How to Enjoy Black Tea in a Green Tea Nation

25 Oct

My wife and I stopped by the 3rd Busan International Tea & Craft Fair yesterday. Highlights, other than innumerable green teas, included hemp tea, a $1,500 pu-erh tea (bbo-ee cha), a pleasant Boseong green tea, and a $30 Ha-dong bal-ho cha (steamed green tea), which I bought.

This bal-ho cha looks like a black tea with the earthy fragrance of a green tea. The tea leaves are oxidized longer than for an oolong but not as long as a black, and the tea is as astringent as a green tea. I wonder if Matt’s Red Box DDok Cha is related. The other aspect of the Ha-dong plantations is, that, according to my wife, Boseong, which garners all the attention for tea, began with Japanese plants, but Ha-dong is indigenous. Not that I care about the nationality of my tea!

The festival itself was rather small, and really was not much tea. I enjoy green tea, usually after eating Sunday brunch, but rarely do these festivals showcase foreign teas, indeed any tea except greens. A few vendors sell herbal teas, like a lotus tea we had, but nothing near to the variety possible. The presentations vary in quality, too.

But, now that I know of this chameleon half-green, oolong tea from Ha-dong, I can drink green tea and enjoy a little black, too.

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