Sunday, August 1, 2010

O'sulloc: The Largest Korean Tea Company Now Sells Tea On Its English Site

This is a link to their very new English homepage:

The site is extensive, easy to navigate, extreamly informative, and simply fun. One suggests you play around there for a while, they answer almost any question you might have about their tea and so much more.

This is a link to their English Online Store:

There are a few things you might want to know about O'sulloc that aren't on the web page though:

O'sulloc is the largest tea producer in Korea. Three of their four tea gardens are on Jeju Island, one of Korea's three main tea producing areas. One could take a very informed guess without looking at statistics and say that they likely produce 99% of the tea that leaves Jeju Island. Basically, they ARE the Jeju Island tea producing area.

All of their teas are produced using mechanical methods from planting and picking to producing and packaging. O'sulloc utilizes the latest in the science of tea production. This is quite different than the way almost all other Korean loose leaf tea is produced.

O'sulloc's tea is more likely to be found in Korean department stores rather than Korea tea houses. O'sulloc is a very progressive, modern tea company that puts more value in science not so much in tradition. It is at the extreme end in the spectrum of Korean tea with small production, completely traditional, completely hand made wild tea from Jiri Mountain being the opposite extreme. Never the less, it is an important fixture of modern Korean tea culture.

Since Jeju Island is tropical, unlike the other tea growing areas of Korea, tea grows virtually year round. The traditional tea picking seasons and grading/categorizing system of Korean teas don't so much apply to their product. See this link for a timeline that looks at this.



Ho Go said...

You've summed it up rather well. I would go one step further and say that this is a very slick marketing company with a beautiful store in Insadong. I've only had their basic, roasted tea which is a far cry from Jirisan type tea. In a sense, it is a tea for the masses and not bad. I have not tried their premium teas. Thanks for all your research, Matt.

Matt said...

Ho Go,

One has only tried their basic offerings as well, it was gifted in a gift set and that was years ago. It seems like things might have improved since last trying their teas (at the very least their research and marketing has improved).


Matt said...

This was sent to ones email address regarding this post. Thought it might be helpful to some other readers:

Hi Matt,

I read your post about O"Sulloc tea with great interest and spent some time
navigating their website. I am confused by a few things- can you help me out ?

I have never heard of the two teas that they list before Ujeon: Illohyang and
Okuro. Can you explain to me what these are ? I assume that because they
come before Ujeon they are indicating that they are earlier plucks, altho
perhas they are just giving them the same prestige as Ujeon because the
packages come with the same type of expensive wooden scoop. I thought
was the earliest and highest grade of premium tea so I am confused by
these two other teas.

The Sejak and Jsksulsoo come with a different type of wooden scoop, so I
take this to mean that these teas are clearly considered differently than the
top three but on a par with one another. They do not seem to offer a
Jungjak..... but what is Jsksulsoo ? I thought that the term Jaksul was used
in regards to tiny leaf Ujeon and Sajac. Can Jungjak be called Jsksulsoo ?


Illohyang is a peppermint flavoured tea (probably an ujeon) and is supposed to have no bitterness to it.

The Okuro is a bit of a play on words because it is processed like a gyokuro. The 'O' is probably supposed to mean o'sulloc. Korean's are way to proud (and witty) to call their teas Japanese names. :)

Think that the Jaksulsoo might be last years production because it is not offered on the English site for sale. So one didn't think too much about it.

Jaksulcha usually is saejak BUT not always. It is ONLY a reference to the size of the leaf NOT the season the leaf is picked in.


kim said...

Hi Matt, found your blog after scouring Google for O'Sulloc Jeju sweet brown tea. This stuff is amazing. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like they are shipping to the States. Have you come across any other distributors in NA? Thanks!

Matt said...


No one in the West sells this stuff. If you find someone let us know.

Good luck on your tea search!