Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Hankook Tea Hwang Cha Gold

Country of Origin: South Korea
Leaf Appearance: small, dark
Ingredients: balhyocha
Steep time: 3 minutes
Water Temperature: 180 degrees
Preparation Method: small ceramic teapot
Liquor: amber

This tea walks a line of technicalities. It's partially oxidized so it isn't what you would usually consider to be a green tea. It's also not black tea because it isn't fully oxidized and it's not oolong due to the processing technique. I've chosen to categorize it as balhyocha here. You can see a detailed explanation of this on World of Tea: South Korean Balhyocha and Hwangcha. The brewed tea was a nice amber color. There was no bitterness or astringency, resulting in a very smooth cup. I was a bit surprised at the level of complexity. A sweet and nutty background provided a stage for the more subtle fruity notes. There was even a hint of chocolate in the finish. The leaves were pan fired so there was also an enjoyable toastiness. I'm not sure that I would gaiwan this tea but I think it did really well in a smaller sized teapot. This is definitely a tea that should be drunk on its own without any milk, sweetener or other additives.

Hwang Cha Gold sample provided by Hankook Tea.