jeju matcha vs. hadong matcha

Jeju Island and Hadong County are two of South Korea’s premier tea-producing regions, each with its unique characteristics that contribute to the distinct flavors and qualities of their respective matchas. While both areas produce exceptional green tea, their differences in geography, climate, and cultivation methods result in matchas with distinctive profiles.

Jeju Island: Volcanic Paradise of Tea

 

Jeju Island, Korea’s largest volcanic island, is a UNESCO Global Geopark located at the southernmost tip of the Korean peninsula. As of 2020, Jeju’s tea production has been steadily growing, with its unique volcanic terroir contributing to the island’s reputation for high-quality green tea and matcha.

 

Ideal Growing Conditions of Jeju

 

Jeju’s fertile volcanic soil is rich in minerals, and the island benefits from naturally purified underground water. The island’s mild climate, with an average annual temperature of 15.8°C and annual precipitation of 1,598mm, provides optimal conditions for tea cultivation.

 

Cultivation and Processing in Jeju

 

Jeju’s tea industry combines traditional knowledge with modern scientific approaches. The island employs advanced facilities and technology, focusing on eco-friendly agriculture. This blend of tradition and innovation results in a matcha with a unique flavor profile.

  

Flavor Profile of Jeju Matcha

 

Jeju matcha is known for its:

  • Nutty undertones
  • Creamy texture
  • Sweet notes

 

Hadong: The Heartland of Korean Tea Tradition

 

Hadong, a picturesque county in South Gyeongsang Province, is one of the three major tea-producing regions in South Korea. As of December 2020, Hadong’s 1,060 tea-farming households cultivated 726 hectares of tea fields, yielding an annual production of 1,223 tons, which accounts for 30.1% of the country’s total tea production.

 

A Rich History Steeped in Tradition

 

Hadong boasts a remarkable 1,200-year history of tea agriculture. The Samguk Sagi, a historical record of the Three Kingdoms period, mentions that tea seeds brought from Tang China during the Silla Dynasty were planted in the Jirisan mountain region. The area around Ssanggye Temple in Hwagae-myeon, Hadong, is believed to be the birthplace of tea cultivation in Korea.

 

Ideal Growing Conditions of Hadong

 

Hadong’s Hwagae-myeon area, where the Seomjin River and Hwagae Stream converge, is renowned for its misty and humid conditions. This unique microclimate, coupled with the region’s mountainous terrain, creates an ideal environment for tea cultivation.

 

The Art of Traditional Tea Production in Hadong

 

Hadong green tea is made using the traditional “Jeda” method, which involves handpicking tea leaves from wild tea trees growing on the steep slopes of the Jirisan mountains and processing them in hot cast-iron cauldrons. In 2017, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recognized Hadong’s traditional tea agriculture as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System.

 

Flavor Profile of Hadong Matcha

 

Hadong matcha is characterized by its:

  • Floral notes
  • Honey-like sweetness
  • Subtle chocolate undertones
jeju matcha hadong matcha

Embracing Innovation: The Rise of Korean Matcha


Both Jeju and Hadong have been focusing on developing their matcha production, an area traditionally dominated by Japan. The Hadong Green Tea Research Institute, established in 2007, has been at the forefront of this endeavor, developing shading cultivation techniques and importing special stone mills from Japan to produce high-quality powdered tea.


Global Recognition and Export Growth


The efforts of both regions have paid off, with Korean matcha gaining recognition in the global market. Hadong County, for instance, saw its exports of premium powdered green tea reach $3 million to 15 countries, including the United States and Australia, in the previous year – a sixfold increase from $500,000 five years ago.


Choosing Between Jeju and Hadong Matcha


When deciding between Jeju and Hadong matcha, consider:

  • Flavor preference: Jeju’s nutty and sweet notes vs. Hadong’s floral and honey tones
  • Cultivation method: Jeju’s blend of tradition and modern technology vs. Hadong’s more traditional approach
  • Historical significance: While both have rich histories, Hadong is often considered the birthplace of Korean tea


Conclusion


As both regions continue to innovate and promote their green tea industries, it’s clear that Korean matcha is poised to become a significant player in the global tea market. Whether you choose the volcanic-nurtured matcha of Jeju or the mist-kissed tea of Hadong, you’re sure to experience the unique and rich flavors of Korean matcha, each telling its own story of terroir, tradition, and innovation.

