Friday, May 18, 2012

2011 Hankook "Oryong" Daejak Grade Korean Oolong Tea

This tea was gifted by Pedro a few weeks ago. He is on a quest to find a "very drinkable" yet affordable Korean Balhyocha to offer the public from his soon to be open tea house. He has been experimenting with several other daejak and peasant teas. He had two samples of teas which are both daejak grade from two different producers. This tea is actually a Korean oolong transliterated as "oryong" in Korean. It should not be confused with Hankook's "Chigarok Hwang Cha" or "Hwang Cha" (or the lesser known "Hwang Cha B Grade" available as a teabag or by wholesale only).

Mina Park of Hankook Tea claims that this tea is different from most other Chinese oolong because it is made from short leaf Korean tea plants as opposed to the long leaf variety that is used in China. Wonder if it resembles anything like Kim Jeong Yeol's experiments with daejak oolong?

The dry leaves carry the odour of sweet raisins with a very slight woody edge emit from these reddish edged, large, dark brown dry leaves.- this is oolong- not typical Korean yellow tea (balhyocha). They release a deeper sweet mollases odour once they hit the warmed teapot. A bit warmer water and longer steeps are used with these bigger leaves.

The first infusion delivers very distinct roasted-nutty almost coco flavours presenting over a thin, slightly coarse mouthfeel. Its roasted taste is strong and lingers in the mouth.

The second infusion gives off more woody-varnish taste upfront which finishes in the strong distinctive roasty flavours presented in the first infusion. The aftertaste also carries the sour-varnish taste that had appeared in the initial taste of this second infusion. The qi of this tea has a hardy warmth which warms the abdomin and chest and imparts mild relaxation. It has a very heavy, drying feel in the body, one can feel pressure in the temples.

In the third infusion the nutty coco tastes have dropped off completely leaving a primarily woody base that carries bland-sour wood varnish tastes. The mouthfeel is thin, coarse, and drying here. The heavy qi sensation feels as if a weight has been placed on top of the head.

The fourth and fifth infusions have mellowed considerably and offer woodsy, soft, dry, simple tastes over a dry, thin mouthfeel. In the sixth infusion, mellower chocolate-wood notes now complete the initial taste.

The following few infusions leave watery but distinct fruit tastes which push through this mainly woody tasting tea. In these later infusions the qi is quite relaxing.

Although this is not available to the English speaking public drop Mina Park from Hankook Tea an email if you are interested in trying or selling this tea.  I'm sure she could hook you up.



Steph said...

Hello, Margie from Sweet Persimmon blog (and my tea teacher) has pointed me your way to learn more about Korean teas. I'm enjoying your blog!

Matt said...


Thanks for coming for the learning ride! Hahaha

As always, don't hesitate to ask any questions, As the cliche goes. "No question is a stupid question".