Forgotten self-written work can yield an avalanche of endearing memories. Like this one for instance, originally written almost three years ago. This one will go public today, even if teh botol stories do not age as finely as wine. (1 March 2006)
The Unusual Teh Botol Quibble
(originally entitled 'A Tribute to Teh Botol')
One foolproof way to measure Indonesians’ love for tea is through casual observation of their instinctive reaction to order Sosro Teh Botol at the warung where they eat or whenever they are thirsty on the road. Not getting some somehow unleashes the beverage beast within them.
I was only reminded of how fiercely loyal my Indonesian friends are to Teh Botol when I recalled back a trivial incident that happened near the train station in Jogjakarta where I was headed for Christmas last year .
We had been traveling from Jakarta to Jogja for 12 hours, feeling exhausted, sleepy and in desperate need of a shower at the end of our train ride. Feeling extremely dehydrated as we dragged our feet to Jalan Malioboro, we stopped by a little shop to purchase a few bottles of teh botol.
“Teh botolnya enam ya Bu (Six bottles of teh botol, Ma’am),” Rere inquired politely.
The ibu shopkeeper picked up six tea bottles one by one and deftly popped the caps off with a metal opener and distributed the open bottles to us. I remember her as being a plump Javanese woman who wore a batik sarong and no shoes; her hair was tied up in a bun. She then began sweeping the front of her little shop with a broom.
As some of us started to greedily sip the thirst-quenching liquid, intermittedly with loud satisfied gasps, I noticed Aan was not drinking and had this grimacing look on his face.
“Ini bukan Teh Botol! (This is not Teh Botol!)” he exclaimed, but not loud enough for the lady shopkeeper hear.
“Masa sih? (Really?)”, asked Iin lazily as she gulped down her drink through her straw; the rest of us reacted with equal oblivion. Clearly at this point everyone was just too thirsty to worry about the gripes of this one fellow friend of ours.
“Iya bukan, ini mah Frestea! (Nope, this is Frestea!), Aan complained as though a cockroach just scurried into and laid eggs in his drink. Apparently he was the only person who given a tea brand that was Sosro’s tea market competitor.
“Ya udah, minum aja kenapa, repot banget sih lo (Oh just drink it will you, you’re being such a fuss),” quipped Aan’s sister, getting a little bit impatient herself. We were all very tired and the thought of having to squabble over a drink just seemed preposterous at this ungodly time.
“Ya gue mau Teh Botol, bukan Frestea, (I want [Sosro] Teh Botol, not Frestea!)” Aan snapped stubbornly. “Tuker donk ama gue! (Swap drinks with me!)” he bleated shamelessly while waving his hands and persuading us to swap our Sosro teh botol with him. Not surprisingly, he was met with little success and blank zombie-like looks.
Even his girlfriend who had not yet drunk her chilled bottled tea was reluctant to swap brands with her whiny partner, when clearly Aan was offering an exchange for the same kind of drink: sweet jasmine tea.
But no, nobody wanted the “other” teh botol; they all wanted Sosro teh botol. In a subconscious reaction I clutched my tea bottle tighter while drinking (pun intended) all of this action in.
Just when it looked like Aan was going to waste that bottle of tea by not drinking it and wanting to order the real deal, Rere decided to give up his own Teh Botol for Aan’s Frestea so as to save our group from embarrassment in front of the lady shopkeeper. The rest of us continued to avidly suck in our jasmine tea as though Aan was going to snatch our bottles in a minute. I suppose he would have had Rere not been manly enough to surrender his Teh Botol.
How’s that for loyalty to the last drop…!
MyIndo.com gets quoted in The Jakarta Post! (teh botol-related)
|#40||akbarmuhibar||20-Aug-2010, 10:25 MYT|
hidup teh sosro! Rasanya emang laen. . .
Lamak a lai. . .
Managiah ambo jadinyo. . .
Kok pai ka chow kit, caliak2 lah restaurant minang singgalang. . .