Hadong Green Tea: A Journey Through History and Flavor

Can Green Tea or Matcha be Mixed with Other Teas or Products?

Shaded vs. Unshaded Green Tea: Exploring the Differences in Cultivation and Flavor

hadong green tea

Hadong, a picturesque county in South Gyeongsang Province, is one of the three major tea-producing regions in South Korea, alongside Boseong in South Jeolla Province and Jeju Island. As of December 2020, Hadong’s 1,060 tea-farming households cultivated 726 hectares of tea fields, yielding an annual production of 1,223 tons, which accounts for 30.1% of the country’s total tea production (4,061 tons).

A Rich History Steeped in Tradition

 

Hadong boasts a remarkable 1,200-year history of tea agriculture. The Samguk Sagi, a historical record of the Three Kingdoms period, mentions that tea seeds brought from Tang China during the Silla Dynasty were planted in the Jirisan mountain region. The area around Ssanggye Temple in Hwagae-myeon, Hadong, is believed to be the birthplace of tea cultivation in Korea. 

 

Ideal Growing Conditions

 

Tea plants thrive in warm, rainy climates, and Hadong, located in the southern part of the Korean Peninsula, offers the perfect environment. The Hwagae-myeon area, where the Seomjin River and Hwagae Stream converge, is particularly renowned for its misty and humid conditions, making it an ideal spot for tea cultivation

 

The Art of Traditional Tea Production

 

Hadong green tea is made using the traditional “Jeda” method, which involves handpicking tea leaves from wild tea trees growing on the steep slopes of the Jirisan mountains and processing them in hot cast-iron cauldrons. The tea leaves are then roasted and rubbed to create the final product. In 2017, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recognized Hadong’s traditional tea agriculture as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System, acknowledging its value and significance.

hadong tea plantation

Embracing Innovation: Powdered Green Tea


Building on its rich tea history and culture, Hadong County has been focusing on developing its tea industry, particularly the production of powdered green tea, which Japan has traditionally dominated. The Hadong Green Tea Research Institute, established in 2007 as the nation’s first specialized tea research facility, has been at the forefront of this endeavor, with support from the government and Gyeongsangnam-do Province.


Since 2014, the institute has been dedicated to developing shading cultivation techniques, which involve protecting the first flush of tea leaves from sunlight for about 20 days before harvesting. This method helps achieve a light green color in the tea. The institute also imported special stone mills from Japan to produce finely ground, high-quality powdered tea. 

 

Expanding Global Reach


Hadong County’s efforts have paid off, with exports of premium powdered green tea reaching $3 million to 15 countries, including the United States and Australia, in the previous year. This figure represents a sixfold increase from $500,000 five years ago. The county aims to achieve exports of $5 million this year and $6 million by next year.

 

Conclusion


As Hadong continues to innovate and promote its green tea industry, it is clear that this region is not only preserving its rich tea heritage but also embracing modern techniques to create exceptional products that captivate tea enthusiasts worldwide. With its commitment to tradition and quality, Hadong is poised to become a global leader in the green tea market, showcasing the best of what Korean tea has to offer. For more information about Hadong green tea and its benefits, visit the Hadong Tea Site page and explore the rich history and unique cultivation methods that make this tea so special.

Hadong Green Tea: A Journey Through History and Flavor

Can Green Tea or Matcha be Mixed with Other Teas or Products?

Shaded vs. Unshaded Green Tea: Exploring the Differences in Cultivation and Flavor

Hadong green tea

Hadong, a picturesque region in South Korea, has been renowned for its exceptional green tea for over 1,200 years. The tea from this area has been enjoyed by Korean kings and has gained international recognition for its unique umami flavor and chestnut scent. In this blog post, we’ll explore the fascinating history, ideal growing conditions, and meticulous production process that make Hadong green tea a true gem in the world of tea.

A Legacy of Royal Appreciation


The history of Hadong green tea is steeped in centuries of royal appreciation. For over a thousand years, Korean kings have savored the exquisite taste of this remarkable tea, cementing its status as a beverage fit for royalty. The long-standing admiration from the royal courts is a testament to Hadong green tea’s superior quality and distinct flavor profile, born from the perfect combination of geographical location, climate, and traditional cultivation methods that have been passed down through generations.


