Saturday, November 6, 2010

Dao Tea Tasting Event: 2010 Kim Jong Yeol Hwagae Valley Saejak Green Tea

This tea is the last of the teas in this tasting event.
While cooling water the dry leaf is examined. They are thin straggly leaves that have a tangy, fruity, berry, nutty smell to them. A sweet, light floral under blanket adds a nice subtle nature to these juicy dry leaves. They are placed in the pot.
The first infusion is very juicy, light with soft, light fruit notes. Creamy, nutty, light, full of flavour.
The second infusion shows off a clean, light, brisk pine-wood start with a procession of clean bean flavours. There is a pungent-menthol like taste that is deep within the flavour profile. The mouthfeel is slightly drying with deeper light floral back notes. The soft fruity nature holds on the breath. A pungent-menthol-like taste that is deep within the flavour emerges.
The third infusion is a layering of fruity notes in a clean, crisp soup. Fresh pine-menthol notes add depth to this fresh pot of tea. The dry mouthfeel gathers a ball of sputum deep in ones throat. The chaqi is alerting as ones mind races without too much relaxation. This tea is a soft, sly stimulator.

In the fourth infusion dryness starts to infringe on the flavours, drying out the deep layers of the throat. The flavours seem almost watery, flavours of pine, nuts, and soft fruit hide under a more dominant mouthfeel. The drying nature of this tea pulls gently at the tongue and throat.
The fifth infusion is slightly rubbery along with the other flavours. The very slight pine-nut notes are quite enjoyable as this tea turns the mouth and throat dry pushing the saliva into the back of the throat and under the tongue, along with it are lingering tastes.

The sixth infusion shows mainly floral notes with a soft aftertaste that drags these notes to the back of the throat.

In the last two infusions, the tea noticeably flattens out and develops a rubbery, bland taste. Sometimes a slight flash of slightly sweet earthy notes is apparent.

This concludes the Dao Tea online tasting event. Thanks to Pedro at Dao Tea for making this possible by supplying the tea and covering a large chunk of the shipping and all those who participated.

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

Link to Bret's (Tea Goober) Tasting Notes

Link to Nate's (Subtle Experince) Tasting Notes



Bret said...

Thanks to both Matt and Pedro for making this tasting possible. Before this I had never had a Korean tea, now I have enough experience with them to have some idea of what to expect from a Ujeon, Sejak or Jungjak. Oh! and the Balhyocha....don't get me started. And then there is the yet to be tried Dhok Cha, someday I,ll get ahold of some and then I,ll feel my Korean tea education well rounded.

I also have both Matt and Pedro to blame for my new obsession, Balhyocha. I just wish these teas were not so expensive, the price really makes me think twice before purchasing.

Pedro said...

Matt, Bret, Adam, David, Nate & everyone else who shared these teas: heartfelt thanks. On behalf of Kim Shin Ho, Kim Jong Yeol and myself.

Matt: this project that you organized somehow brought together 10 people from 5 different countries.

Bret: I forwarded your notes on Kim Shin Ho's balhyocha to Shin Ho himself. He's a very happy guy, thank you!!! The very low yields & handcrafting process make this tea expensive, unfortunately... but I am working to get a distributor in Austin TX, so we at least we may be able to save you a few dollars in shipping. Hope that helps a bit :)

On ddok cha... I promise that as soon Dao Tea's cash flow improves, I'll bring over a few cakes to share in this side of the world.

All the best.

Bret said...


It's nice to know that Kim Shin Ho realizes that there are people in the U.S. and elsewhere that appreciate his efforts. His teas really are superb! I wonder if he ever thought his teas would one day make it out of Korea to be written about from all corners of the globe?

An Austin distributiton deal? Who might that be? Just tell me who and where and I,m on my way. I,ll be the very first customer.

David said...

Last but not least as we say. I am sorry if my comment arrives late. I seem to have missed a few posts here...

This tea was light but subtle. Nice aromas, nice mouthfeel, buttery at first, more rubbery after that. But what I liked the most about this tea was its fresh after taste helped with a slight welcomed astringency. Also, as I now come to expect from teas from this selection, it had a interesting chaqi. Though the other ones were more relaxing, this one made me slightly teadrunk with a light boost of energy. I have to say I have drunk tea the entire day during which I tasted this one.

To Pedro and Matt : one again thank you a lot. This encounter with korean greens was really enjoyable. You have excited my curiosity enough to have the will to come back to these teas again in the future.

M said...

Finally, I had a chance to sit down with this tea. It is my last of the samples, and also my favorite!

The fresh aroma of the dry leaves reminded me of summer. (Hints of anji bai cha).

Once again, when I added the leaves to a pre-heated pot a full, deep, dark and salty aroma hit my nose and went all the way to my stomach. For me, this is what has really stood from these Korean teas. Their aromas are so deep and food-like, it makes them very satisfying.

The first sip was delicious, and it kept getting better from there. This is the type of tea I don't not want to sip; I want to chug it down!

After the first infusion I am zoned into the tea and feeling nice and relaxed.

The second infusion was also very satisfying, but slightly weaker than the previous. And so on from there on in.

Big, big thanks to you Matt, and to Pedro for the chance to taste these teas. I now feel slightly naked without any Korean teas left in the house. Might have to remedy that soon.