Lamak rasoe. . . !!
|#39||indonesian_guy||15-Apr-2010, 13:39 MYT|
|haha gak semua orang indonesia kayak mereka, frestea juga enak kok, banyak temen malah lebih suka frestea...|
|#38||wahdan||19-Apr-2008, 15:36 MYT|
kamu suka budaya Indonesia kan??
terus kamu tau gak Bahasa Sunda??? itu loh bahasa daerah dari Provinsi Jawa Barat!!!!
Ini Contohnya: "Nama saya Wahdan"
Dalam Bahasa Sunda : " Wasta Kuring Wahdan"
Kalau mau upload tentang Budaya Bahasa Sunda.Kirim Email aja kesini.
aku dari Kota Tasikmalaya salah satu kota Di Jawa Barat.
|#37||tajeyda||14-Sep-2007, 14:07 MYT|
|hihihih....teh botol is the best..but aku skrg lebih suka TEBS..YUMMMYYYY|
|#36||QuaChee - Website||8-Aug-2007, 00:59 MYT|
|Had the opportunity to drink the teh botol in Indonesia. Love it! Think its really a good drink and they could (and should) export it|
|#35||areed||12-Jul-2007, 11:40 MYT|
|IT WAS 2 YEARS AGO NYE PAPER LA! SORRY TAK TAU LETAK MANA...HUHUHU|
|#34||Fairy||11-Jul-2007, 10:16 MYT|
AREED: I'm so happy to hear that myindo.com has inspired you to write about Project Pop. How awesome!
Kalau saya nak baca paper tu boleh?
|#33||areed - Website||5-Jul-2007, 15:00 MYT|
i lurve teh botol! baru je dapat sekotak teh sosro uncang yg dikirim kpd sorg kawan ni...
baru perasan, cam magic ke apa.... tarikh posting artikel ni pun on my bday! sbb tu kot, i'm so in love with teh botol!! huhuhu!
p/s: fairy, i dah lama bace ur page ni! tapi ni 1st time nk tulis ape2... disebabkan page ni jugaklah i kenal projectpop masa u review album popOK. siap jadi isu for my assignment lagi! dapat A lagi. huhu! thanx 4 d inspiration!
|#32||Fairy||6-Jun-2007, 14:45 MYT|
Salam kenal juga IDIAGUNG, terima kasih atas sarannya. Saya maklumi bahawa KL/PJ area sekarang ada jual teh botol, terutama di restoran Indonesia. Beberapa tahun dulu belum ada, saya harus berat-berat bawa teh botol (dalam kotak) dari Jakarta.
HARDANNI: Yes, teh botol is not just tea, it's a way of life.
|#31||hardanni - Website||5-Jun-2007, 17:37 MYT|
|yes right this is only tea...BUT....Seni ada disini...rasa, kemasan & selera menentukan laen....orang indonesia punya selera & seni tinggi....|
|#30||idiagung - Website||5-Jun-2007, 17:12 MYT|
Salam kenal Farah...
kamu bisa beli teh botol, the sosro one ya, di kedai-kedai dekat kampung baru. Kalau kamu tau rumah makan minang Garuda, nah seberang jalan akan ada kedai-kedai yang menjual indonesian stuff macam teh botol sosro, indomie, kecap cap bango dan banyak lagi...
|#29||Nirina||10-Nov-2006, 12:09 MYT|
|Teh botol itu memang produk lama dari Sosro yang selalu dibeli orang. Sebenarnya udah ada beberapa produk baru dari Sosro yaitu: Fruit Tea (teh rasa buah-buahan), dan juga Green T (teh hijau rasa madu dan lemon). Aku paling suka Fruit Tea dan Green T. Enak, sih!|
|#28||ibob||15-Aug-2006, 11:52 MYT|
|Come on dude' it just a tea...|
|#27||aLdi||5-Aug-2006, 11:55 MYT|
|apapun makanannya minumannya harus teh botol|
|#26||Fairy||16-Jul-2006, 11:17 MYT|
|DONNY: You literally sucked it up like a real man. I find Frestea a tad sweeter than Teh Botol, Teh Kotak juga is sweeter IMHO.|
|#25||Donny Wahyudi - Website||14-Jul-2006, 23:11 MYT|
This happened to me once, I ordered the botol but ended-up with frestea which I only knew after a sip.
