Popular Teas from Hankook TeaSee All 6 Teas
Recent Tasting Notes
I actually purchased this at World Tea Expo last year from the Hankook Tea booth. It was an odd sorta beast – powdered Korean sejak leaves. But they did their best impression of a Japanese matcha I’ve ever come across.
The stuff fluffs up nicely into bubbles when whisked, the color is pretty, and the taste is very…uh…sejak-ish with more of a matcha kick. Basically, like a green tea espresso.
I’ve practically been emptying my li’l tin of this stuff for the last two weeks while various plagues have gone through both my apartment at work. So far, I’m holding up fine…if a tad bit over-caffeinated.
One such over-caffeinated adventure can be found here: http://steepstories.com/2014/03/07/teaity-chat-adventure/
I received this – and two other Korean green tea samples – directly from Hankook several months back. What took me so long to get to them? Um…unicorns? (I have no good reason.)
Hwang Cha instantly held my fascination because it was dubbed a “yellow” tea. However, it was not to be confused with Chinese yellow tea – Huang Ya. I’m not sure how this one is classified. Is it an oolong? Is it a black tea? I have no clue.
Point is, it’s a beast unto itself. It’s nutty, it’s sweet, it’s slightly smoky…it’s hard to classify. As are Korean green teas.
Full [fictional] write-up here: http://lazyliteratus.teatra.de/2012/09/06/everybody-hwang-cha-tonight-gamnong-style/
I have a pretty big sweet tooth but the abundance of sweetness found in this infusion is not the same sweetness you get with sugar. It reminds me of artificial sweetners (like equal or stevia).
Very light and uplifting. It feels like a cloud lifting up in your mouth – this effect comes a few seconds after I swallow.
I’m not too fond of drinking it by itself. But it’s a perfect herb to blend with other teas to add a bit of sweetness and to mask acidity (great with persimmon leaf or lotus leaf).
Because it can’t technically be categorized as a “oolong”, it should not be tasted like one. The most significant difference is that this tea is not good more multiple steepings (like a traditional oolong would be).
The first steeping has a very smooth texture. The taste notes that can be picked up are fruity, nutty, roasted and (my favorite) chocolatey!
Because this tea is made with first flush leaves, the leaves are very small and delicate. As with all delicate tea, one must be very careful about the temperature of the water and the steep time. To get that chocolate flavor, one must especially pay close attention to these factors.
I love drinking a hot infusion of this tea with a piece of dark chocolate – heaven in my mouth!
The taste drops drastically in the second steeping.
I would describe it as becoming more “sharp” in flavor – the smoothness and roundness of the texture are pretty much gone. Preferring the smooth texture, I usually only steep it once or twice. The loose version is fairly pricey (especially if I only drink the first couple infusions). I go for the teabags, which works just as well. :)
Almost finished with my first batch of this tea. Today I was prepping a thermos full of it and realized I only have one more bulk brewing session or two more selfish solo sessions left. Fortunately, I am not too far away from the store, and can go buy more soon. I would miss it too much if my supply were cut off. It’s not a tea that I crave daily, but it’s very comforting to know that it is there, available, reliable, delicious, when I do need a hit.
Another wonderful session with this tea yesterday. Steep after steep of delicious sweetness, fruity undertones, and the slightly earthy toastiness that fades gradually in the first half dozen infusions, but the other flavors linger for 12 to 20. So nice.
I’m almost out of this and will definitely pony up for more when it’s gone. it’s tea that just grows on me more and more.
I wouldn’t try to treat an illness with this leaf, but the sweet, spicy, delicious brew made from it is certainly cheerful and heartening on a chilly day in winter when your head is stuffy. I tried this on my first trip to Hankook’s store, and I bought several other items so was offered a sample cup of any of their teas. I picked this one because I remembered a reference to a hydrangea tea somewhere in my tea wanderings online, and I was delighted from the first sip. It is very very sweet, but I don’t find it cloying.
I use one or two leaves per 6-8 oz cup of tea, boiling water, and infuse grandpa style, directly in the cup, waiting at least 5 minutes for the first sips. My first sample cup was nearly 16 oz from 2 leaves, and I got another full infusion out of it at home.
It is very very expensive, but a little goes a LONG way. Highly recommended as a treat.
I also once brewed it up with a cinnamon stick too, and that was an exceptionally delicious cup.
This is a rather toasty, mildly sweet green tea, in nice silk teabags (made a mistake when purchasing it, had intended to get loose leaf and didn’t pay enough attention).
I’ve brewed it a couple of times and the sweet green vegetal flavors predominate at first infusion, and the 2nd infusion and 3rd infusions are more toasted, less sweet, still mild and tasty.
I don’t really find it worth the high premium price, but it is a very nice tea, worth checking out if you want to explore Korean teas.
This is fairly pricey like most Korean teas, apparently due to rarity with most being consumed inside Korea.
The leaves are dark, small, twisted, with toasty and fruity odors. When added to the prewarmed gaiwan, 2.5 g per 75mL/2.5 oz water, the odor is stronger, mostly fruity and tart.
The first 30 second infusion with water several minutes off the boil (probably about 180 degrees) yields an amber infusion, tasted like dilute black tea—touch of fruit, bit of toasty, but very little of the floral and earthy notes I expect from my chinese oolongs.
2nd infusion at 170 degrees (thought it was a bit warmer, surprised when it was so cool in the cup), also abotu 30 seconds, again tastes strongly of….well…black tea. A little fruity, very tea-like, a little hint of caramel.
For the 4th infusion, I put water just off the boil for 20 seconds, and a little more sweetness comes out. It reminds me a bit of the Yunnan Oriental Beauty I got from Yunnan Sourcing: tastes strongly oxidized, like a black tea, but without any of the bitterness that makes most of them intolerable to me.
The leaves are broken, curled, dark after infusion, and again, has a strong tea scent. (‘Tea scent’ here is code for smells like lipton, but that seems like a bad word to use describing a pleasant mild tea.)
It is easy and pleasant, but not that special for the price.
Same review on my web site, with photos (no ads):
This is an easy tea to drink. It’s mellow, smooth, no bitterness and no astringency. It’s good, but it’s also kind of boring, which is why I like drinking it at work. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything by sipping on this thoughtlessly.
Fairly easy to brew, even in the strainer + cup thing I have at work. Even though I usually do lots of leaves + short infusion time, this seems to be better with fewer leaves and longer infusion time. Doing it with too much leaves doesn’t really accomplish anything other than wasting leaves.