It’s been a busy few months for me and my family … all good kind of busyness … but still so busy that it’s been at least a month since I’ve had given myself the time for a mindful gongfu session or an attentive evaluation session of tea. It’s been years since I had such a long drought. I assure you I am still throwing back lots of nice mug steepings and weeks long, a few steeps a day, sessions with some nice tea though. Although I have naturally cut my caffeine/ tea intake in half, I feeling more alert and productive and not as stoned off of all that chaqi…. Hahaha…
One of my last nice gongfu sessions I had months ago was with an old favourite of mine- Kim Jong Yeol’s sejak. I ended up purchasing some of this delicious stuff and a bunch of other Japanese green teas at the request of my better half while she is going through a green tea phase these days. I ordered some from Pedro’s O5Tea outfit in Vancouver.
Me and Pedro go back a while so he kindly sent some complimentary samples of Japanese bancha free with my order. Pedro knows I have a passion for traditionally/folk processed teas. If you read the early blog entries you can see me exploring these in Korea at a time when those outside of Korea has never heard of such things. However, I don’t have too much experience with Japanese bancha. However, I always marvel at the deep and interesting tastes that come out of bancha. Pedro’s passion for Bancha is leading him to produce a documentary on traditional processed Japanese bancha. If you are interested in this sort of thing you should contact him.
Anyways here is some brief but very satisfying notes on the 2021 Kim Jong Yeol Saejak...
Dry leaves have a deep sweet evergreen forest almost nutty edge.
The first infusion 30 seconds has a nutty sweet forest taste that goes into evergreen with a long expanding fresh nutty vibrant minty creamy sweetness.
2nd has a sweet aqua cucumber forest green taste slight nutty finish with an evergreen like freshness. Lingering sweet creamy evergreen forest in the mouth. Nice clear alert and focused Qi.
3rd infusion has a woodier onset with creamy sweet evergreen and more distinct roasted notes. There is a subtle wood and cool aftertaste with an underlying roasted sweetness.
4th is a woody and evergreeny with creamy woody creamy finish. More of a cohesive together evergreen taste.
5th has a more upfront vibrant green roast asparagus and evergreen sweetness.
The bag didn't last long in our house and was shared with friends...
The one thing that struck me the most with these sessions was how much ability I lost in evaluating Korean green tea with such a long absence from tasting.
If you don’t use it, you loose it.