But to change it or re-order is quite an embarassment.. so kept drinking it.
Frestea wasn't all bad, but this brand consciuos made us unconscious.
|#24||wimar - Website||9-Jul-2006, 07:32 MYT|
|love your blog - just discovered it. the poster in this posting is funny. genuine? hope you don't mind publishing this on my site and linking to yours?|
|#23||Adhimas||5-Jul-2006, 15:27 MYT|
|Kalau di Indonesia, Nangka is jack fruit. Tetapi Nangka Belanda berbeda dengan jack fruit yang aslinya. Jadi Nangka Belanda mungkin saudaranya Durian Belanda kali ya?|
|#22||Fairy||4-Jul-2006, 20:22 MYT|
|ADHIMAS: Apa itu Nangka Belanda?|
|#21||Adhimas||4-Jul-2006, 19:53 MYT|
|Satu lagi bahasa Malaysia yang gue tau Kalo di Indonesia ada Nangka Belanda. Sama nggak sih?|
|#20||Fairy - Website||16-Jun-2006, 13:32 MYT|
We've got a serious Sari Wangi enthusiast in the house, ladies and gentlemen!
JAZZMATE, sirsak itu soursop kan? Malaysians refer to sirsak as DURIAN BELANDA.
|#19||jazzmate||16-Jun-2006, 12:43 MYT|
Actually I quite like Sari Wangi teh..Esp, when served during morning breakfast at hotel (Hotel Santika Slipi for once)..Quite sedap what!!
But my usual drinks kl di Jkt pasti lah Jus Sirsak..Power!!!
|#18||Fairy - Website||16-Jun-2006, 10:42 MYT|
HI UMAR: Thanks for the insight! For a brand that sounds so sophisticated (Sari Wangi), it's a bit jilting to find out that it's actually lower grade stuff. But it's alright lah, tea is tea to non-connoisseurs.
I can't stand milk tea actually, it's a put off for me (yes, Fairy is not a fan of teh tarik, gasp). Milk goes well with chocolate or coffee, but not tea! Tea should constantly be splashed with the citrus senstation that is lime and lemon, I always say.
|#17||umar - Website||13-Jun-2006, 13:47 MYT|
Although Teh Botol Sosro may be the facto indonesians' favorite I often opt for other tea-based beverage. In local kakilima restaurantt, the 'default' beverage is plain tea, which is like the weakest-tasted tea, a level below Sariwangi.
About Sariwangi tea, a friend of mine who works in Pengalengan Tea Estate in southern Bandung once told me that Sariwangi tea is basically low grade tea, packaged in such way to make it marketable.
Nowadays, it seems that most major beverage brand have tea-based products and even the existing tea specialists keep expanding the line with new variety, like fruit flavored tea, soda tea, ginger tea, lemon tea, and milk tea.
|#16||Fairy - Website||12-Jun-2006, 13:43 MYT|
ADHIMAS: Saya sudah coba Fruitea, I love it too! I like the blackcurrent flavor and laicee. Good stuff!
I have to set this for the record: teh botol is now available in Malaysia but only at selected places, notably at Indonesian restaurants operating within Klang Valley area.
|#15||Adhimas||12-Jun-2006, 12:29 MYT|
Udah ngerasain Fruity blom? Itu tuh, teh keluaran baru dari Sosro. Rasanya enak booo.... Gw bisa abis berbotol-botol kalo lagi haus. Sekarang gw lebih suka Fruty dari pada teh botol. Tapi kalo nggak dapet Fruty, ya kapaksa deh ambil teh botol
Eh, skali-skali datang dong ke pabriknya untuk meliput. Trus elo minta supaya teh botol diekspor ke Malaysia. Setuju nggak?
|#14||i am iam - Website||21-May-2006, 00:27 MYT|
i ♥ teh botol too!
|#13||Fairy||16-May-2006, 13:30 MYT|
ANTONIE: Yey, I now have a tourist guide in Bali.
