Monday, July 14, 2008

Korean green tea cake

Thanks to Matt's kindness, I have received a sample of his Wild Hadong Ddok Cha. It is a pressed green tea cake and is most probably very close to the way green tea used to be processed in the Tang dynasty (618-907), when most teas were processed as green tea cakes. Besides, according to Matt, says this style of Korean tea goes back to the 7th century!...

Lu Yu (the Tang dynasty tea writer) recommended using silver (or gold) tea ware and celadon cups. As for my Cha Xi set up, I decided to emphasize the wild nature (dark green Cha Bu and water collector) of this wild grown tea and the purity of its taste (white jar and vase, silver ware).
A tea professional recently told me that silver kettles are very appreciated by Taiwanese tea drinkers. Many prefer silver over old iron tetsubins, because rusted tetsubins often scare people. It's not always easy to assess the quality of a tetsubin. A silver kettle (of pure silver), on the other hand, will give you its purest water from day 1. Water from a silver kettle will be lightest and purest, fitting light teas like green tea perfectly.

Water from a silver kettle will also be hottest. It needs to be poured slowly and carefully, without touching the leaves directly.

Did this green tea stand the heat of this silver kettle and teapot combination? Yes, it did! These leaves are really very well processed. The result was a sweet feeling of peace and purity. Rather than drinking a tea, it was more a stroll in a calm, springtime mountain.

From left to right, the tea shows different colors in the big celadon, in Ginkgo's cup and in the qingbai singing cup.

Below, you'll also recognize Teajar's unglazed porcelain tea jar. I have received it last week as well, just in time to hold these few leaves of Ddok Cha. The milky texture of this porcelain jar is amazing.
Thank you so much, tea friends, for sharing these wares and leaves with me!

6 comments:

ginkgo said...

j'aime beaucoup le blog de matt avec des théières qui font rêver ...et je vois que ces thés coréens ont l'air aussi très intéressants...
De plus ça fait plaisir de voir ici un de mes bols "en action" et à côté d'une petite jarre de Michel, c'est cool! merci.

odin said...

Eh bien, touts les articles sont en anglais en ce moment ?? :)

Matt said...

One is always interested in your tea settings. This setting is particularly unique, one would never imagine such a modest, traditional tea being prepared with such elegant and extravagant silver teawear. Seeing the liqour in the different cups, Ginkgo's cup, and in Michel's tea jar is also a treat for one's eyes.

Glad you enjoyed it,

Peace

Michel said...

Seeing the 4 of us united in this way is so cha xi in spirit. Matt provided the tea, gingko the cups, I the jar and you the final setting.

These cups seem quite thin and beautifull!

alain said...

Fantastique...

teaescapade said...

I'm really jealous of anyone who has the opportunity to participate in such a wonderful tea party. I'll have to find somewhere in the near vicinity that hosts. Great pictures! Thanks for sharing - perhaps next time you will get to participate.