As we sat in the shuttle looking forward to another day of staggering experience our tour guide mentioned how Sabah Tea Resort was the only organic tea farm in Borneo. Yet again it was a 2-hour long journey from the Sutera Harbour Resort and knowing how we wouldn’t be going back to this wonderfully structured resort made me want to curl up and cry. Leaving behind our bags to be transported to the Shangri La Rasa Ria for our future visit, I carried forward just a small bag pack for an overnight stay and also a whole bunch of sensational memories.
When we arrived at the Sabah Tea Resort located at the mouth of the Mount Kinabalu which is supposedly the highest peak of Borneo I was overwhelmed to sight how the restaurant we ate at was on looking the colossal mountain. I enjoyed eating a few pancakes and waffles made from matcha which is stone ground Japanese style green tea. As we ate I spotted a huge teapot just beside the restaurant that let people lock theirs or whose ever names they wished onto it and the restaurant provided miniature locks and keys for this very purpose. It was indeed a sight to watch on how incredible it made people feel to remember their loved ones and just lock their names in a magnificent place that was created by the divine being.
At the end of the meal, we were told as to move to the traditional longhouses where we were asked to stay that night. Those little cottages reminded me of how Heaven is a little closer to a cottage by the perennials. After quickly changing we moved out to the lounge area where we were asked to meet for the tea making demonstration. Our guide who was to demonstrate the tea making had already bought a few leaves. He was to show us the making of black and green tea and started off with showing us the black tea making process. This process involved 4 steps: withering, rolling, oxidizing and drying.
With the process of withering already complete, the leaves were spread out on a flat surface. It was to soften the leaves so that it could be rolled without tearing the leaf. The leaves were further rolled and spread out of oxidizing. He mentioned as to how he would next expose the leaves to oxygen for several hours in humid rooms that would turn the leaves from green to red. The leaves were then dried using a traditional wok to stop oxidation and he also told us how the leaves could be baked in hot ovens too.
The green tea making process was very similar to the only difference being the plucked leaves were quickly steamed over water in a steaming machine making them easier to shape. They were then rolled before being dried. Watching how he rolled them and spread them out made all of us want to do it and we ended up being a part of the green and black tea making process. We were then asked to accompany him to the tea plantations where he could show us how and which leaves were plucked on a regular basis.
As it began to pour I looked up at the sky to watch the formation of twin rainbows for the first time ever in my life. What a glorious sight it was! We walked down to the plantations twisting the umbrellas we had borrowed and I felt more alive than ever to be in 130 million-year-old rain forest surrounded tea plantation 2,272 feet above sea level.
Walking back after a little tour to the plantation was most relaxing and I’m still glad that one day someone would be consuming a cup of tea that has been prepared by me from scratch.
So when are you making someone an actual cup of tea ?
Go ahead and visit the Sabah Tea Resort because this is something that’ll be cherished whenever you visit your memory basket.