April 20, 2012

Tea Trekker's Organic Co-Op Jungjak

Ive been drinking this Jungjak for a while now. Tea Trekker has this on sale for $72.00 a lb. From what I understand this tea is grown in the Hwagae valley and it's a blend from a co-op of growers. This batch of Jungjak is from a late spring pluck (4th pluck, early May ) so it's flavors are just a little more assertive and maybe a little less refined than an earlier harvest would be. But just the same it's flavors and aromas are pretty darned nice, especially for the asking price.

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.


  1. Where can you get Park Jong Il's pottery? Is it available online?

  2. Can you get Park Jong Il's pottery online?

    1. Check out Morning Crane Tea Blog for what is available.

  3. Hi Bret, I'm glad you like Park Jong Il's tea ware. I've been getting several requests from Asian customers for his work. They are starting to search for him. I guess the word is beginning to spread. In some cases we ship directly from him to save shipping costs especially to other Asian countries. As you pointed out not all jungjak is the same. We call our fourth pick teas daejak not jungjak. Normally jungjak is referred to as a third pick tea - interesting post. Thanks.