Grown in the highlands of northern Sumatra. The liquor tends to be light with a hint of body and maltiness.

Ingredients From: Indonesia

Region(s): Sumatra

Shipping Port(s): Medan

Grade(s): BP1 (Broken Pekoe #1)

Growing Altitudes: 1500 – 3500 feet above sea level

Manufacture Type(s): Orthodox (Traditional leafy)

Cup Characteristics: Grown in the highlands of northern Sumatra. The liquor tends to be light with a hint of body and maltiness.

Infusion: Lovely hints of orange

Luxury Ingredients: Black tea


To give you an idea of just how conducive the island of Sumatra is to cultivating plant life, consider that it is one of the only known growing places of Amorphophallus titanium and Rafflesia arnoldii, the world’s largest flowers. These blooms are no joke - the magnificent Amorphophallus titanium can soar over 9 feet in the air while the flower of Rafflesia arnoldii can reach weights of up to 11 lbs. As you can see, the soil and climactic conditions found on Sumatra make it an incredibly fertile place.

The first person to discover that Sumatra, beyond producing mega flora, would be perfect for growing tea was a German doctor by the name of Andreas Cleyer. In 1684 Cleyer successfully transplanted a Japanese variety of Camelia sinensis that grew for some time on the island, albeit in limited quantities for medicinal purposes. Growing tea in larger commercial quantities wouldn’t occur until 1827. In that year, a maverick young Dutch tea taster named J. Jacobson penetrated the forbidden tea gardens of Fujian Province in China and procured seedlings and workers to bring with him back to Sumatra, at that time part of the Dutch East Indies. Jacobson planted the island’s first commercial gardens and started a tea industry that by the dawn of WWII was the world’s 4th largest. During the war many of the country’s plantations were destroyed or abandoned by their owners and the industry saw a sharp decline in production quantities. The second half of the 20th century saw the industry reinvent itself and today, many exceptional teas are again produced on the island’s gardens.

The bulk of these are grown in the highlands south of Medan, Sumatra’s capital. Gunung Dempo, the excellent black tea offered here falls into this category. The tea gets its name from a volcano that stretches 3173 meters above its tropical surroundings and has a large bearing on climactic conditions in the region. Like the island’s giant flowers, tea grows exceptionally well on Sumatra and is plucked year round ensuring a continual income stream for thousands of Indonesians. (Thankfully the island’s tea smells nothing like the flowers. Both varieties of flowers emit an odor very similar to rotting flesh!) The nutrient rich volcanic soil of the area combined with intense tropical heat and humidity produces teas with a delicate floral aroma and round body with hints of malt and faint touches of tropical sweetness on the finish. Produced by a reputable garden with a long track record of fair working conditions, Gunung Dempo is one of the world's great teas.

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Gunung Dempo (Sumatra, Indonesia)

  • Product Code: A5ES-IN-560
  • Availability: In Stock
  • $ CAD 9.00

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