황차 (Hwang Cha)
Jangsung-gun & Youngnam-gun, Jeollanam-do, South Korea
If ever there was a tea that is distinctively Korean, this is it.
It is not a yellow tea like the name may suggest, in that there is no deliberate halting of oxidation prior to heaping. Nor is it an “oolong” even though it is semi-oxidised as there’s no leaf bruising immediately before fixing.
Rather, leaves are dried slowly, allowing a slow, organic but not complete oxidation, thereby lending it its signature red tea taste with a unique tangy backdrop.
Cementing its culturally iconic status, Hankook’s hwang cha is an officially recognised heritage product. The Ministry of Agriculture has awarded state recognition to Hankook for its upholding of traditional agricultural practice in the production of this tea.
Hankook takes great care and pride in their Hwang Cha, so much so that it must hedge its bets against the seasons by growing and picking this tea across two seperate estates in the likelihood harsh winters limit the availability of first flush leaves. No second rate or late flush leaves are allowed. Only the best will do.
Profile: rosehip, yunnan red
Processing: handpicked, withered, partially oxidised, pan-fired