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Jakarta Post

Patekoan, tea-for-all tradition that symbolizes value of sharing

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

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Jakarta   /   Thu, January 23, 2020   /  07:26 pm
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Teapots line a long table in front of the Pantjoran Tea House in Glodok, West Jakarta. The teashop provides tea as a tradition known by locals as "patekoan".(JP/Lilian Koch)

On a corner of a Pancoran street in Glodok, Chinatown in West Jakarta, lies a white, octagonal two-story building with tapered roof.  From the look of the building, people can tell that it was built decades ago. The building, was built in 1928 as a pharmacy named Chung Hwa before it was revitalized in 2016 and became the Pantjoran Tea House. In front of the tea house, there’s a long table with eight teapots with a classical white-green pattern and several cups, letting anyone passing by to serve themselves a cup of green tea or two. As the teapots are exposed to sunlight, the light naturally keeps the tea warm. Pardi, 50, a ride-hailing motorcycle taxi driver walked into the tea house that sunny Wednesday noon and grabbed a teapot on a table in front of the shop, poured himself a cup of tea and drank it. “It’s common for locals here; the shop offers fre...