Monday, November 27, 2017

Special TeaBuy Korea: Kim Jong Yeol

I have been thinking about this special sale for some time. My hope was to have it on-line in early November but here we are in late November - actually "Cyber Monday" and I'm just posting it.  Perhaps I should call it a "Cyber Two Week Sale" because that is the length of this sale. This special TeaBuy begins now and ends midnight December 9th.
Kim Jong Yeol is a very special producer.  On our tea tours he stands out as being one of the best. However, with little exception his teas are little known in the West.  
I must begin by acknowledging that I first learned of Kim Jong Yeol and the teas he produces from a post by Matt on his blog about his friend Pedro Villalon who may have discovered Master Kim.  Pedro Villalon is now at Vancouver’s O5 Tea, a truly great tea shop and one you should visit or explore on the web.  O5 regularly offers at least two of Kim Jong Yeol’s teas.   
I must also apologize for featuring a producer found by Pedro but believe this post will bring him more customers as well. 

Preparing Noeulhangki

On our TeaTour Korea events, we visit Kim Jong Yeol in his home near the heart of Hwagae Valley.  Hwagae Valley is considered Korea's most sacred tea area.  Therefore, I can’t resist making this special offer and at special prices.  Ours is not a retail tea shop but an educational enterprise, and we hope that this post will do much to bring attention to both Kim Jong Yeol and the O5 Teashop.  After all our main purpose is to educate the West about Korean Teas. We will be featuring other producers and other tea shops in the future.  Note: while we do offer some teas at wholesale prices we don't sell to O5.
There are a few reasons to feature Kim Jong Yeol.  First, Master Kim produces some of the best teas found anywhere - not just Korea, anywhere.  Each tea he produces comes from really select, large, nearly wild, deep rooted bushes from which the leaves are carefully plucked and produced personally by hand.  Second, We have been “under featuring” Kim Jong Yeol by offering just one of this amazing teas, a balhyocha he calls noeulhangki (no-eul-hang-ki) or the "Scent of Sunset".  It is a very special tea and I love it when Korean tea producers give their teas names beyond simply balhyocha or my hwangcha or  simply sejak.  Each producer that makes a balhyocha has his or her own version and they are all different. If you have tried a Korean balhyocha or sejak, don't think for a moment that you have tried them all. That is something you must attempt if you are to have a true sense of what these Korean teas are.  Third, Perhaps this is the same reason, giving names to one’s teas gives them status. My hope is that all Korean producers will begin to name their teas beyond the generic names of woojeon, sejak or simply balhyocha etc. The truly unique teas produced by Kim Jong Yeol deserved to be named.  The Fourth reason, and perhaps most important is that Kim Jong Yeol produces a great variety of teas all of which are very special but the only teas that have been available in the West are two balhyochas.  My hope is that this post will bring more attention to his full body of work.
What teas are we offering? 

Balhyo-cha (Oxidized)
1. Noeulhangki                   50g     $29.00
2. Sebyukhangki                50g     $35.00
3. Buttea                            50g     $29.00

Tteokeum-cha (Green)
1. Butdangol Woojeon        50g     $46.00  Picked: April 15 - 20
2. Chungiljem Sejak           50g     $35.00  Picked: April 25 - 30
3. Koom                              50g     $29.00  Picked: May     1 -   6
Prices are in USD and shipping is extra

I'm listing the plucking dates for the tteokeum-cha (aka - green teas) because typically green teas have a 2 year life.  Korean producers traditionally pick their teas based on season changing dates of the lunar calendar. There are 24. Two of these season changing dates are especially important for tea. They are April 20 or Gukwoo and May 5 Ip-ha. The first pick, woojeon, is picked before Gukwoo and the second pick, sejak, is picked after Gukwoo and before Ip-ha.  Therefore, even the tea Koom is a sejak.  Jungjak, is picked after Ip-ha that falls on either May 5 or 6.
If you are beginning to understand Korean teas, you may wonder about the term I am beginning to use for green tea - tteokeumcha.  This is the term Brother Anthony uses for green teas - teokeumcha, meaning "roasted tea".  I like the term for Korean green teas.
The Kim Jong Yeol teas I am offering are not bought in bulk to be repackaged but come in Kim Jong Yeol's own bags. If you have ever received any of his teas in his bags, you appreciate his double bagged teas.

   Kim Jong Yeol's Tteokeumcha


When I talk with Lee Minhyeong, my Korean partner, he often mentions how pleasant Kim Jong Yeol is. You will like to know that Kim Jong Yeol did what many corporate folk would like to do, he gave up corporate life to follow his passion - tea.  Those who know him and his teas well know he made the right decision.  These teas are delicious.

