Dong Cheon Sejak Hwangcha

Dong Cheon Sejak Hwangcha is an exquisite organic spring tea from Dong Cheon co-operative of farmers in Jirisan. Also called balhyocha or dancha, it is known as a ‘fermented’ tea. It has a light liquor with a clean, woody and tangy taste with notes of prunes and no astringency.

Brewing guide: 2.5g in 250ml water at 90°C for 2-3 minutes



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Origin:Hwagae Valley, Hadong County, South Korea
Elevation:Jirisan - 200-600m
Harvest time:April 2020
Sourcing:Direct from Dong Cheon


Dong Cheon Sejak Hwangcha (동천 세작 황차) is a supreme grade lightly oxidised black tea from the Dong Cheon co-operative of farmers. A Sejak (세작) grade is plucked earlier in spring and is the second flush of the season, picked in late April to very early May. This Dong Cheon Sejak Hwangcha black tea has full organic certification and was picked from semi-wild tea trees in late April 2020.

This tea is an oxidised version of Dong Cheon Sejak Nokcha that we offer. Classification of Korean teas does not follow the same rules as applied to most teas. In Korean terminology there is generally a distinction between two tea types: green tea, nokcha (녹차) and oxidised tea, balhyocha (발효차). Balhyocha, sometimes also spelled paryocha is roughly translated as fermented tea and, unlike the truly fermented pu-erh, the name refers to the process of tea leaf oxidation. Every tea master has their own processing method for balhyocha so there is no clear cut definition with the teas varying greatly in oxidation levels as well as in processing methods employed. Hwangcha (황차) is a type of balhyocha categorised by a processing method akin to making oolong or a lightly oxidised black tea. The name ‘yellow’ tea comes from the look of the tea leaves during processing and the colour of the resulting liquor rather than from referencing yellow tea processing methods employed in other countries outside of Korea.

The best way to describe this Dong Cheon Sejak Hwangcha from the point of widely used tea terminology is that it is somewhere between a heavily oxidised oolong and a lightly oxidised black tea. In reality it does not fall within either category as the processing methods do not match neither those of oolong nor of black tea. We class it as a light black tea but in reality it does deserve to be within a separate balhyocha category. Dong Cheon even prefer to use their own name for this tea, which is Dancha (단차).

Dong Cheon Tea Field, Jirisan, Hwagae Valley, Hadong County, South Korea
Dong Cheon Tea Field in Jirisan, Hwagae Valley

The dry leaves of this Dong Cheon Sejak Hwangcha are delicate in appearance and have a dark colour. The liquor produced is a lightly golden amber colour with a fresh aroma. The taste is well balanced, with a tangy and slightly woody profile. There is no astringency, bitterness or maltiness. The character is very clean and smooth albeit slightly drying. It has a light, brisk flavour that is not deep but has a long lasting aftertaste. You can definitely find some fruity notes on the aftertaste that are most reminiscent of prunes. This is an expertly made example of a Korean hwangcha with a characteristic flavour profile that is commonly found in such teas. One of our all time favourite teas!

It is best brewed at 90°C for 2-3 minutes or according to your taste. This tea should definitely be brewed multiple times to enjoy the different flavours from each brew.

We have an extensive range of teas from Dong Cheon, so why not try our any of the three other green teas that we offer: Sejak Nokcha (second flush green), Jungjak Nokcha (third flush green) and Daejak Nokcha (summer flush green).