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Green Teas
 
Green Teas

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Joongjak

JoongjakJoongjak is my most affordable grade of Korean green tea. It is made from leaves slightly bigger (and picked later) than those used for the higher grades, Saejak and Woojeon. Nonetheless, Joongjak is still processed with great care, and exhibits the basic characteristics found in the higher grades of Korean green teas: fresh aroma, mild flavor, and tolerance of several infusions. It makes a great daily-drinking tea, and is consistently one of my favorites first thing in the morning or on a hot afternoon.

 

Saejak

SaejakSaejak is the second highest grade of Korean tea (after Woojeon), and like other grades is named after leaf size. (Lower grades are medium and large leaf, which are picked somewhat later each spring.) Leaves for Saejak tea are picked in early spring like those for Woojeon, though not necessarily before April 22, the cutoff date for Woojeon tea. This distinction results in a significant reduction in price over the Woojeon, though the taste is consistently outstanding.

 

Woojeon

WoojeonWoojeon literally means before the rains, and is the earliest-picked (“first flush”) green tea produced in Korea. Leaves for Woojeon tea are picked prior to April 22, before the spring rains begin. The higher price is a result of the relative scarcity of early spring tea leaves, but its special combination of smoothness and complexity are certain to satisfy even the most discerning connoisseur.

 

Tukpoom

TukpoomFirst flush Korean green teas can be further graded by qualities of the particular batch, which makes for several levels of “competition grade” teas. Tukpoom is currently my best offering among these teas, two grades above Woojeon. (The intermediate grade is called Tukseon.)

 


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