September 16, 2010

Kim Shin Ho - 2009 - Hwagae Village Sejak

Another tea from Dao Teas is what we have today. Again, thanks to Matt and Pedro for making this Korean tea throw down possible. This Sejak was hand made by tea master Kim Shin Ho using time honored, traditional techniques.

This Sejak is from 2009 and it looks like it doesn't it? The color of the dry leaf is pale and washed out. Actually starting to turn brown in places. The dry leafs aroma reflects it's washed out appearance, a barely detectable smell of what used to be. It's getting on in years, elderly and feeble. Compare the color of Kim Shin Ho's 2009 Sejak to ( this )  see the difference? By comparison the Dong Cheon Sejak is a much healthier, richer shade of green.

There really isn't much to comment on here, the flavor is so thin and washed out. I can taste traces of what used to be in the cup, and I bet it was pretty good in it's day. What a waste that this tea wasn't appreciated when it was fresh. This Sejak gave everthing it had to give in the first infusion, the second infusion turned out so thin and bland it wasn't worth drinking. I wonder if they were to use nitro flush packaging if the teas freshness could be extended? It works great for Japanese greens, why not Korean?

For me this is a good example of the importance of buying teas in season. Some teas can hold up for a while, some can't. So......Kim Shin Ho's 2009 Sejak is pretty uneventful but his Balyhocha was superb, had that last night and it was delicious. Brewed a really nice cup that was rich and creamy. Caramalized, roasted grain flavors that had just the right amount of sweetness. Kim Shin Ho's Balyhocha is a tea I would buy, but the Sejak? Maybe next spring!


  1. Hey I am having Kin Shin Ho's 2009 Jungjak right now, its rather nice though its another tea that I would have loved to have tried a 2010 version.

    I've been slow in getting to try these (had a short bout with a cold in which I didn't want to try any of these small samples), but I have been enjoying your posts.

  2. Hey Adam! Hope your feeling better. Maybe Ive been spoiled by Dong Cheons teas and maybe it's not a fair comparison. Kim Shin Ho's 2009 Sejak I found to kinda weak and bland. Experimenting with brewing parameters Ive found the Balhyocha brews more to my liking with slightly hotter water, 180 or so and an infusion time of 1&1/2 minutes for the first and 2 minutes for the second. If there is anything worth pursuing after that is a matter of personal choice, I don't think there is. But then again, Matt pushes much further than I do and finds enjoyment. Thanks for reading Adam!

  3. Bret,

    The 2009 seajak are not for sale at Dao Tea. They were sent merely as a comparison to the 2010 saejak samples included in the package. There is no doubt that the quality of Korea green tea degrade tremendously with age. That is one of the reasons the 2009 samples were sent out to give you a sort of idea how fresh tea loses its essence over time. Most serious teaists in Korea consume even a packaged ujeon within the first month. The saejak seems to keep a bit better. Jungjak a bit longer than saejak.

    The 2009 saejak also allow for very general comparisons between the 2010 saejak.


  4. Howdy Matt, Even with this teas age you could recognize the quality it once had, a mere ghost of it's former self.

    After trying both Kim Shin Ho's and Kim Jong Yeols Balyocha's I realized the Mr. Ho's was more to my liking, much more depth, flavors were very round and buttery. Mr. Ho's Balyocha I,m considering for purchase. I,m still waiting to hear back from Pedro concerning these teas.