Boh Plantations Sendirian Berhad, a pioneer of tea cultivation in Malaysia, was established on 23 April 1929 by John Archibald Russell, the son of a British government official.
J.A Russell saw the potential of tea as an important crop in the then Malaya, which until that time had been substantially dependent upon rubber and tin. In conjunction with Mr A.B. Milne, an old tea planter from Ceylon, he applied for and was granted a concession of land in the Cameron Highlands, 5000ft above sea level. This became Boh Gardens, the first highland estate in the country.
Boh Gardens was carved out of virgin jungle and as such all roads, felling and planting on the steep slopes had to be done by hand with only the assistance of mules.
Today, BOH is a 100% vertically integrated tea company, one of a few in the world which plants, processes, packs and markets its own premium brands. This is an important quality aspect, as nowadays most tea companies get their tea from the world market without knowing from which tea gardens this tea comes from. BOH Plantations owns four tea gardens - Boh, Fairlie and Sungei Palas in Cameron Highlands and Bukit Cheeding in the lowlands. Together, they produce 4 million kgs of tea annually. This is equal to 5.5 millions cups a day!
Tea is very much like wine: its final character is largely influenced by the conditions in which it is grown. Hence, with its high altitude, low temperatures and slightly acidic soil, Cameron Highlands is the ideal environment for growing superb teas of distinctive flavour and aroma.
Only the most tender leaves are picked every morning at BOH's tea gardens. These are immediately transported to the tea factories to be processed for the flavour and aroma unique only to BOH.
Tea can be broadly classified into two types, highland and lowland. Each has its own characteristics. Highland teas are aromatic and bright while lowland teas have more body and colour.
The environmental conditions in the Cameron Highlands of abundant rainfall, long hours of sunshine, altitude and well-drained acidic soils encourage the development of the particular volatile aromatic substances that constitute the flavour of tea.
The propagation of Boh tea plants begins with the careful selection of the tea plant cuttings. At the Boh gardens, the Assam varieties of Manipuri and Rajghur jats, as well as top quality clonal varieties renowned for their robust and brisk character are cultivated. The cuttings are rooted and then nurtured in shaded nurseries.
After a year, the young plants which are now about 46 cm tall are transplanted to the field. For the next three to five years, the tea bushes are constantly shaped and pruned to form a "table" for plucking. Under ideal conditions, such as those found in Boh Gardens, tea bushes can live up to 100 years.
Experienced Boh pickers can each harvest about 200 kilogrammes of tea leaves in a day - enough to make 45 kilogrammes of manufactured tea. The baskets of tea leaves are first checked for quality, packed in sacks and weighed before being transported to the Boh factory for the tea making process.
BOH tea is pesticide residue-free according to the requirements of the German Maximum Residue Level Regulation and the EU Directives in their currently valid versions. Moreover, BOH has been awarded with ISO 22000:2005 certification - the new international standard for food safety management by the United Kingdom Accredited Services (UKAS). World-class proof that recognises BOH´ s supreme quality and the safety standards this company upholds. BOH will continuously strive to provide the best to her customers. It´ s really something to be proud of, especially considering BOH is the first tea company in the world to be certified in such a way. This deserves a bit of cheer - with a nice cup of BOH tea, of course!
In 2010, the BOH brand has been selected by Asia's consumers as one of the top brands in Asia Pacific. This is according to the results of the Asia-Pacific's Top 1000 brands survey, jointly conducted by Media Magazine and TNS Research, sponsored by The Wall Street Journal Asia. The survey was done by TNS Research interviewing over 3,000 consumers across the region (i.e. Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand) with each individual being asked to name his two preferred brands in over 50 major product categories. Thus, the survey identifies which brands appeal most to Asia Pacific's consumers. BOH has achieved a rank among the top 250 brands in this survey.
Boh Plantations today is a leading grower and marketer of tea in Malaysia and the South-East Asian region.
With a production capacity approaching 3000 kilogrammes per hectare, Boh produces 4,000,000 kilogrammes of tea a year, or approximately 5.5 million cups of tea per day! This constitutes around 70% of all tea produced in Malaysia and meets almost 50% of the consumption requirements of the country.
Today, Malaysians drink more Boh tea than any other tea. And there is an ever-increasing demand for Boh overseas, with exports to various nations including the USA and Japan.
The Cameron Highlands, Malaysia's most famous and idyllic highland resort, was discovered in 1885 by William Cameron, a government surveyor.
The Boh tea gardens, sited 10 km south-east of Tanah Rata in the Cameron Highlands, is located around 5000 feet above sea level. Besides producing teas of distinctive character and outstanding flavour, these gardens are a tourists' delight.
They offer some of the most spectacular vistas in the country - rolling hills carpeted with lush green, manicured tea bushes, magnificent stands of towering firs and panoramic views of distant mountains rising majestically above the fine mist.
The road from Kuala Lumpur to the Boh Gardens narrows and snakes up steep jungle hills, past aboriginal Malays carrying blow guns and selling durian (tropical fruit) from make-shift bamboo and palm leaf stalls.
The Cameron Highlands offers Malaysians and overseas visitors an enchanting holiday retreat.
You'll be charmed by its quaint, English-style cottages and bungalows, brilliant, multi-hued flowers and butterflies, peaceful jungle vales, scenic views, cool, invigorating climate and leisurely peace of life.
The Cameron Highlands is accessible by road which winds and weaves its way through the fascinating mountain jungles of Malaysia.The visitor has a choice of accommodation - privately-owned, staffed bungalows or comfortable hotels.