 My personal favorite image of Kim Jong Yeol
This special offer is essentially a cyber 2 week special. The teas are offered at our lowest prices. You will not regret participating. To order or to learn more click here. Our goal is to get these teas to you in December this year, so order now. The offer ends December 9th at midnight! Contact me.
If you have read this, you may have noticed that I translated one of Kim Jong Yeol's balhyocha names into English.  The name Noeulhangki means The Scent of Sunset. What a beautiful and poetic term and one that is easy to translate compared to some of his other teas. With the help of my Korean partner Lee Minhyeong.  After some lengthy discussion, trying to ease out of Kim Jong Yeol's names their true meaning, we have decided on these translations: 
                  Noeulhangki    -  The Scent of Sunset         노을향

                  Sebyukhangki  -  The Fragrance of Dawn   새벽향기

                  Buttea              -  Temple Tea                       붓티
                  Butdangol        -  A Place for Buddha          붓당골

                  Cheongiljem    -  Above the Crowd             청일점

                  Koom               -  Dream                             

These translations will be discussed with Master Kim.  However, if you know the Korean language, you are welcome to comment on these translations and or try your hand at translating these terms as well - especially if you order some of his teas. 
Contact me with your order


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

2017 TeaBuy Korea Morning Crane Tea

Wild tea leaves
This event is bringing back coin ttokcha!

A cup of ttokcha brewed by its creator Baek Sun Deok
 This sale has ended. We may have a few teas in stock so it doesn't hurt to ask. In addition, Morning Crane tea is a tea service. If we don't have it, we may know of someone who does or we can access it for you.  Between TeaBuys, we now have a system in place where you can buy any of the teas we offer directly from Morning Crane Tea Korea. The plus side of that is that those transactions are much quicker in turn around than our TeaBuys that wait for customers, wait for all payments, wait for all producers to ship their tea to us, wait for the tea to arrive here etc. We do save considerably on shipping and some prices on our TeaBuys but they are a labor of love on our part and really a gift to you.
To be placed on the list for our next TeaBuy Korea or to see what teas we may have in stock now or to just learn a little more about Korean teas, contact us.  Thanks for your interest in Korean teas from Morning Crane Tea
Below is our last TeaBuy. Some prices may not be valid.
I had intended to begin TeaBuy Korea on April 2, 2017 and actually did so on my Facebook page from my phone. But here we are the first of June and I'm finally able to post it here.  My computer is back after a series of mishaps and various diagnoses that lasted nearly 2 months. Although I am really late I am finally able once more to offer TeaBuy Korea.
I began this service twelve years ago simply to try to introduce the world to Korean teas and teaware. Now you can get Korean teas in many places. But there are few other places outside of Korea where you can source many of the teas we offer and Korean teas of this quality. 
Did you notice the switch from "I" to "we"? That is because I have taken on some family and friends to help in this endeavor. Hopefully they will help improve matters and you will receive the teas and teaware in a much more timely matter. More on that later.  
I began by exclusively offering Dong Cheon Teas and at the bottom of this page you will find testimonies to that exceptional tea company.  Dong Cheon Tea has continued to maintain the highest quality for their wonderful organically grown teas and we are happy and proud that we introduced them to the Western tea market. 
Today, in addition to Dong Cheon, we offer teas produced by a number of outstanding artisan producers and are continuing our search for exceptional Korean teas.
For those who know Korean teas well, you know that we are offering teas from some of Korea's most respected producers.  In addition to the teas you find below, we now have in place a service that will search out and find any  Korean tea you seek - perhaps any teaware artist as well.  In fact if you are looking for something made in Korea, we may be able to help you. Just contact us.
Now lets look at our teas

Morning Crane Tea's 
TeaBuyTM Korea 2017

Nokcha = Green Tea                          Balhyocha = Oxidized Tea

Cooperative Tea

Dong Cheon Tea


     Woojeon                 50g               $35.00
     Muwi Sejak            50g               $25.00

     Sejak                        50g               $20.00

     Jungjak                    50g               $15.00

     Daejak                     50g               $10.00

     Yipcha                     50g                 $6.00

Artisan Tea
Jeong Jae Yeon
(ban balhyocha - hwangcha - Korean yellow tea.
Or is it wan-jeon balhyocha a hongcha? I never raised that question before. )

     Halmonicha           40g               $16.00
     Halmonicha        300g            $105.00
     Halmonicha is bulk packed in a 300+g actual weight is between 325g and 365g 

 Dosim Dawan
(Nokcha and Wan Jeon Balhyocha - hongcha- red tea)
     Sejak                       50g               $26.00

     Jungjak                   50g               $18.00

     Balhyocha So-ip-cha     50g          $26.00

     Balhyocha Dae-ip-cha  50g          $10.00
So-ip = Small Leaf  Dae-ip = Large Leaf

 Yejeon Dawan   
(nokcha and wan jeon balhyocha - hongcha- red tea)
     Sejak                       40g               $22.00

                 Wan-Jeon Balhyocha 
     Junggan-ip-cha     40g               $20.00
juggan-ip = Medium Leaf  
Soa Dawan
 (nokcha and ban balhyocha - hwangcha- Korean yellow tea)   
     Woojeon                40g               $28.00

