Anthony of Taize, in The Korean Way of Tea, said “The taste of the first cup of tea, made with water that is far below boiling point, on a palate freshly awakened, is so intense, so unexpectedly rich and varied, so indescribably fragrant, that, from that day on, the only question can be ‘when shall I be able to go back and drink that tea again?’”. Having tried this tea, we know what he meant.
The meandering Seomjingang River and the breeze from the South Sea nurture the mountainous soils of Mount Jiri. For centuries, Korean monks have sought green tea from this pristine land to clear the mind, soothe the senses… and perhaps provide a window to enlightenment.
Tea Master Kim Jong Yeol
Master Kim Jong Yeol exchanged urban chaos and a corporate job for a farmer’s life in a stunning mountain village. He honours the ancient tea tradition of Hwagae by harvesting the leaves from ancient bushes, handmaking sublime tea, and sharing a cup with those who knock on his door.
Tips for a multi-sensorial tea experience
Pre-warm a 250ml tea-pot and cups with hot water; empty the pot. Place 2g to 3g of tea in the pot. Gently pour on water, which is between 65°C and 70°C, and allow 90 seconds to brew. Serve the tea, using a strainer if needed, in the pre-heated cups, pouring up to the last drop. One more infusion can be made adding plum blossoms, yielding an amazing floral bouquet over fresh notes of green tea.