Friday, April 27, 2012

2011 Hankook Tea's Certified Organic "Doo Mool" Jungjak Korean Green Tea

Before sitting down with this tea thought one would throw down a bunch of random facts about Hankook that have not been covered in previous posts (see here and here):

1- It is common for Korean tea to carry poetic names, this organic jungjak is named "Doo Mool" which means something like "liquid water" and follows the trend set by the organic saejak which is called "Chut Mool", something like "first water". These names both speak to the natural quality of Korean teas and may also allude to the seasonal terms which follow after "grain rain" or "gogu", the solar marker of ujeon grade.

2- Forgot to mention in the Introduction of Hankook Tea that Hankook played an instrumental role in popularizing the now famous O'Sulloc tea brand. O'Sulloc is now by far the most recognizable and mainstream of Korean tea brands. See this article for more details on Hankook's famous tea master, Seo Yang Won, who helped shape recent Korean tea trends.

3- Mina, a representative from Hankook Tea who kindly gifted this tea, is a busy blogger. She has recently been posting on both Hankook Tea's blog as well as on her own blog. Thanks again Mina and keep up the blogging!

Okay, enough with that, let's see what this tea is all about...

The dry leaves disperse woodsy, deepish yet distinctly fresh green notes from the medium sized green leaves. The woodsy smell is more prominent with a very subtle greeny-grain sweetness.

The first infusion is of soft mellow green forest sweetness with light, sweet foresty aftertastes. There are slight edges of berries and wood later in the aftertaste then progressing to very subtle florals. The mouthfeel is light but full enough in the mouth coating it in a layer of thin sensitivity.

The second infusion presents a wood-forest taste which comes first followed by a green-woody sweetness with very slight floral-berry edge revealing itself later on the breath. The aftertaste is long and evolves that way. The mouthfeel is somewhat heavy and grainy but full and coating. There is a certain fresh-greeniness that is not usually found in jungjak.

The initial wood taste continues to get more distinct as the infusions pass. In the third infusion it continues deeper into the aftertaste as well. A greener-forest taste meets with the wood base. A slight creamy green forest sweetness is left on the breath. This sticky-fresh-forest taste clings to ones mouth minutes later. The mouthfeel continues to get heavier and more coarse.

The fourth infusion follows the trend of becoming more woody and coarse with less of a transition to green-forest which is now only present in the aftertaste. Like last infusion, it presents as a sticky, creamy forest taste. The qi of this tea is a weak, mild- a subtle relaxing type.

The fifth and sixth infusions are now woody and bland in the initial taste with a finish of creamy-wood-forest very slight sweetness. The profile has simplified leaving a bland-wood taste in the mouth mixed with subtle woody-green-forest.



Mina Park said...

Thanks Matt!

A little side note:
Terms like "Chut Mool" and "Doo Mool" are not specific to tea. It was common language used to food in our parent's generation.

It is more poetic and somewhat indicative of the time that tea is picked.

"Chut" means first, "Doo" indicates second...

"Mool" does literally translate to "water". But that is not what it means here. It's kind of hard to explain and the timing is a bit different so they're not equal but the feeling you get from the terminology would be most similar to "first flush" or "second flush".

Though our company doesn't use these names, it goes further into "Se-mool" (third), "Nae-mool" (fourth).

Hope that helps :)

Matt said...

Mina Park,

Thanks for the details on the language, definitely not ones strong suit here. Much appreciated.