A lovely, everyday green tea grown in Hwagae Valley from the summer leaves of old wild tea tree stock from Chirisan mountain. It is grown and processed by Dong Cheon for a co-operative of 88 farmers dedicated to traditional methods and natural farming who use no pesticides or artificial fertilisers.
Nokcha literally means ‘green tea’ in Korean; more specifically this is Dong Cheon’s ‘daejak’ grade, the last tea of the season made in late-May to June. Although this is a rustic tea both in taste and appearance it is often a firm favourite among customers when we make it in our green tea tasting, even against teas many times the price. It has an addictive, biscuit-like flavour and a bright vegetal sweetness reminiscent of sweetcorn. It is best brewed with water that has been allowed to cool to 75-80°C and a teaspoon of tea per cup.
88 Small Farmers, Dong Cheon, Hwagae Valley, Korea
SIZE OF FARMS
0.5 acres (average)
PLANTS AND PROCESSING
Camellia Sinensis Sinensis, semi-wild Hadong cultivars. Pan-fired. Sejak grade – Harvested last week of May 2016.
75°C, 3-4g per 150ml. 3 infusions.
We have known and worked with many of our tea farmers for over a decade. It was 13 or 14 years ago that we first met Mr Il-Nam Ha and visited his small farm in Bosong. Since then he has moved the heart of ancient Korea tea culture in Hwagae and Jirishan where he started a factory that processes tea from over 80 small farmers with on average just half an acre each. Like at his previous farm, all the farmers he works with farm without chemicals but unlike his old farm many of the trees are several hundred years old and descended from the first tea trees grown in Korea.
The tea fields are the uniform tea fields usually found in east Asia. They are much more rocky and natural, like some of the planting you find in the Wuyi mountains.
Tea Fields near Chirisan Mountain