WOW. Color me impressed! Not only by this tea (which is an incredible tea), but also by this company. Dao Tea is probably the most unique tea company I’ve seen. Each of the teas they offer are HANDCRAFTED by a single person.
This particular green tea, called Sejak, was made in the Hwagae Village, in the province of Gyeongsangnam, South Korea. The artisan who creates this delicious tea is Tea Master Kim Jong Yeol.
From the back of the tea package:
Tea Master Kim Jong Yeol (photo to right) exchanged urban chaos and a corporate job for a farmer’s life in a stunning mountain village. He honours the ancient tea tradition by harvesting the leaves from ancient bushes, hand-making sublime tea, and sharing a cup with those who knock on his door.
I was immediately impressed with this tea when I opened the package. The dried leaves look curled, like eyelashes, and are a very dark jade green color, with an insanely ambrosial fragrance that has notes of nuts, flowers and a vegetal undertone that will seduce your senses.
The flavor is DELICIOUS! I could not believe how smooth and soft this blend was. With the way the dried leaves looked, I was prepared for it to taste more like what is termed “Eyebrow Tea” or Chun Mee, which has a bitter flavor. This is not at all like Chun Mee, there is NO bitterness at all, just a silky-smooth green tea flavor that has tones of hazelnut behind a more jasmine-like overtone. It’s incredibly hard to describe the flavor of this tea because it has so many wonderful, delicious layers to the overall flavor. It leaves your palate sighing in pleasure and wanting more!
Dao Tea describes this tea as:
Dao Tea is an online artisan tea shop based in Richmond, BC, Canada. We offer a selection of sublime tea, handcrafted in the mountains of Asia by farmers and master artisans that we personally know.
Anthony of Taize, in The Korean Way of Tea, said “The taste of the first cup of tea, made with water that is far below boiling point, on a palate freshly awakened, is so intense, so unexpectedly rich and varied, so indescribably fragrant, that, from that day on, the only question can be ‘when shall I be able to go back and drink that tea again?’”. Having tried this tea, we know what he meant.
The meandering Seomjingang River and the breeze from the South Sea nurture the mountainous soils of Mount Jiri. For centuries, Korean monks have sought green tea from this pristine land to clear the mind, soothe the senses… and perhaps provide a window to enlightenment.
Tips for a multi-sensorial tea experience
Pre-warm a 250ml tea-pot and cups with hot water; empty the pot. Place 2g to 3g of tea in the pot. Gently pour on water, which is between 65°C and 70°C, and allow 90 seconds to brew. Serve the tea, using a strainer if needed, in the pre-heated cups, pouring up to the last drop. One more infusion can be made adding plum blossoms, yielding an amazing floral bouquet over fresh notes of green tea.
This is my favorite green tea of 2009, a beautiful bouquet which balances vegetal, toasty and floral notes that was actually handcrafted with care. This is my first review of Dao Tea and their unique artisan teas, and from this one taste, I know I’m really excited to get to taste more teas from this company. A perfect 5-star brew!