Wednesday, July 28, 2010

2009 Joytea Organic Hadong Disk Type Ddok Cha


This ddok cha is the disk type from Joytea. There is also a five pack available on their web page that is wrapped in bamboo leaves and bound with three strands of tradtional Korean paper (click here then scroll down). The production of this disk type ddok cha is consistent with the usual steps for this type as follows.

After the tea is picked it undergoes a kill green stage where the tea is hand tossed in a heated iron cauldron after it is picked. Then the tea undergoes a shaping/rolling process that should strike a nice balance between being the lighter shaping of green tea and the violent shredding of red tea-leaning much closer to green tea production of course. Proper pressure and technique here very much influence the final product. The leaves are spread out evenly over bamboo baskets and left to dry for 1-2 days in the open air where they are libel to catch the rising and setting of the sun and moon. They are then pressed into cakes. Joytea uses cloth to press them in much the same way puerh tea is pressed, as a result, the imprint of the fabric is found on the final product. They are then dried in a well ventilated room.

The dry leaf looks quite nice and is examined closely as one widdles away the longish mix of leaves that comprise of this cake. Upon closer inspection the leaves are mainly medium-largish with a slight greenish tint to them. There are also reddish, yellowish, and white outliers mixed in for good measure. This cake is stone pressed and carries with it the imprint of the fabric bag with which it was pressed. The compression is pretty tight for disk type ddok cha which can also be pressed between two large planks. It is about equivalent to a lighter stone pressed puerh. The odour of the leaf is sweet, rich, and deep. It has a sour musky green smell that is also sweet. It has faint notes of raison and pine wood in it as well- a great smelling ddok cha.


When the water has cooled just slightly in the cooling bowl it is added to the pot of dry ddok cha leaves. Out pours a bright yellow. It is light, sweet, and a very musky dingy floral that evolves into pine wood then into a very sweet finish. It has a dry forest like aftertaste and fills the mouth with a thin coat that is thick and viscous.

The second pot is prepared and consumed with great care. A juicy, thick liquid starts musky and deep and turns into welcomed strong floral sweetness. It finishes dry with deep green forest-like aftertaste. The aftertaste is deep and long.


The thickness of this tea is apparent throughout the session. In the third infusion this thick viscous soup offers deep flavours especially a more pronounced floral that trails into the aftertaste and is a bit bland. A musky floral scent lingers in the nose. After the tea is gulped down it leaves a slightly sandy and dry sensation on the lips and in the tongue. The qi of this tea hits ones mind and is strong. Things are clear, ones mind and spirit are open. It seems to flood the middle jiao but refrains from attaching it and simply mellows there.

The fourth and fifth infusions offer a light, more up-front, bland, sweet, floral profile which turns into a dry, deep forested, slightly floral, green tea aftertaste. The tea now starts to show its green tea bottom that is now exposed in the thinning complexity. Dry astringency also emerges especially in the finish.


The sixth and seventh infusions become progressively more bitter but retain the thick oily and smooth mouthfeel which is such a treat for the tactile receptors of the mouth. There is still a flash of sweet floral taste in these infusions, sometimes even an undulation of fruitier notes. The aftertaste remains bitter and musky with much depth.

The chaqi slowly radiates outward from the middle. The age of this ddok cha puts its thermal energy somewhere near neutral. On this cool summer day it feels as though it is slightly on the cooler side of the spectrum still. Ones body and mind feel extraordinarily quiet and relaxed.

The eight, ninth, and tenth infusions comprise of a light, floral sweet tea, with still some bitter, forestlike depth. The mouthfeel is still quite oily and the aftertaste is mainly just bitter and bland.


This tea can be taken for many infusions, stamina is definitely a good quality of disk type ddok cha of this age. So it is enjoyed throughout the next day like this- the infusions coming and going with the rising and setting of the sun and moon- a wonderful ending mirroring its production.

Peace

5 comments:

Adam Yusko said...

Hey,

I received both of the Korean tea books today, and I actually already read the Korean Way of Tea, it was a delightful and quick read.

I am very interested in trying to acquire some Ddok-cha and other Korean tea's but so far the only sites that are in English that I can find are Shan Shui, Hankook,and Dao tea. Are there any others you know about?

You often mention some vendors whose websites are completely in Korean, and I can not find a translate button and Translating with Google does nothing. Do you know of a way for a non-korean speaker to order from some of them?

Adam

Matt said...

Adam Yusko,

Both "The Korean Way of Tea" and "Korean Tea Classics" are very accessible reads. Glad you enjoyed the first one.

As far as the Korean tea goes, one was not even aware of the great Korean selection at Shan Shui teas. It seems as though they offer both balhyocha and green tea from popular Korean producers. Those three are the only English shops currently selling Korean tea although, in a few weeks, there will probably be another in the USA selling great Korean teas (sorry for the teaser here but it would be rude to say before they announce them).

As far as ddok cha goes, Teamountain in Cech Republic sells some and the owner speaks English so don't hesitate to contact him:

http://www.teamountain.cz/kontakt

Due to the high cost of Korean tea that gets past on to the consumer through the middle man, the best way to order Korean tea is to make a new Korean friend :)

Hope that helps a bit.

Peace

Ho Go said...

I have personally not tried the following vendors but have spoken to them about their teas. They go to Korea and deal directly with Jirisan producers, arguably the best Korean teas.

Postcard Teas and East Teas in U.K.
Darjeeling.cz in Czech Rep.

Good prices and hopefully good teas.

Permaculture media blog said...

yum yum, nice photos;)

Matt said...

Ho Go,

You are a person in the know!

It looks like Postcard teas sells a Jirisan ujeon as well as a tea from Boseong tea producing area- the only dealer that sells Boseong tea in the West. East Teas seems to offer a few grades of Korean tea including what they claim to be a Korean 'red tea'. The Hadong saejak grade tea sold at Darjeeling.cz got the nod from fellow tea blogger Poetery In Tea: http://poemtea.blogspot.com/

That's 7 English sites that sell Korean tea- not bad at all (to be 8 soon)!

Permaculture Media Blog,

Thanks for stopping in.

Peace