Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The State of the 2012 Korean Tea Harvest

This year's Ujeon grade Korean green tea harvest and production is underway in Hadong right now. This harvest is in line with traditional dates for picking the earliest and most delicate green tea that Korea has to offer. Traditionally Ujeon is picked before Gogu (April 20th) according to the 24 seasonal divisions. In years past where Winters were very mild, some of the first small leaves and tender buds were even being picked in very early April.

Having polled a variety of people on the ground on Jiri Mountain, the following is the general consenses on this year's harvest...

This Winter was cool so the harvest is on track with the traditional picking dates and the rainfall has been, in some places, just a bit less than average. With this said these are within the "average/normal" climatic factors for Jiri Mountain this time of year. The tea farmers and producers are very optimistic and early signs indicate that this year's harvest will be great! Certainly it should be better than the 2010 and 2011 seasons which were complicated by a colder Winter and late Spring frost which damaged some tea plants and slightly decreased the quality of a few teas from a few select farms/ producers.

This year's Ujeon looks promising- look forward to trying a few.  Nature has done its part, now its up to the producers.  Stay tuned.


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