Myanmar are fond of the pickled tea, laphet, which is a traditional delicacy. The pickled tea, mixed with fried garlic, sesame and groundnut, is served at merit sharing ceremonies and weddings.
It depicts friendship and hospitality. We invite you to visit our hill ranges where tea is grown. We will entertain you with a plate of delicious pickled tea, which is rich in mixed light sweet and bitter tastes.
It has a mixed taste of light, sweet and bitter. These tealeaves are also a kind of herbal leaves and largely grown in Palaung Hills in North east of Myanmar. The tea leaves like cool weather thriving at a place of high and shady trees at a place of 4 thousand feet high above sea level. The tea sprouts are harvested between April and October every year. Two leaves and a sprout at the top of the tea plant are plucked gently. Tea leaves plucked before April are the best.
After plucking the tealeaves, they are kept in open air to keep away from heat. Later, the tealeaves are put in an oven and steamed for 5 minutes. Then, the tealeaves are spread on a short table and rolled by a team of worker. Rolled tealeaves filled big baskets in no time by collective work of Palaung youths. Plastic sheets are spread in the baskets to save the tealeaves from softening and getting rot. And then stones are put on the leaves for tenderising.
After tenderising for 2 days, the pickled tealeaves are sieved for separation of tender and rough leaves. Rough leaves are cut and then mixed with tender leaves. Then the pickled tea becomes marketable for sale.
Laphet can be differentiated as Cho-seint (Sweet & Tasty) Pickled Tea-leaves, Chin-sat (Sour & hot) Pickled Tea-leaves and Pickled Ginger (Sour). Depending on ones taste it can be served in different ways.
There are many laphet manufacturers in Myanmar. Yuzana, Shwe Toat, Ayee Taung are some of the popular laphet productions in Myanmar.