Ideal Growing Conditions


Hadong’s geographical location and climate provide the perfect environment for cultivating premium green tea. With an average annual rainfall of 1,358mm, a mean temperature of 13.2°C, and a significant gap between minimum and maximum temperatures, the tea plants thrive in this region. The natural shading from the mountains, combined with the ideal soil composition (gravel and a pH of 4.4-5) and high soil moisture content (90%), contribute to the tea’s exceptional quality.


Commitment to Organic Cultivation


The Institute of Hadong Green Tea, established in 2005, has been at the forefront of promoting organic tea cultivation in the region. In 2007, they made the crucial decision to convert to organic farming practices. This commitment ensures that the tea produced is free from harmful chemicals and pesticides, allowing the natural flavors of the tea to shine through.


Supporting Small Farmers


One of the most admirable aspects of Hadong’s tea production is the involvement and support of small farmers. The Institute of Hadong Green Tea provides education and training to the top 25 small farmers out of the 2,000 in the region. By encouraging and assisting these farmers in adopting organic cultivation methods, the institute is not only promoting sustainable practices but also preserving the traditional knowledge and techniques passed down through generations.

Hadong tea

Meticulous Harvesting and Quality Control

 

Before the harvest, the R&D team from the Institute of Hadong Green Tea conducts a complete enumeration sampling from all small gardens. This ensures that only the finest tea leaves are selected. The tea undergoes rigorous inspection at the institute’s laboratory and international laboratories to guarantee the highest quality standards. Read more about tea harvesting and quality control here.

 

Government Support and Certifications

 

The Hadong Province government grants support to organic small farmers, recognizing the importance of sustainable tea production. The tea from Hadong has earned numerous certifications, including organic certifications from Korea, the EU, and the USA, as well as UTZ, HALAL, KOSHER, SQF, and FDA certifications, attesting to its exceptional quality and safety. 

 

Experience the Essence of Hadong Green Tea

 

Hadong green tea offers a unique and captivating experience for tea lovers worldwide. Its rich history, ideal growing conditions, commitment to organic cultivation, and meticulous production process culminate in a cup of tea that boasts an unparalleled umami flavor and chestnut aroma.

 

Conclusion

 

As you sip on a cup of Hadong green tea, you can appreciate the dedication and expertise that goes into every step of its production. From the lush green tea fields to your cup, Hadong green tea embodies centuries of tradition, sustainability, and the pursuit of perfection.

 

Embrace the opportunity to indulge in the exquisite flavors and rich history of Hadong green tea, and savor a cup of this extraordinary beverage that has captivated the hearts of tea enthusiasts for over a millennium. For more information about Hadong green tea and its benefits, visit the Korean Tea Culture page and explore the rich history and unique cultivation methods that make this tea so special.

Hadong Green Tea: A Journey Through History and Flavor

Can Green Tea or Matcha be Mixed with Other Teas or Products?

Shaded vs. Unshaded Green Tea: Exploring the Differences in Cultivation and Flavor

Korean Green Tea

Korean green tea and matcha have been gaining popularity worldwide due to their unique flavor profiles, health benefits, and the country’s commitment to producing high-quality tea. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the different grades of Korean matcha and the various types of Korean green tea available, helping you navigate the exciting world of Korean tea.

Matcha Grades: Ceremonial vs. Culinary

 

Korean matcha is categorized into two main grades: ceremonial and culinary. Ceremonial grade matcha is the highest quality and is primarily used for traditional tea ceremonies. This grade of matcha is made from the youngest, most tender tea leaves, which are shade-grown and ground into a fine, vibrant green powder. Ceremonial grade matcha boasts a smooth, umami-rich flavor and a creamy texture.

 

On the other hand, culinary grade matcha is more affordable and is commonly used as an ingredient in various recipes, such as baked goods, smoothies, and lattes. While still of good quality, culinary grade matcha may have a slightly less vibrant color and a more robust flavor compared to ceremonial grade.

 

Shaded vs. Unshaded Matcha

 

Another important distinction in Korean matcha is whether the tea leaves are shade-grown or not. Shaded matcha, also known as “original” matcha, is made from tea leaves that have been covered to block out sunlight for a period of time before harvesting. This process increases the chlorophyll content in the leaves, resulting in a brighter green color and a smoother, less astringent flavor.