TARI: Salam kenal juga! So you have teh botol displayed next to your wine bottles? Very unique! Will teh botol age as finely as fine? That is the question. Though I wouldn't recommend drinking it after more than a year! Those things have expiration dates.
|#12||Tari - Website||13-May-2006, 05:57 MYT|
Hi Farah, salam kenal dari Italia..
Superb website!! ..after reading this i ran to my fridge.. no teh botol..
Tahun lalu saya bawa beberapa botol teh sosro di suitcase, tapi sayang mau di minum..just for collection among with my wine bottles.
|#11||Antonie - Website||12-May-2006, 11:41 MYT|
|of course u have to clean the bottle cap b4 fai..lol. yes I live in Bali. have u been here fai? lo tenang aje...kalo lo kesini gampang deh biar gw yg jd guide nya...with my pleasure.. . I'll take u wherever u want to go....OKay.....let me know if u have rencana nak tengokČ ke Bali..hehe.....|
|#10||Fairy - Website||11-May-2006, 09:20 MYT|
HI ANTONIE salam kenal. Great, you're in Bali? Care to be my tour guide?
Hmm not sure if I'm keen to try minum teh botol langsung dari mulut botolnya, kadang2 bottle cap teh botol suka karat and ada sisa rust on it, bisa besi poisoning tuh.
|#9||Antonie - Website||10-May-2006, 07:46 MYT|
|a superb site fairy...!! SALUTE...teh botol emang cool deh..gw tiap hari bisa minum hampir 5 botol and sampeČ gw belaČin order refrigator yg asli buat dirumah.( coz gw yg jualan hehe... ) ,nih gw punya tips asyik minum teh botol menurut gw: lebih baik ga usah pake straw...langsung teguk aje kalo bisa skali ampe abis setengah botol. lo bakal ngerasiin how the real teh botol's taste is..trust me...n kalo Fairy mau kebali ntar kasi tau gw ya..thank|
|#8||bowo - Website||25-Apr-2006, 18:54 MYT|
|kalo kamu ke Bandung ada|
|#7||Kearns - Website||20-Apr-2006, 01:23 MYT|
|I guess I'm not a gourmet yet. Teh Botol, Frestea, Teh Kotak, all taste about the same to me. Perhaps that's because I live in the US, and I can't be picky as to which is available for purchase...|
|#6||Hercules||18-Apr-2006, 20:30 MYT|
|Dulu memang gue suka ama teh Botol Sosro . . . tapi sekarang kayaknya lebih enakan Freshtea! Satu hari gue bisa minum tiga botol freshtea!|
|#5||Fairy||6-Apr-2006, 23:59 MYT|
|Niphredil, yes you should write about your unique teh botol experience. Only if it's not boring.|
|#4||Niphredil - Website||4-Apr-2006, 14:43 MYT|
Great article!!! I'm a teh botol addict myself and I wouldn't swap my teh botol Sosro with any other drink... The longest time I managed without drinking this precious drink was the two weeks when I went to Vienna (but what kept me going was knowing that I'd soon drink teh botol again. I did drink them right away, right after I landed in Jakarta). Teh Botol Sosro rules!!!
Maybe I should write my own teh botol experience?
|#3||Ali-G-Asia Version - Website||16-Mar-2006, 10:24 MYT|
I totally agree , This kind of incident is frustrating, Ask me !! A regular Teh Botol Fan ...its like u want to have a KFC and someone gives you a local ayam goreng in a plate!!...
Hail Fairy for this one !!..Good JOB!!
|#2||Fairy||2-Mar-2006, 15:36 MYT|
|snydez: I didn't forget. I never intended to write it. Besides, the tag line is so famous, it needs no introduction.|
|#1||snydez - Website||2-Mar-2006, 14:13 MYT|
|you forget to write down the teh botol tag line|
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