Hwangcha Morning Crane Korean Green Tea [Episode 29]

James & Denny complete their two-episode series on Korean tea acquired from Morning Crane Tea. From the Hadong growing region they review a Hwangcha (Yellow Tea) from an artisan tea producer via Morning Crane tea. Rich, delicious, silky, and smooth. This tea can be purchased in the western world from Arthur at Morning Crane Tea.


8 responses to “Hwangcha Morning Crane Korean Green Tea [Episode 29]”

  1. Another cracker-jack discussion, guys. Thanks!

    Interesting to see the colour of the brew, and hear your tasting impressions, given the lower oxidation of this tea.

    James mentioned qi. OK, for us tea neophytes, what exactly *is* qi in relation to tea??


    • Hi Peter, thanks for the comment. Qi literally means energy (chaqi = tea energy) and it should be independent of caffeine. Qi as a tea term is a bit of a nebulous topic and you’ll hear varied things depending on who you talk to. Personally, I try not to use the term too much. Here’s a post by Marshaln which should hopefully illuminate the term a bit:

  2. I am trying to share this information about Hwang Cha or Yellow Tea, but I am not sure how accurate this information is because this is mainly regarding the Chinese yellow tea and I am not sure how similar it is with Korea Hwang Cha. The “legend” is the tea was created because people made mistake in the drying process. The tea was either to dry sufficiently or not in timely manner, the green tea turn yellowish. This is consider a type of fermented tea just like oolong, however the fermentation process is done by pilling the tea leaves based on my understanding. The tea leave that’s being used is somewhat the same type with what people make silver needle tea. It does looks similar from your video. You guys are really exploring deep into variety of tea categories, I enjoy the video.

  3. I want to post that Arthur still has a supply of the tea reviewed in this video. After reading Arthur’s blog, I was very moved by his recounting of how word of mouth spread on this tea via a nun, and how one woman does it all herself. I ordered two ounces so I can try it. Arthur is currently on a tea tour in Korea, very exciting! We found a nice connection in common, at one time we have both studied black pottery techniques at San Juan Pueblo, New Mexico.

    • Thanks for the comment Cwyn and letting everyone know. This is a great tea and something that is not common at all in the market!

      Hope you enjoy the tea.


  4. Got the 2 oz I ordered of this tea today. I am making a few notes because in all my years of tea, I have never worked more consciously with a leaf. This is due in large part to the complexity the leaf presents with its transformation from tree to drinkable form. My research is this type of hwangcha is unique to Korea, and nowhere else. The leaves are lightly oxidized, not fermented, and not wok roasted and also not bruised. Also, this tea was endorsed by word of mouth from a Buddhist nun, and having spent 6 years in a convent myself, I will take up the instruction to seek what it is a fellow contemplative is asking to be noticed.

    Leaves are thin, and look like black saffron, announcing delicacy. Instructions for hwangcha brewing are to hit it with a full boil on the water. That just seemed wrong given the delicacy of the leaf, so I went cool just under 160 deg. for first steep. The leaves turned from black to green but barely began to open. With this brew I got the full on rounded mouth full of chocolate.

    Second steep I did the full-on boiled water. The leaves opened up flat and oval resembling yellow tea leaves like the Yellow Buds I have from Mandala. The boiled heat completely overwhelmed the round chocolate mouthful.

    There is no 3rd steeping, not really, not if I want to know what the nun found. I know what it is, she took this tea off a fast and Buddhist nuns fast even more than others. I know she would not have taken boil heat on a fasting stomach. Fasting makes all olfactory and other senses far more powerful, and her body was very light. She got the full round mouthful of chocolate, so sweet and in the lightness of higher mountain air, meditation and the fasting, she probably tasted and wept. It is the first steeping this nun is talking about, probably the first mouthful and you guys show a similar reaction. I was not fasting but I can imagine the impact if I were.

    Still need to work more with the water on this one. I am using all ceramic, I have a vintage Japanese ceramic electric tea kettle (circa 1970s), and a porcelain cup with porcelain infuser that fits into the cup (by Chantal). Am going to continue working with low temps and tea amount.

    • Very interesting. Thanks for sharing this interpretation and experience, Cwyn.

      Quite a remarkable tea!


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