 

Unshaded matcha, on the other hand, is made from tea leaves that have been grown under normal sunlight conditions. While still flavorful and nutritious, unshaded matcha may have a slightly less vibrant color and a more robust, slightly bitter taste compared to shaded matcha.

korean green tea

Types of Korean Green Tea

 

In addition to matcha, Korea produces a wide variety of loose-leaf green teas, each with its own unique characteristics and harvest times. Some of the most popular types of Korean green tea include:

  •  
  • Ujeon (Woojeon): A premium first flush tea harvested in early spring, known for its delicate, sweet flavor and minimal astringency.
  • Sejak: Another first flush tea harvested slightly later than Ujeon, offering a balance of sweetness and subtle astringency.
  • Joongjak (Jungjak) Plus: A second flush tea harvested in late spring or early summer, characterized by a fuller body and slightly more robust flavor.
  • Jeoncha (Chuncha): A second flush tea with a light, refreshing taste and a subtle sweetness.
  • Daejak: A third flush tea harvested in summer, known for its bolder, more astringent flavor and affordable price point.

 

In addition to these green teas, Korea also produces small quantities of oolong and black tea, such as the first flush Oolong Tea Plus and the first flush Black Tea Plus, offering tea enthusiasts even more variety to explore.

 

Conclusion

 

Korean green tea and matcha offer a diverse range of flavors and quality levels to suit every taste and preference. By understanding the different grades of matcha and the various types of Korean green tea available, you can make informed choices and fully appreciate the unique characteristics of each tea.

 

Whether you prefer the smooth, umami-rich flavor of ceremonial grade shaded matcha or the light, refreshing taste of a first flush green tea like Ujeon, Korean tea has something to offer for every palate. As you explore the fascinating world of Korean tea, take the time to savor each cup and discover your personal favorites.

Jeju vs Hadong: A Tale of Two Korean Matcha Terroirs

Hadong: The Heartland of Korean Green Tea Tradition and Innovation

Hadong Green Tea: A Journey Through History and Flavor

korean japanese chinese tea

In the world of tea, Korea has often been overshadowed by its more well-known neighbors, Japan and China. However, Korean green tea has been quietly gaining recognition for its unique qualities and superior taste. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons why Korean tea is becoming increasingly popular and how it compares to its Japanese and Chinese counterparts.

The Perfect Environment for Tea Cultivation

 

Korea’s geography and climate provide the ideal conditions for growing exceptional green tea. The country’s tea gardens, particularly those located on Jeju Island and in the Hadong region, benefit from fertile soil, abundant rainfall, and the perfect balance of sunlight and shade.

 

Jeju Island, a volcanic island off the southern coast of Korea, boasts mineral-rich soil and naturally purified water. The island’s tea gardens are managed using scientific and systematic techniques to produce top-quality organic green tea. Similarly, Hadong, surrounded by mountains and rivers, experiences dense fog and significant temperature differences between day and night, contributing to the creation of tea leaves with a delicate and pure flavor.

 

Clean and Unique Flavor Profile

 

One of the main reasons why Korean green tea stands out is its clean taste and unique flavor profile. Korean tea producers prioritize quality and consistency, ensuring that their products are free from contaminants and maintain a stable flavor across batches.

 

Compared to Japanese tea, which is known for its strong, grassy flavor and potential risk of radioactivity, Korean green tea offers a cleaner and more refined taste. Chinese tea, on the other hand, may face challenges in maintaining stable organic control and can vary significantly in quality. Korean green tea strikes a balance between these two extremes, providing a consistent and enjoyable drinking experience.

 

Innovative Products and Precise Quality Control

 

As a relatively new player in the global tea market, Korean tea producers have the advantage of being able to offer exciting and innovative products that cater to the evolving preferences of tea enthusiasts. From shade-grown matcha to unique tea blends, Korean tea companies are constantly pushing the boundaries and introducing new ways to enjoy green tea.

 

Furthermore, Korean tea producers adhere to strict quality control measures, ensuring that their products are free from microbiology and heavy metals. This commitment to safety and purity sets Korean green tea apart from its competitors and provides consumers with peace of mind when enjoying their favorite beverage.

korean tea vs japanese tea

A Growing Presence in the Global Market

 

As more people discover the unique qualities of Korean green tea, its presence in the global market continues to grow. Korean tea companies are expanding their reach, exporting their products to over 50 countries in Europe, North America, Australia, and Asia.

 

The increasing popularity of Korean green tea can be attributed to its exceptional flavor, commitment to quality, and the growing interest in health and wellness. As consumers become more discerning in their tea choices, Korean green tea is poised to become a major player in the global tea industry.

