Boseong Sejak Nokcha (보성군 세작 녹차) is an organic green tea from the Choi family plantation located in the famous Boseong County of South Jeolla Province. The spring Sejak (세작) grade is plucked in April and is the second flush after the rare and expensive Ujeon (우전) grade. The name Sejak Nokcha refers both to the flush of this tea and the fact that it is a green tea, or nokcha (녹차). This tea has full organic certification, was picked in April 2017 and is sourced by us directly from the Choi family.
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.
This Boseong Sejak Nokcha is from the second Sejak flush and is processed as a green tea. Unlike the earlier Ujeon harvest that is pan-fried in order to stop the oxidations process, this Nokcha undergoes steaming. This method of halting oxidation is more prevalent in Japan and it produces green teas that have bold profiles and flavours that have strong savoury and umami flavours. Steaming does happen to be a very popular processing methodology in Korea as well.
This Boseong Sejak Nokcha has wiry dark green leaves. It produces a grassy liquor that has a refreshing floral aspect to it. The flavours are predominantly grassy and savoury yet sweet with notes of nori seaweed. There is slight astringency present on the aftertaste that is not at all distracting as it is balanced by some sweet notes. Overall this is a very clean and refreshing cup that still produces complex flavours.
It is best brewed at 70c for 2-3 minutes and can be re-brewed multiple times.