Boseong Yeopcha Hongcha (보성군 엽차 홍차) is an organic black tea from the Choi family plantation located in the famous Boseong County of South Jeolla Province. The late summer to early autumn Yeopcha (엽차) grade is the last picking of the season, so sometimes it is referred to as the autumnal flush. This is a very light black tea with an intriguing tangy and savoury flavour. It has full organic certification, was picked in late summer of 2021 and is sourced by us directly from the Choi family.
You may be interested in other teas we currently offer from the Choi Family Garden.
The Choi family plantation produces some classic teas that all have their own unique characters but maintain a distinctive ‘Korean’ taste. The family has owned this plantation for 3 generations and the tea making knowledge passes down from one generation to the next. They take great care in growing and producing their organic teas that showcase wonderful traditional Korean tea flavours. The Choi family also run tea making workshops for local schools, passing down their tea knowledge and promoting local agricultural work. Most children of farmers around the area are keen on moving to big cities for study and work, so their work is essential in ensuring the future of Korean tea.
Korean teas are distinguished by having a clear classification system of flushes. The first flush Ujeon (우전) is the most prized one, which is the ‘pre-rain’ picking of the tea leaves. This is followed by Sejak (세작) ‘thin sparrow’, Jungjak (중작) ‘medium sparrow’ and Daejak (대작) ‘big sparrow’ flushes. These names refer to the shape and size of the leaves and their resemblance to sparrow tongues. The earlier the harvest, the more expensive the tea is. Earlier harvests also have more intense characteristics and heavily feature dominant green, savoury and umami flavours. While these flavours are more evident in green teas, they also do translate rather well to their black tea counterparts. This Yeopcha (엽차) is the last picking of the season and is the coarse grade that is suitable for everyday drinking. Unlike the higher grades and earlier harvests, this is machine picked and machine processed to keep the costs down.
This Boseong Yeopcha Hongcha consists of large coarse leaves of varying sizes, with some mixing in of smaller broken up leaf. It produces an amber liquor with good clarity and a light mineral aroma. The taste is very mild, savoury and tangy. It has herbaceous and vegetal notes of vine leaf, roasted aubergines, peppers and tomatoes with a herby, spiced edge. This is a surprisingly light tea, with no maltiness, tannins, astringency or dryness. The aftertaste is clean, with a stony note. The combination of flavours works well together and creates a flavour profile that makes us think of being in an autumnal forest!
It is best brewed at 90°C for 3 minutes and can be re-brewed multiple times.
This Boseong Yeopcha Hongcha black tea was featured in our December 2021 Curious Tea Subscription Boxes.