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