녹차 (Nok Cha)
Boseong-gun, Jeollanam-do, South Korea
dop dop dop … It’s an eagerly anticipated sound, one in which they have waited out a long winter for. As the snow first begins to melt and drips down from curved roof pitches and tall trees, the Bohyang farmers ears peel. They sit up suddenly, pleasantly awakened though it is still early dawn, tossing aside their warm blankets, rushing to their windows and rejoice - for surely the period of Gokwoo has finally arrived!
The fourth and fifth generation of Chois make their way out into their tea fields, delighted by the sight of new shoots standing upright, proudly glistening in the first day of spring. The family farmers carefully pluck a bud and two young leaves per pick, careful not to damage the pickings nor the remaining plant that will be making way for a healthy second flush should the weather gods be so kind.
Especially as the winter was long and yields though welcomed, are modest, the processing of this first flush green tea takes extra care and diligence. Pans are pre-heated, checked and re-checked to ensure temperature is just right enough to kill-green but not too hot as to burn the scarce and prized harvest. The shaping as you may have guessed, has to be done with the delicacy afforded by the hands of angels.
We welcome you to taste this once a year rarity.
Profile: macadamia, spinach, sweet corn
Processing: handpicked, withered, non oxidised, pan-fired