 

Conclusion

 

Korean green tea may have been overshadowed by its Japanese and Chinese counterparts in the past, but it is now emerging as a force to be reckoned with in the global tea market. With its ideal growing conditions, clean and unique flavor profile, innovative products, and precise quality control, Korean green tea offers a compelling alternative for tea lovers seeking something new and exceptional.

 

As the world continues to discover the delights of Korean green tea, it is clear that this ancient beverage has a bright future ahead. So, the next time you’re looking to expand your tea horizons, be sure to give Korean green tea a try – you might just discover your new favorite cup.

 

For more information about Korean green tea and its benefits, visit the Korean Tea Culture page and explore the rich history and unique cultivation methods that make this tea so special.

Jeju vs Hadong: A Tale of Two Korean Matcha Terroirs

Hadong: The Heartland of Korean Green Tea Tradition and Innovation

Hadong Green Tea: A Journey Through History and Flavor

korean tea

Korea, along with its neighbor Japan, boasts a long and fascinating history of tea cultivation and consumption. This blog post delves into the captivating story of Korean green tea and explores the reasons why it has become a sought-after commodity in the global tea market.

A Legacy Dating Back to the Silla Dynasty


The story of Korean tea begins during the reign of King HeungDuk in the Silla Dynasty (668-935). A messenger brought tea seeds from the Tang Dynasty in China and presented them to the king, who then planted the seeds at the foot of Jirisan Mountain. This location proved to be ideal for tea cultivation, and from that moment on, Korean kings and scholars enjoyed tea during significant national ceremonies.


Throughout history, Korean green tea has been revered for its unique flavor and exceptional quality. The tea culture in Korea flourished, becoming an integral part of the nation’s heritage and identity.

 

The Perfect Environment for Tea Cultivation


Korea’s geography and climate play a crucial role in the production of high-quality green tea. The country’s tea gardens, particularly those located on Jeju Island and in the Hadong region, offer optimal conditions for tea plants to thrive. 

 

Jeju Island, a volcanic island situated at the southernmost tip of the Korean peninsula, boasts fertile soil rich in minerals and naturally purified water. The island’s tea gardens employ scientific and systematic management techniques to produce top-quality organic green tea.


Meanwhile, Hadong, surrounded by mountains and rivers, experiences dense fog and drastic temperature differences between day and night. These unique weather conditions contribute to the creation of tea leaves with a delicate and pure flavor.

Why Korean Tea Stands Out

 

In a market dominated by Japanese and Chinese teas, Korean green tea has emerged as a compelling alternative, offering several distinct advantages:

  •  
  • Clean and Unique Flavor: Korean green tea is renowned for its clean taste and unique flavor profile, setting it apart from its counterparts.
  • New Products in the Market: As a relatively new player in the global tea market, Korean green tea offers exciting and innovative products that cater to the evolving preferences of tea enthusiasts.
  • Optimum Conditions for Tea Cultivation: Korea’s geography and climate provide the ideal environment for growing high-quality tea leaves.
  • Stable and Precise Quality Control: Korean tea producers adhere to strict quality control measures, ensuring consistent and reliable products.
  • Free from Microbiology and Heavy Metals: Korean green tea undergoes rigorous sterilization processes and is free from harmful contaminants, providing consumers with a safe and healthy beverage option.

Compared to Japanese tea, which is known for its high prices and potential risk of radioactivity, and Chinese tea, which may face challenges in maintaining stable organic control, Korean green tea offers a compelling alternative that prioritizes quality, safety, and unique flavor.

 

Embracing the Legacy of Korean Green Tea

 

As the world continues to discover the remarkable qualities of Korean green tea, it is clear that this ancient beverage has a bright future ahead. By embracing the rich history and unique characteristics of Korean green tea, tea enthusiasts can experience a truly exceptional product that stands out in the global market.

 

Whether you are a seasoned tea connoisseur or a curious newcomer to the world of tea, exploring the captivating story and distinct flavors of Korean green tea is an adventure worth embarking upon. So, let us raise our cups and celebrate the legacy of this remarkable beverage.

 

For more information about Korean green tea and its benefits, visit the Korean Tea Culture page and explore the rich history and unique cultivation methods that make this tea so special.

Jeju vs Hadong: A Tale of Two Korean Matcha Terroirs

Hadong: The Heartland of Korean Green Tea Tradition and Innovation

Hadong Green Tea: A Journey Through History and Flavor