Jiri Mountain Tea

"Sourcing Artisan Nokcha From Jirisan"


Joined Oct 10 2013
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I would like to understand more about Korean Tea and its production, including the health benefits.

Thank you,

Best regards

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1 Comment

Reply Jirisan Gabriel
9:23 AM on October 13, 2013 
Hello Irichen,

First, thank you for stopping by my website and welcome. Stop by often as I try to update my site with interesting information.

As far as Korean tea production is concerned, I will try to keep it short and tell you about what I know of it through my personal experiences in Jirisan, Hwagae Valley. Most of the tea grown here is harvested for producing delicious tasting green teas and balhyocha. Balhyocha is a fermented/semi-oxidized tea.

Tea, camellia sinensis, in Jirisan, Hwagae Valley, South Korea, is mainly grown on a small scale basis. The tea is organically grown, without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides on 5 acres/~2 hectacres or less. The tea farmers' semi -wild tea gardens are located in various locations on mostly irregular patterns on steep, southern sloping mountainous terrain. The tea bushes thus grow in mineral rich, rocky, and well drained soil.

This is in stark contrast to what one might see at commercial tea plantations on Jeju Island, and the tea plantations at Boseong, South Korea. The focus is mostly on commercial, mechanized harvesting in those areas. A visit to a Boseong tea garden, one will see neatly manicured tea bushes that are pleasing to the eye. The tea bushes are from a Japanese tea cultivar. Similar to what one might expect from seeing a Japanese tea garden in Japan. Orderly rows of beautifully pruned tea shrubs. This has more to do with the Japanese colonization of Korea from the early to mid 20th Century.

Not so in the Jirisan , Hadong County area. The tea bushes in Hwagae Valley are descendants from the tea seeds which originated from China around 828 A.D.

The tea bushes here can be found growing in wild and rugged remote areas, flourishing semi-wild on southern sloping hillsides, and growing on low intensity cultivated tea gardens in lower elevations. The tea bushes cultivated in the lower elevations are mechanically pruned for the purpose of using the tea leaves for tea bag production.

Tea production is typically a family enterprise where all members of the family including relatives get involved with everything from tending their tea garden , hand harvesting the nokcha, manually small batch processing the tea leaves, and hand-packing them. In other words, totally hand-crafted artisan teas with few exceptions. The few exceptions consist of a handful of tea cooperatives in this area which buy leaves from those tea farmers who do not possess their on on-site mini tea processing unit . They also grow other agricultural products and do not specifically focus on branding their tea. They usually just want a guaranteed price with fewer headaches from trying to market their tea, and selling their tea leaves among other agricultural products helps to provide an economically sustainable lifestyle.

The health benefits and the beneficial properties of tea, camellia sinensis, as opposed to herbal tisanes, has been well researched and documented for many years now. Tea has been purported to promote a healthy lifestyle. For example, it helps to promote weight loss, aids in reducing fatty substances in the blood (cholesterol), helpful in alleviating stress and fatigue, balances blood glucose levels, among other things. Please keep in mind that I am not a physician so the information I am providing here is for leisure and enjoyment purposes and not meant to be used to treat or diagnose medical symptoms.

Anyhow, I hope that my answer helped shed some light on tea production in Korea, specifically in Hadong County, Hwagae Valley, Jirisan.

Live well !

Welcome to "The Tea Files"

A tea blog about my tea journey and trekking experiences into the unique world of organically grown and exquisite artisan nokcha (green tea), balhyocha (fermented/oxidized) leaf teas, yasaeng (wild) rock teas, and semi-wild leaf teas from Jirisan, Hwagae Valley, South Korea,  the birthplace of Korean nokcha.

~Jirisan Gabriel~

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Administrator's Note: Unless otherwise noted, the photos, images, and written content which appear on these websites; www.jirisan.webs.com , www.jirimountaintea.com, and/or www.theteafiles.com and all associated webpages are original and the intellectual property of Gabriel Furnari (aka) Jirisan Gabriel. The unauthorized use of this website for commercial purpose(s) is strictly forbidden.  Viewers and/or users of the previously mentioned websites and their associated pages, including  www.theteafiles.com are not permitted to alter, amend, copy, reproduce, download , or redistribute its content in any manner or form; digitally, electronically, mechanically, or otherwise, without first receiving prior written permission from him. If expressed written permission is granted, then you must provide a clearly written reference to the websites www.jirisan.webs.com or www.jirimountaintea.com  and/or its tea blog   "The Tea Files" and provide a web link to it.

~Jirisan Gabriel~

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