnership with the Tropical Rainforest Conservation and Research Centre (TRCRC) which aims to grow and develop conservation initiatives in Cameron Highlands and support long-term forest preservation, restoration and biodiversity. The collaboration will also cover forest restoration at TRCRC’s Tropical Living Collection (TRLC) in Banun, Perak, where BOH will sponsor the planting of 200 trees to help restore key forest corridors within the Central Forest Spine. 

BOH made Cameron Highlands its 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 flavours and delightful aromas. 

The brand new Tristan's Terrace offer a further 200 seating capacity is able to accommodate more visitor comfortably, both from within Malaysia as well as from overseas. 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 even have a tea tasting room for those into a deeper sense of tea appreciation.

There's nothing like a delicious cup of BOH tea whilst enjoying the mesmerizing panoramic views of the tea plantation from the Tristan's Terrace. 

Another iconic photo spot at the new wing, this historical 6-foot diameter solid brass rolling table was once used in the BOH Sungei Palas tea factory to crush the tea leaves – an important stage in the manufacture of tea.

During our visit, we also had the opportunity to take a tour of the BOH factory to understand more on the tea production. From withering the green leaves, rolling, fermentation and drying, the tea leaves go through all these stages to develop its unique characteristic flavour and aroma.

Withering - The vital first step, withering is a fundamental process to craft quality teas. The moisture content of the leaves will be reduced over a period of 20 hours by twisting and rolling.

Rolling - After the tea is withered, the leaves are twisted and compressed to liberate the enzymes and juices, exposing them to oxygen to draw out the flavour.

Fermentation - This oxidation process may seem simple but it takes skill in knowing when the fermentation are developed to its maximum flavour and aroma. Not to mention, different kind of tea require different lengths of time to oxidise and only a tea maker knows the best based on experience.

A great variety of BOH tea ranging from garden tea, Cameronian gold blend, green tea, spa infusion tea and Seri Songket series.

The tea sommeliers at BOH examine the tea by its colour, texture, amount of twist and evenness of grade before each batch of tea received their seal of approval for consumer to enjoy. Sniff, sip, swirl (the louder the better) and spit, making full use of the taste buds, gums and inner cheeks are what it takes to be an expert tea-taster! 

Delectable afternoon tea in BOH Sungei Palas Tea Centre featuring tasty pastries, cakes, scones and sandwiches, best paired with Earl Grey and Teh Tarik. Psstt... their butter cake, chocolate cake and scone are to die for!

In celebration of BOH's 90th anniversary, a limited edition tea, Emerald Blend was also launched. Packaged in a book-styled caddy, the Emerald Blend is a lovely blend of fine earl grey tea, marigold flowers with hints of natural citrus and floral flavours. It is available exclusively at the BOH's Sungei Palas Tea Centre and online store.

The BOH Sungei Palas Tea Centre is open daily to public except 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, please log on to  

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