Friday, January 29, 2010

2009 'Yo Reum Hyong Ki' Boseong Yellow Tea Sample

This sample was kindly sent by Chris along with a few other surprises. This tea is from Boseong. Of note, is that it doesn't have the seal of Korean Organic Certification. Boseong has recently captured headlines worldwide for certifying many of its gardens, but not all gardens in Boseong are certified organic, in fact most are not. Of course, this has no bearing on the quality of the tea.

Very dark brownish leaves with a red tinge are revealed when dumped onto a coaster for inspection. Just upon inspection of the dry leaf one can ascertain the taste of this Korean yellow. The smell is light and fruity with black cherry and raisin grape notes.

One pours the whole sample into the pot, enough so that when water is added the leaves expand to completely fill the pot's belly. It is especially important to use lots of Korean yellow tea because Korean yellows have very little astringency, bitterness, and a very light body.

The hot water is poured into a cooling vessel where it waits for a few minutes before it is poured into the pot filled with leaves. The first infusion reveals watery, light tones of juicy fruit- very subtle chocolate raisin. Backnotes linger, even a light flash of vanilla can be noticed in the light, juicy mix.

More boiling water rests in the cooling pot, this time for a shorter period. When that water is put through leaves more of a spicy, cinnamon-raisin notes come out of the thin soup. A soft dryness is starting to develop in the mouth. The chaqi is also very light, somewhat cheery, and slightly uplifting.

The third pot is made a little longer with water closer to boiling. The mouthfeel is just a slight graininess. The light watery raisin spice slowly fades to dry on the tongue and in the breath.

The fourth and fifth infusions are sweet, light, fresh, and are starting to become a touch woody, the spiciness is starting to wear thin.

The sixth infusion is pushed a bit harder with hotter water and longer infusion times. The result is more light fruity raison, dry wood, some grit in the front of the mouth, some spice left to savour. This tea is very simple, juicy, light, and needs constant pushing to make it perform.

The seventh and eighth infusions start to reveal woody, sweet water.

By the end of the session ones mind buzzes with alertness.

Thanks Chris for a chance to experience this tea.


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