With almost every post, Marshaln's experiences with tea always seem to teach me something. Small or big, insignificant or important... I learn from his experiences. So this one's for Marshaln... (If you haven't read the last few posts on MattCha's Blog please read them and Marshaln's comments that follow them before reading this post).
I hope these pics satisfy!
Marshaln brought up an important issue that should be addressed sooner rather than later. It's the problem with the romanization of the Korean language. There are currently two acceptable ways of transcribing Korean into English. The old way, previously accepted by the Korean government, and the new way, developed by Professor Kim and is some times referred to as 'Professor Kim's Way'. There are also many 'freestyle' or personal transliterations that probably grew out of dissatisfaction with the old system. This, coupled with the fact that there is very little English information about Korean tea and that there has not been a universally agreed upon English standard for tea language in Korea, has led to the plethora of terms that mean exactly the same thing. The posts on this blog will try to keep the Korean transliterations uniform.
These are some of the common versions of the categories of Korean teas:
First flush: Ujeon, Woojeun, Woojeong, or even less common Woojun
Second flush: Sejak, or Saejak
Thrid flush: Jungjak, or Joongjak
Marshaln also checked into what these words mean. So I will go into closer inspection of these terms and their relation to the classification system used.
It makes sense that Ujeon means 'before rain' because it is traditionally picked before Gok-u (Gokwoo, or Gokwu). Guk-u is the 6th of the 24 seasonal divisions according to the lunar calender based on the movement of the sun that falls on either the 20th or 21st of April. Guk-u is the day that signals rainfall for seeding. Tea that is picked during this time, when first shoots are at their smallest, is classified as Ujeon.
Tea that is picked between Guk-u and Ipha (or Ibha) or just a few days after Ipha, is classified as Sejak. Ipha is the first day of summer and the 7th seasonal division according to the 24 seasonal divisions. It falls on the 5th or 6th of May.
I don't know the word meanings of Sejak or Jungjak. Perhaps the prefix 'jak' means summer and they mean before summer and during summer?
Thanks again for bringing up these important and interesting issues Marshaln.