142 JAVA: THE GARDEN OF THE EAST
they have profited, and whose ingenious machines they have so generally adopted for curing and preparing black teas. Often the profuse a flushinga of the tea-bushes forces the fabrik to run all night to dispose of the quantity of fresh leaves; and one gets an idea of the worlda s increasing consumption of tea in this quarter of a century since Java, India, and Ceylon entered into competition in the tea-trade with China and Japan. Parakan Salak teas are advertised and sold in Shanghai and Yokohama, and the appeal to those great tea-marts is significant of a progressive spirit in Java trade, that is matched by the threat that petroleum from Javaa s oil-wells will soon compete seriously with American and Russian oil.
The coffee harvest is a fixed event in the plantationa s calendar, and occurs regularly in April and May, at the close of the rainy season. Now that the finer Arabian shrub has been so largely replaced by the hardy Liberian tree, coffee-culture is a little less arduous than before. The berries are brought to the mill, husked by machinery, washed, dried on concrete platforms in the sun, sacked, and shipped to Batavia, and nothing more is heard of that crop until the next spring comes around. The trees are carefully tended and watched, of course, throughout the year, and scrutinized closely for any sign of scale or worm, bug or blight. The glowing red volcanic soil is always being weeded and raked and loosened, the trees trimmed, young plants from the great nursery of seedlings set out in place of the old trees, and the coffee area extended annually by clearings.
The Sundanese who live in their ornamental little