Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Dao Tea Tasting Event: 2009 Kim Shin Ho Hwagae Valley Seajak Green Tea

This tea was included in the tasting package for comparative purposes only as it is no longer available from Dao Tea.

Here is a link to a post that one did on this tea in March when it was a lot more fresh.

Link to Bret's (Tea Goober) Tasting Notes

Link to Adam's (The Sip Tip) Tasting Notes



Nathaniel said...

This was actually the first tea I sampled in this series. I tried this tea an hour or so before Kim Shin Ho's 2010 Sejak so I had not yet experienced the fresher of the two teas.

With that in mind, I felt this tea was surprisingly fresh compared to my expectations. Going in with expectations of completely flat, tasteless tea I think I was able to enjoy this tea for what it was.

The dry leaves were certainly a lighter--almost dusty shade of green and the aroma was much subdued both in the dry and infused leaves. However, I enjoyed this tea; rather than serving as a ghost of its previous fresher self, I felt that it served as a good preview for what was to come in the 2010 tea. In this manner it tuned my palate and made me extra sensitive to the comparative freshness and strength of the tea master's 2010 Sejak.

All in all, I was glad that this tea was included in the sampling package: it made for a very informative comparative lesson of sorts.

Bret said...


Have you ever known of any Korean tea's to have been nitro flushed? You they package teas in Japan? Nitro flushing the teas greatly extends the shelf life as there is NO oxygen in the packet.

I felt that the 2009 Kim Shin Ho Sejak was on it's last legs. Nothing really very note worthy or enjoyable in the cup. But there were traces of what used to be. Just made me sad to see a really good tea gone to waste.

Ho Go said...

Brett, it is noteworthy to mention that East Teas Sejak is also 2009 but still is a very enjoyable tea considering its age. Storage conditions will play a big part in this but fresh greens are always best, IMO.

David said...

Among all the samples available, this was the first I tried. I figured that there was a chance I would be disappointed if beginning right away with the 2010 teas.

I was happily surprised with what I tasted. I figured it would be more bland. It may have lost a bit its freshness, but I think it gained some rounder notes.

When I put my nose in my hot gaiwan filled with dry leaves, an image came to me at once : an apricot "clafoutis." Though I wasn't able at first to know why, I could not get rid of this feeling.

I understood later that the aroma reminded me of cooked apricot skin. It may sound odd, but that was honestly my feeling. This was also in the cup. But as infusions went by, it kind of changed into more salty flavour, reminding me of a japanese green tea.

This tea was like nothing I tasted before. Thanks again for the opportunity.

Bret said...

Hey Ho Go,

Yeah, I,m probably exagerating a bit, not horrible or anything but can't hold a candle to the 2010 Kim Shin Ho Sejak. Now that's a great tea!

Matt said...


Glad you got so much out of it. Think most of the tasters in this event also attempted the 2009s first to refine their Korean tea making skill. hahhaha.


Nitro flushed...

That sounds too suspiciously Japanese ... hahhaa...

Seriously though, have never seen Korean tea that was nitro flushed. That is one of the reasons why it degrades so much. The moisture content and the subtle nature of Korean greens is another. Tea that gets shuffled around from package to package also looses a lot. Since these samples were just prepared from a previously sealed pack, it falls into this category.


Wonder if that Dong Cheon tea from East Tea was in the original packaging? That could be one of the reasons it may have retained its freshness?


One always enjoys apricot characters in tea. Happy you found some.


M said...

This is the second tea I tried, the first being the Jungjak.

When I smelt the dry leaves I thought "uh oh, smells exactly like the Junjak" and I was worried that I would not be able to discern any differences. They turned out to be quite different though. Once the leaves were placed in my heated gaiwan I was surprised at how different they smelled from the Jungjak. The aroma gave me the sense of a salty, bitter layer engulfing a sweet inner core. I much preferred the full, beefy aroma of the Jungjak... something here seemed a bit muted and lacking.

Indeed, the tea is a bit faded. It still has a nice mouthfeel (more enjoyable than the Jungjak, at least) and a soft, gentle aftertaste, but the flavors are muted. I almost felt bad for the tea, as if it was trying hard to express itself to me, but was simply too old and tired to do so.

Maybe the 2010 version will reveal what the 2009 was trying to say.

Matt said...


You picked up on the fact that jungjak teas in general seems to maintain their integrity much longer than saejak or ujeon. Look forward to reading your other notes.


M said...

I wonder why that is. Why would a later picking allow the tea the last longer? The processing of the two tea are similar, right?

Matt said...


Jungjak has much deeper, heavier, rooted flavours. Ujeon has very light, fresh, subtle flavours. Subtle, light, fresh flavours tend to be the first tastes to degrade. They have a dispersing feel and flavour and are more prone to "disperse". Deeper, heavier, rooted flavours have more of a grounding feel and flavour and are more prone to "stand their ground" for longer.