All of the tea that Joytea produces comes from its plantation in Hadong 400 meters above sea level. Besides offering three grades of yellow tea and three grades of green tea, Joytea also sells coin type ddok cha, disk type ddok cha, and this interesting yellow tea disk type ddok cha. The ddok cha products will receive their own posts in the coming weeks and months.
This sample of yellow tea disk type ddok cha actually didn't come from a disk at all but came from a 100g bowl/ bell shape (click here for a picture). This tea can also be purchased in a five pack that is strung together with Korean traditional paper straw and wrapped in bamboo (click here then scroll down for a picture of this packaging).
This Yellow (Bal hyo cha, Hwang cha, semi-oxidized tea) disk type ddok cha is only classified as "ddok cha" because the final step of production involves the tea being pressed into a cake. It is truly a yellow tea pressed into a cake form. The product description on joytea's web page describes the normal production for a Korean yellow tea which involves oxidization by vigorous rubbing on a rush mat and withering until the desired level of oxidization is achieved, in this case 60% oxidization. This tea is then shaped into a cake.
This tea is a bit of a rarity because it is the only yellow tea one has ever came across that is cake pressed. Generally Korean semi-oxidized teas don't possess the strenth nor the depth acceptable for aging. All other ddok cha that one has encountered is essentially pressed green tea. So this tea is a bit unique in that respect.
The kettle shakes as water boils, one closely examines this sample. It smells of sweet raison and is composed of long, straggly, dark brown with slight red tinged leaves.
The first infusion is prepared with water that was cooled for a short time. It is full of light, watery, plumy tastes. Its mouthfeel is soft and huddles on the middle of the tongue and front of the mouth. The aftertaste is light, fruity, and dry but has a dusky finish that hits at a grittier bottom.
The second infusion is plumy also peachy at first then fades somewhat into dryness in the mouth. The mouthfeel is more at the front but feels full enough there- nice.
More water is boiled up and the third infusion is prepared. It tastes fruity but at the same time soft, gritty, grainy, and dry. The flavour of this tea is fairly stably throughout infusions. The mouthfeel is now coarse and dry.
The fourth infusion is enjoyed as light spice flavours mix with slight fading fruitiness. The mouthfeel becomes tart, dry, and a touch gritty.
This tea continues on for a few more infusions but doesn't offer any real change in its profile other than becoming more watery and flat. Strangely it offers some strange soft fermented-tea like depth in its aftertaste even as its flavours are quick to fade.