Boh Tea Center
Sg Palas, Cameron Highlands Travel Destinations
The new Boh Tea Center at Sg Palas Cameron Highlands was a sight to behold! When I first arrived at the newly renovated tea center, it was totally changed from its old rustic wooden tea shop and has now been transformed into an ultra modern setting! It was indeed a far cry from the original umph! tea shop and there was not much left over of that good old wooden tea shop. Maybe I was getting a little nostalgic here but the old structure has a warmth character to it unlike the cold steel ultra modern structure.
When I arrived I had to park way down at the foot of the hill. I no longer could drive up to the front doorstep because what used to be the car park area has now been used up for the new tea center. No thanks to my plantar fasciitis foot injury causing me pain with each step that I took, otherwise the walk up to the tea shop would have been most pleasant. There are two ways up, you can follow the road or you can use the path that cuts through the hill surrounded by greenery of tea bush plants. Many visitors opt for the path because of the soothing greenery and a chance to have a good close look at the tea leafs and perhaps even take a few snapshot as they made their way to Boh Tea Center.
As I made my way up, I could see that the new structure was indeed quite impressive. At the far end a 6.096m (20ft) overhanging platform balcony was purposely set up and made protruding over the hilltop. It looks a little precarious but it did give a very commanding view of the tea plantation. Because of the view, many visitors vie for the balcony seat as they relax and socialized with their friends and family. On a peak season, you probably might not get the chance to get this choice seating but you could still walk over to the railings and enjoy the view and snap some beautiful pictures of the tea plantation. Apart from that, the walls were just made entirely of glass windows, so you still can enjoy a nice view while having your cup of tea.
The Boh Tea Centre's design is rather unique, and has received recognition for it. In 2006, the Architect Association of Malaysia (Pertubuhan Arkitek Malaysia, PAM) has awarded the centre an honorary mention in the category of public and civic buildings for the building's design quality supported by the surrounding environment. Sometime in March 2007, it was officially launched in a timely conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2007 and attended by Pahang Tourism, Arts, Culture, Heritage, Women and Family Development Committee chairman Datuk Maznah Mazlan who officiated the ceremony, and was attended to by Boh Plantation chairman Tristan Russell and chief executive officer Caroline Russell.
"It is a beautiful landscape where tea trees are grown on the hills in rows. It is such a wonderful sight," Maznah said after the official launch. Yes, a beautiful and wonderful sight indeed and one can literally stay there for many hours soaking in the relaxing atmosphere and enjoying the spectacular view at the same time. To complete the experience, go get a nice cup of Boh English tea with some savoury cakes and scones.
To get that, proceed to the self service counter and sort through their usual assortment of various tea concoctions and cakes. It is such a good way for visitors to while away their time, sipping tea and relaxing in the cool environment.
Before you take your tea break you could of course go for a tour at their old factory. Walking up the ramp towards what used to be their old tea shop, they have placed many informational panels about the history of Boh, what are the various species of tea, how tea leaf is processed and finally made into tea, and other interesting bits of trivia.
Also placed along the hallway are some old tea processing equipment including a giant 1930 antique solid brass tea rolling table located at the Tea Centre entrance which at first glance, I thought it was an art display item. On closer inspection of the label proved me wrong. Interesting the way some old equipment can be transformed into an art display.
Free guided tours of the factory are regularly conducted, though sadly, the old factory was now more like a museum as they have shifted their tea processing to another factory. I was hoping to get some photographs of tea processing in action and post it on my Cameron-Highland-Destination.com web site but had to forego the opportunity. The tour was also less interesting as there was no chance to see the various processes such as withering, rolling, fermentation, drying and sorting, and without actually seeing any moving machinery and not to forget the smell of tea as they were actually being processed! [Errata: see below]
The tour duration was rather short as they only showed you and explained to you a couple of their processing machine, and as for the rest of the explanation, you are invited to sit in their mini darkroom theatre to view the documentary about tea and its production processes. What to expect? Their factory here was already no longer functioning!
With nothing much to learn, I might as well head back to the tea center for a cup of "teh tarik". On the way there, there was a souvenir shop which I pop in for a quick look. They carried the usual various kinds of Boh Tea produced in Cameron Highlands and some exotic tea blends as well as coffee beans from elsewhere under the brand name of Boh. They also have some nice gift box which you could buy as gifts for your friends and family or even as a keepsake for yourself! No interest for me here. So I just head on back to the tea center and get myself a cuppa and enjoy the view while it lasted before heading on to my next destination.
Oh just a note, the Boh Tea Center Sg Palas is open from 9am to 4.30pm. They are closed on Monday so do jot this down and not get disappointed for going there on the wrong day!
Update 1-Apr-2009 / Errata
A number of readers pointed out that the Boh Sg Palas Tea Plantation factory was running! I guess when I up there in Mar'07 it was temporary closed. When I was up in CH recently this year I saw it was running too. Now you get to see the machinery in action when you go for a tour!
Thanks to Jim Tan and Patrick of KL for info and reminder to update this page!
- Cameron Highlands Tea Plantation
- Boh Tea Center Sg Palas Cameron Highlands
- Bharat Tea Plantation and Tea Shop in Cameron Highlands
- Tea plantation photos slideshow gallery
- Benefits of drinking black, white and green teas
- Grow your own tea plant
- Making tea. Boh production process