     Gukwoo                 40g               $22.00

     Sejak                      40g               $18.00

     Jungjak                  40g               $12.00

     Balhyocha SD      40g               $18.00

                                          Flower Teas
     Magnolia                 4g               $22.00
     Mugwort               20g              $15.00

This artisan tea producer from Boseong is certified organic internationally. 
He also makes magnolia and mugwort teas ask for prices

Yi Ho Yeong Studio
(nokcha and ban balhyocha - hwangcha- Korean yellow tea)
*  approximate weight: bulk packed

      Woojeon                  50g*              $56.00
                                      100g*            $105.00
      Sejak                       50g*               $29.00
                                       100g*             $56.00
      Jungjak                   50g*               $23.00
                                     100g*               $48.00

     Balhyo YHY            50g*               $22.00
                                     100g*               $40.00
                                            Flower Teas
      Magnolia                   bag            $38.00
     Chrysanthemum      bag            $38.00
     Apricot                        bag            $38.00
     Persimmon                bag            $23.00

The flower teas are bagged  in the same bags used for 100g of tea. 
Flower teas are light in weight and do not weight 100g.
Famous tea authors Brother Anthony and Hong Kyung Hee feature Yi Ho Yeong in their book. The Korean Way of Tea. Most of these teas are bulk packed in 100g bags. In some cases I must buy 100g and repack into approx. 50g bags. After Yi Ho Yeong's untimely passing in January 2017,  these teas are produced by her disciples.  

 Kim Jong Yeol
 (wan jeon balhyocha - hongcha- red tea)
     Balhyo Noeulhangki    50g        $32.00
This is one of the most acclaimed balhyochas in Korea.

Jangguncha Dawan
     Nokcha                       30g         $40.00

     Balhyocha JD            30g         $30.00* 
*A very interesting balhyocha. We offer these teas at our cost
Is this tea from Gimhae made from Assamica leaves?

  Temple Teas
This is the temple that was the home of ChoUi Korea's great historical Tea Master.  
The tea comes from large older tea bushes.
     Special Nokcha             80g         $100.00

     Special Nokcha             60g           $76.00

     Special Nokcha             40g           $51.00

     Special Nokcha             20g           $26.00

Baek Sun Deok
 This is Korea's famous historic "coin" tea produced by the renowned prize winning producer Baek Sun Deok in the historic town of Jangheung, Jeollanam-do
These teas are offered at our cost.
     Sejak            9 coins            $130.00
     The above tea is in a wooden box 
     Sejak            8 coins            $100.00

     Jungjak     10 coins            $  60.00 
     The above tea comes in a small onggi jar
     Jungjak        8 coins            $  50.00 
       The above tea comes in a box
     Jungjak      10 coins            $  50.00
     Jungjak        5 coins            $  30.00

To place your order or to ask questions, please click here.

You may not be familiar with the various terms for balhyocha.  I recommend that you read my article. Click here.

Each of the teas we offer are truly organically grown from wild or semi-wild bushes.  All have been taste tested by our panel. 

Artisan teas don't need much testimony but I should say a word about Dong Cheon Tea simply because it is a tea company. Dong Cheon Tea is a cooperative of about 80 tea producers in Hwagae Valley.  Like all of our teas, they are organically grown.  All of their teas are hand picked and much of it hand produced. As an example of its quality, recently a customer from Germany was seeking Dong Cheon's Muwi Sejak and Sejak and discovered me. I had only Sejak and Yipcha in stock. Yipcha you will note is Dong Cheon's lowest priced tea and our lowest priced tea as well.  After receiving and tasting these teas he wrote. 
I just want to say: Thank you - for selling me from your stock and especially for the gift! I will try the “black” teas later.  So far I tried the Yip Cha and the Sejak. The Yip Cha is really wonderful: the smell of the dry leaves in the hot teapot! And the “texture” of the tea in the mouth! If I compare with other “tests” I made in the last months with Korean Tea, the result is clear: there is something special about the Dong Cheon tea, it feels, as if they have more “life” in themselves.
Best Regards ,  Georg
 In another incident, on our last night in Seoul we went to visit our good friend Ha Il Nam, president of Dong Cheon Tea, at his teashop in Insadong. Sitting with him, by chance, was Moonyum the director of Temple Stays at Geumsunsa the beautiful Buddhist temple high in the mountains outside of Seoul.  (I highly recommend a temple stay there.) Moonyum was there to order teas for the temple and informed me that they buy all of  their temple teas from Dong Cheon Tea. Realizing that they could select teas from any producer including artisan and temples, I took this as a strong endorsement for Dong Cheon Teas.
Like always on these TeaBuys, I am offering some of these teas at my cost or very near my cost. 
Finally, the question remains, "Should we at Morning Crane Tea continue this service?" That can only be answered by you.  

To place you order or to ask questions, please click here.