What is “shade-grown” tea?

In the world of tea, especially when it comes to describing green tea and powdered green tea, the term “shade-grown” is often used to describe the environment in which the tea leaves were grown.

What does “shade-grown” mean?

Some shading is naturally provided by surrounding mountains and/or dew or fog from the ocean.

Some loose leaf green teas and all malcha require the leaves to be at least partially shade grown. In order to control the amount of sunlight that the tea leaves are exposed to, this step is usually done manually. A large net is placed over the tea field to control the amount of sun/shade that the leaves are exposed to. The degree of shading and period of time before harvesting will vary depending on the farmer/company. Hankook Tea’s malcha (ceremonial grade powdered green tea – photo below) is shaded for approximately 2 weeks before harvesting.

How does this affect the tea?

All tea leaves are made up of the same components. Where and how they are grown and processed will change the level of each component within the tea leaf.

Tea leaves grown in shade for longer periods of time will have higher levels of chlorophyll and amino acids. This is why shade-grown teas will be brighter green in color.

Increasing the length of time of shading will also increase the level of caffeine, as well as the level of theanine. Theanine is the component in green tea that is responsible for the sweet, savory flavor. Teas that have a higher content of theanine will have a sweeter flavor, and are considered to be of higher grades.

Exposure to sunlight will increase the level of vitamin C, as well as the level of tannins. Tannins are the components in green tea (same as in wine) that is responsible for the smooth texture, as well the astringent, bitter taste. It is also one of the main components that fight cancer. Sun grown teas will generally have a more full-bodied flavor.

One method is not necessarily better or worse than the other. It really depends on what you are looking for. For specific health benefits, these are the factors that one should pay attention to, especially when looking for malcha and/or powdered green tea. (Read about: Malcha vs Powdered Green Tea)

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Mulberry Leaf Tisane

bbong-ip cha (뽕잎차) = mulberry leaf tisane

Caffeine Free, like all tisanes, the Mulberry Leaf steeps a deep green infusion. The longer it is left to steep, the color becomes a deeper, moss green.

When drinking this mild herbal infusion, you can feel the tisane soothingly coat the stomach and warmth entering the center of the body. At Hankook Tea, we process our mulberry leaf tisane as we would our Jaksul Cha (green tea). The mellow notes of toasted grains with a hint of sweetness. will remind you of the steadfast and reassuring friendships with bosom friends who have laughed and cried with you throughout the times.

Research shows that mulberry leaves contain about 10 vital components that help to lower blood pressure levels and aid in preventing and controlling diabetes. These leaves have a high content of rutin (strengthens capillary vessels) and gaba (lowers blood pressure), both which have been shown to lower cholesterol levels and help prevent cerebral apoplexy, hypertension and arteriosclerosis, among other things.*

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Teuksun Jaksul Cha (Sejak Grade)

Teuksun Jaksul Cha

Sejak grade green tea from Hankook Tea.

Jaksul Cha means “Sparrow’s Tongue”, indicating high-quality green tea in Korea.

Hand-harvested right before and after Ibha*, it is difficult not to appreciate the complexity of this tea. Teuksun still has the delicate and sweet flavor remnants of the first flush harvest leaves, which are interwoven beautifully with more mature, robust tones. These spring leaves are skillfully steamed and slightly pan-fired into perfection.

*Ibha  is 7th of the 24 seasonal divisions, falling on the 5th or 6th of May, according to the lunar calendar.

Gamnong Jaksul Cha (Sejak Grade)

Gamnong Jaksul Cha

Sejak grade green tea from Hankook Tea.

Gamnong, in Hanja, means “sweet harvest”, referring to the sweet flavor produced by the delicate leaves. These are the delicate leaves and buds at the tip of the tea plants, hand-harvested and processed with years of experience.

Jaksul Cha means “Sparrow’s Tongue”, indicating high-quality green tea in Korea.

Hand-harvested right before and after Gokwoo* season, Gamnong is the tea of choice by tea masters in Korea and abroad. Clear as morning dew, the first flush tea contains bright, crisp and pure flavor tones and the soft bouquet of a spring day right after a light shower. The depth and intensity of this tea is further enhanced by the lingering sweetness that remains.

 

 

*Gokwoo is the rainfall for seeding (the 6th of the 24 seasonal divisions according to the lunar calendar that fall on the 20th or 21st of April).

