Monday, October 25, 2010

Dao Tea Tasting Event: 2009/2010 Kim Jong Yeol Hwagae Valley Balhyocha

This is the first tea featured by Tea Master Kim Jong Yeol in this tasting event. One also enjoyed this tea during the March Equinox this year- see this post for the notes on this light, harmonizing tea.

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

Link to Bret's (Tea Goober) Tasting Notes



Unknown said...

I honestly think these Balhyocha's will surprise people. I know it did not come across as I was incredibly taken with either one of them, but I almost feel the sample was not quite enough to fully get to know the Balhyochas.

I ended up getting an order of each of the Balhyocha, as they make great fall teas and offer a nice variety in terms of what is available in terms of Korean teas in the West.

Matt said...


"I almost feel the sample was not quite enough to fully get to know the Balhyochas."

This is true especially for a type of tea that someone has no experience with. Balhyocha (Korean yellow tea) has a very different essence than other types of tea. If offered just a glimpse of what these teas are about. The taste buds are sure to ask, "Never tasted that before... Wait a minute... What just happened???"

It is fun to experiment with balhyocha as well. Since balhyocha almost completely lacks any harshness and/or astringency, you can really play with the water temperature and the leaf to vessel ratio.

Have fun getting to know this unique type of Korean tea.


nada said...

I'd also agree with Adam's feelings. I'd love to taste some more Balhyocha to try to get more of a feeling for them.

At first I was struck by their similarity to a good quality Oriental Beauty, but with another depth of flavour. Very pure teas & very nicely balanced flavours and qi.

I might have to order a little more of each of these teas.

Bret said...

Adam, Nada,

I also felt that the sample wasn't enough to get a feel for this tea. So....I ordered some from both makers for comparison.

They are both really good but I prefer Kim Shin Ho's Balhyocha as well as his Sejak, both of them superb.

Alkagar said...

my name is Jacob, I would like to ask you some questions about photos on your blog. But I can't find any contact form. Could you send me some contact info to alkagar [[at]] gmail . com?


Matt said...


Just sent you an email.


Matt said...


If there are any readers from Poland. Check out this link to a tea group that Jacob is starting:


Ben Prentice said...

This tea was thoroughly enjoyed today! I'm having a hard time describing the taste besides strong malty notes. Perhaps dried fruit. I enjoyed a good 5-6 infusions. I really want to try all of these Korean teas again to get more acquainted with them. Thanks again Matt and Pedro!

David said...

Sorry for the late reply due to vacation.

This was the first of the two Balhyocha I tried. This one is quite different from the other. Roasting feels heavier. Along with it, come notes of chocolate, grapefruit, prune, and nuts. A part from that, it tasted quite like an oriental beauty.

Quite enjoyable and calm.

M said...

I am going to assume that what I tasted was the 2009 version of this tea, since it faded quicker than I expected it to.

The dry leaf reminded me of Kim Shin Ho's Balhyocha, with some subtle differences. I was once again reminded of Keemun, but this time there were hints of dark chocolate first. When I put the leaves into a warmed pot I was reminded of an aged baozhong tea. These themes came back to me throughout the session: chocolate and aged baozhong.

The brewed liquor had a nice chocolate aroma, robust flavor, lingering aftertaste and a sweet aroma was left in the cup upon emptying.

An unpicky tea, it seemed like I could have brewed it almost any way and it would have not complained. Not a bad lesson.