As you can see the dry leaf is a little on the chunky side. Not bad, but much coarser than an earlier harvested tea. The smell of the dry leaf is unmistakably Korean green tea. It has that toasted grain aroma with slight vegetal notes. Using water that's at 175 degrees this tea brews a cup that tastes of malted grain, a little woodsy and sweet. In the background are some fruity aspects and just the faintest of florals. Using water that's 180-185 brings the vegetal flavors to the foreground.
Just a photo-op for my new Park Jong Il teapot. Ive had this pot for a couple of months and it's pretty well seasoned now. When new it brewed a pretty bland pot of tea. Both it's interior and exterior are un-glazed so it takes a while for the interior to become saturated with tea oils. The pot holds heat very well but unlike most stoneware teapots it's walls are fairly thin (a testement to the potters skill ) and consequently doesn't over steep green teas.
With most quality Korean tea's I usually will re-steep the leaves 2-3 times. But with this particular tea the second infusion is kinda ummm........not so great. But all in all, this is a good everyday sorta tea that's sold at an attractive price.
You can tell by the soups color that it's from a late harvest, much deeper yellow and not as clear and clean.
Sorry for the kinda bland, washed out pics but my camera wasn't being very co-operative today.
Another Park Jong Il tea cup. I love this cup, it holds a fairly large amount for a Korean cup, maybe 5 ounces or so. The glaze seems to change daily with new little fractures showing up. One thing Ive noticed is that if you use it daily it becomes kinda dark and grey on the inside but returns to it's normal color if left to dry overnight. Ive become quite a fan of Park Jong Il's tea wares and am looking forward to adding to my collection. There's something about Korean tea wares, or should I say Korean pottery in general that appeals to me. More than just another material acquisition for my tea cabinet, there is something I find very down to earth and unpretentious. The soft, creamy glaze of the cups have no need for decoration. There is a world of beauty in the glaze itself. The slight shine of the teapot is the result of being fired in a wood burning kiln. Park Jong Il uses pine as his wood of choice. You,ll notice that one side of the teapot is shiny and the other side is matte. The shiny side is the one that was facing the fire in the kiln.