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).

Myung-In

“전통식품 명인 서양원인”
(Jeon-tohng-shik-poom Myung-in Seo-Yang-Won-een)

전통 (jeon-tohng) = traditional
식품 (shik-poom) = food products
명인 (myung-in) = master (person with excellent skills)
서양원 = Seo, Yang Won ((Founder & CEO of Hankook Tea)
인 (een) = mark/seal

Grand Master of Traditional Korean Foods

(명인 myung-in) is a distinguished title given to individuals in recognition of their extraordinary contributions in protecting and preserving the nation’s traditional agricultural methods, manufacturing processes and unique tastes of Korean culture. Since 1994, in effort to protect and preserve Korean food traditions, the South Korea Ministry of Agriculture has recognized individuals.

In 2008, Yang Won Seo (picture above and below), Founder and CEO of Hankook Tea Company, has been recognized as the 34th Grand Master of Traditional Korean Foods by the government for being a “master” at his craft, for his skillful technique in developing and crafting the artisan Hwang Cha (partially oxidized tea) and superior production of Matcha (powdered green tea).

Haenam Tea Plantation

Location: Yeon-dong-ri, Haenam-eup, Haenam-gun, Jeolla-namdo
Size: 17 acres

Haenam Tea Plantation was established in 1981.

Like its nickname “ddang kkeut maeul“(땅끝마을 – directly translating into “village at the end of the earth (land)”), Haenam is located at the southern most tip of South Korea’s mainland.

Our tea fields are located in idyllic surrounding near the coast. The cool ocean breeze and abundant rainfall create the perfect climate for tea shrubs.

One of the greatest factors in choosing a tea field is the balance of “yin and yang”. In the case of growing tea, this is the balance of sun exposure and natural shading. This ensures the best, natural taste of the tea leaves.

The natural “shading” at Haenam is provided in part by surrounding hills as well as the sea breeze (being near a large body of water, there is slight fog in the morning, blocking the sun’s rays from directly hitting the fields until later in the day).

The tea from all three fields of the Honam Tea Estates are combined to ensure consistency in aroma and flavor, year after year.

Youngam Tea Plantation

Location: Unam-ri, Deokjin-myeon, Youngam-gun, Jeolla-namdo
Size: 41 acres


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Youngam Tea Plantation was established in 1979 on the foothills of Wolchul (pronounced “wuhl-chool) Mountains.

This region was chosen for its ideal locality, rich soil conditions and natural beauty.

One of the greatest factors in choosing a tea field is the balance of “yin and yang”. In the case of growing tea, this is the balance of sun exposure and natural shading (provided by Wolchul mountain), which ensures the best, natural taste of the tea leaves.
Youngam Tea Plantation is Honam Tea Estate’s largest and most productive tea estate. The pristine lines of this estate’s tea shrubs are recognized as one of Korea’s finest, possessing the most desirable flavors. 

Youngam is also the location of our second factory. Our first, in the city of Gwangju, processes all the tea leaves picked from our Jangsung Tea Plantation. The factory in Youngam takes care of all the tea leaves harvested from both our tea plantations in Youngam and Haenam.

Both factories have received the ISO 22000 certification, which is one of the highest certifications that can be earned when it comes to factories dealing with food products.

The tea from all three fields of the Honam Tea Estates are combined to ensure consistency in aroma and flavor, year after year.

Jangsung Tea Plantation

Location: Nokjin-ri, Nam-myeon, Jangsung-gun, Jeolla-namdo
Size: 13 acres

Jangsung Tea Plantation was established in 1965, being the first tea field our Honam Tea Estates. Jangsung has 35-year, 24-year and 10-year tea trees, meaning the tea trees (camellia sinensis) have been strongly rooted into the foundation and simple weather changes will not affect them. The best example would be the harsh, cold winter that struck Korea a few winters back – many tea fields and plants in South Korea area were destroyed and uprooted by all the snow, strong winds and below freezing temperature. Our fields and tea trees were of the few that survived. The main reason for this was the deep rooting and firm foundation.

Jangsung Tea Plantation is located in the nothernmost point of the province of Jeolla-namdo (the northernmost point in South Korea tha produces tea). This field produces teas of the highest quality and of the best taste. The cooler climate makes this tea estate ideal for tea shrubs reserved for matcha (powdered green tea). Tea leaves reserved for matcha are partially shade-grown (photo below) for a certain amount of time before harvest. This allows for a more vibrant “green” color and sweeter aroma and flavor.

Jangsung Tea Plantation has been officially certified as organic by both South Korea (2009) and the USDA (2010). Hankook Tea’s organic line comes exclusively from this field. All other Hankook Tea’s teas come from a combination of all the different fields within the Honam Tea Estates to ensure consistency in aroma and taste year after year.

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/

Since 1951…

In 1951, “Hankook Black Tea” was established in the city of Suncheon (South Korea), starting with production of only black tea, adding green tea production a few years later. Relocation to the current location in Gwangju, along expansion of adding the production of duchung (root of a plant) and kyulmyung (cassia seed), took place in 1964. During this time, the company was a solely a supplier of raw material to various other companies within the country.

By 1994, the company was producing retail packaging for all its products, as well as opening up several retail storefronts and tea rooms under the name Chasaengwon (“where tea is produced”). The company’s name was also changed to the current Hankook Tea Company.

In 1995, Hankook Tea was the official sponsor of the Gwangju Biennale 1995. By this time, exports to Japan and Canada were in full effect. Continuous time and effort was spent to produce the best possible cup of Korean tea. These efforts were acknowledged in 1997 when the company participated in the International Tea Competition (sponsored by the board of Shizuoka in Japan) as the Korean representative.

This not only pointed out the importance of spreading the Korean tea culture to other countries, but also within the country, in which the culture had faded in the past few decades (especially with the boom of coffee and cafes).

In 1997, the Woon-Cha Cultural Center was opened, creating a space where anyone and everyone was welcome come enjoy tea. Multiple gatherings – education sessions, filming of the Korean tea ceremony, casual tea with friends and more – have and still take place to this day.

Contributing further to the modern history of tea in Korea, the company erected a statue of Master Choeui (photo above – from http://www.baekryunsa.net/plugin/mobile/board.php?bo_table=photo_6&wr_id=291) at the Daeheung Temple in Haenam in 1999.

In 2005, Hankook Tea U.S.A, Inc. was established and a Chasaengwon was opened in Los Angeles, California (photo above).


By this time, recognition and awards were received from various competitions, festivals and events, as well as from the government of South Korea. The greatest recognition was received in 2008, when founder and CEO Yang Won Suh was appointed as the 34th Grand Master of Traditional Korean Foods (picture left) by the Republic of Korea, awarded in superior production of Hwang Cha (partially oxidized tea) and Matcha (powdered green tea).

Following current trends and upholding strict standards to produce eco-friendly products that are harmonious with Mother Nature, organic certification (South Korea and USDA) and ISO22000 certification (top grade given to factories for cleanliness and sanitation) were acquired, expanding our selection of teas even further.

Hankook Tea always strives to continue and contribute to our rich heritage.

Cherishing the Exquisite Art of Tea and
Philosophy of Friendship