Gamnong Matcha (Powdered Green Tea)

Matcha (“malcha” in Korean) means powdered tea.
Though there are powdered forms of all types of tea (white, oolong, partially oxidized, black), matcha refers specifically to powdered green tea.

There is is no set rule, but the term “matcha” usually refers to high quality powdered green tea. Discerning quality comes down to two main factors – the grade of the tea leaf used and how well it foams when whisked.


Hankook Tea’s founder and CEO Yang Won Suh has received recognition by the Korean government as the 34th Grand Master of Traditional Korean Foods (or Myung-In) for his superior production of Matcha and Hwang Cha.

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Our Gamnong Matcha uses Sejak grade tea leaves (same grade as our Gamnong Jaksul Green Tea), grown at our Jangsung Tea Plantation. Part of this plantation is reserved specifically for our matcha.

The tea leaves shaded for a short period of time to produce a brighter color and slightly sweeter taste. The shading is only done for a short time in order to retain the “natural” green tea taste, as well as to retain higher levels of tannin and lower levels of caffeine.

Like a great latte, fine foam is an important part of matcha (see example in photo above: bowl on top, right shows whisked matcha topped with fine foam) In order to get great foam, technique and much practice is needed. But more importantly, the powder needs to be very fine. The best method found to date is by using a stone mill, which keeps all the nutrient intact while getting the leaves down to a soft, fine powder. Using a grinding machine is also common for powdered green tea (not matcha grade), but it cannot get the powder ground down as finely without destroying the nutrients or flavor of the tea leaf.

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Gamnong Matcha – 30g
Luxuriously smooth and slightly sweet in taste, the bright green liquor has a light grassy aroma.

Ujeon Gamro Jaksul Cha (Special Grade)

Ujeon Gamro Jaksul Cha

This is Hankook Tea’s special grade of green tea.

Ujeon, in Hanja, means “before rainfall”, indicating the time these leaves are harvested. They are the absolute first buds that shoot up with the start of spring. These delicate buds are hand-harvested and processed with years of experience.

Gamro, in Hanja, means “sweet dew”, indicating the taste and aroma of the tea. When steeped correctly, there is a delicate sweetness that is produced.

Jaksul Cha means “Sparrow’s Tongue”, indicating high-quality green tea in Korea.

Some categorize it to be a Sejak grade.
Others categorize it to be in a class of its own.
Harvested before Gokwoo* season in early spring, the first budding shoots of the year are meticulously hand-picked leaf by leaf to create this peerless tea. Steeps a bright, green liquor possessing a light sweet taste with delicate undertones of clean grassiness.

*Gokwoo is the rainfall for seeding (the 6th of the 24 seasonal divisions according to the lunar calendar that fall on the 20th or 21st of April).

Chrysanthemum: Health Benefits

Especially found in the yellow part and the fruit of the Chrysanthemum flower is high amounts of B carotene. The liver converts B carotene into Vitamin A, which has been found to be helpful in treating skin problems, increasing immunity, postponing the aging process and preventing age-related blindness.*[1]

Chrysanthemum is also a great source of other nutrients, such as Vitamin B (including choline, folacin, niacin and riboflavin), Vitamin C and minerals (like calcium, iron, magnesium, adenine, amino acids and glycosides).*[1]

Some health benefits found linked with these nutrients and minerals found in the chrysanthemum include the following*[1]:

– Antiviral properties help relieve congestion due to viral infection
– Calm down the nerves
– Detoxify the liver
– Ease discomfort from high body temperature (slight toothache, throbbing gums, etc.)
– Ease giddiness
– Ease heaviness in head during cold
– Help digestion with taken with food (especially oily foods)
– Help with treatment of coronary artery disease, blocked arteries and even varicose veins
– Lower cholesterol level
– Reduce body heat from illness and heat stroke (natural coolant)
– Relieve sinusitis discomfort
– Stimulating properties help alert senses and rejuvenate brain
– Relieve sore throat
– Relieve redness, itchiness, dryness in eyes and lighten dark spots around the eye area
– Strengthen lungs and provide relief in respiratory problems (like shortness of breath)

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.; [1]Resource: http://www.bewellbuzz.com/wellness-buzz/10-health-benefits-chrysanthemum-tea/