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Korean Tea recommendations?

Richard Kilgore

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A friend may be going to Korea early this year and has offered to bring back some Korean tea and tea-things for me. Anyone know anything about Korean teas and have suggestions?

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A friend may be going to Korea early this year and has offered to bring back some Korean tea and tea-things for me. Anyone know anything about Korean teas and have suggestions?

Koreans drink a lot of barley tea (bori-cha) and corn tea (sorry, don't know the romanji for that one) as well as green tea mixed with brown rice. I personally prefer Korean green tea. I'll have my +1 add some notes for you, she's from Seoul.

The +1 comments follow:

I would recommend Jak-Sul Cha which means sparrow tongue tea. The dried tea leaves look like sparrow's tongue. It is very unique Korean tea. Most tea grown in Korea is similar to Chinese or Japanese teas. A lot depends on where your friend is going. If he's going to be in the city, that's one thing, if he's traveling, he can go to the tea growing areas in the southwest and that's a whole entire new adventure.

Edited by tsure (log)

Red meat is not bad for you. Now blue-green meat, that’s bad for you!

Tommy Smothers

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Thanks, tsure and Beto.

I found some interesting info in Wikepedia, here.

Korean tea refers to various types of tisane that can be served hot or cold. Not necessarily related to "common" tea, they are made from diverse substances including fruits, leaves, roots, and grains used in traditional Korean medicine.

The writer dates "the first historical record documenting the offering of tea to an ancestral god" to a rite in the year 661. Toward the end of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), common people joined the practice of royalty and "used tea for ancestral rites, following the Chinese example based on Zhu Xi's text Formalities of Family".

No mention of green teas similar to those of Japan and China, but it is not clear whether the tea ceremonies historically used green teas or some of the tisanes. At any rate the entry focuses on tisanes. And the list of the various tisanes is extensive.

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  • 1 year later...

I received a couple of Korean green teas in a tea trade with Wholemeal Crank. Korean teas are much, much harder to find in the West, compared to Chinese and Japanese teas. Does anyone have web sources for Korean tea? I am primarily interested in the green teas, but am open to whatever.

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Are we talking tea tea, or any of the other hot drinks generally referred to as "cha"" in Korean?

I love yujacha, a hot drink made from a yuzu-like marmalade. We always have a bottle in the fridge for when we have sore throats. My husband is a big fan of yulmucha, a kind of hot cereal beverage made with Job's Tears. And when I see it, I also like to get a cup of dae-cha - jujube tea. It's not summer without a jug of bori-cha (barley tea) in the fridge, either.

For "tea" tea, I like nokcha, with brown rice, especially in the morning. I usually had the bags from the supermarket - I've never tried any from a specialty purveyor. In Korea, O'Sulloc was a popular green tea, although I caqn't recall having tried any. I'm going on a short trip to Busan in June, and I'm looking forward to picking some up and comparing it to my local product.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Put together a review of the Hankook Oolong tea today.

This is fairly pricey like most Korean teas, apparently due to rarity with most being consumed inside Korea.

The leaves are dark, small, twisted, with toasty and fruity odors. When added to the prewarmed gaiwan, the odor is stronger, mostly fruity and tart.


The first 30 second infusion with water several minutes off the boil (probably about 180 degrees) yields an amber infusion, tasted like dilute black tea--touch of fruit, bit of toasty, but very little of the floral and earthy notes I expect from my chinese oolongs.

2nd infusion at 170 degrees (thought it was a bit warmer, surprised when it was so cool in the cup), also about 30 seconds, again tastes strongly of....well...black tea. A little fruity, very tea-like, a little hint of caramel.


For the 4th infusion, I put water just off the boil for 20 seconds, and a little more sweetness comes out. It reminds me a bit of the Yunnan Oriental Beauty I got from Yunnan Sourcing: tastes strongly oxidized, like a black tea, but without any of the bitterness that makes most of them intolerable to me.

The leaves are broken, curled, dark after infusion, and again, has a strong tea scent. ('Tea scent' here is code for smells like lipton, but that seems like a bad word to use describing a pleasant mild tea.)


It is easy and pleasant, but not that special for the price.

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