The Story of Korean Tea
It Started with a Gift
It began with a gift from the Tang Dynasty to Queen Seondeok and the Korean Royal Court.
Initially enjoyed by royalty, monks, and commoners alike, interest in tea was widespread throughout the 7th to 14th centuries. When Confucianism became the dominant religion in Korea, tea was replaced with wine as the dominant preferred beverage. Coupled with high taxation, tea fell out of favour with all except the few buddhist monks that remained in the south.
For the following seven hundred years, the buddhist monks in the isolated mountains along the south coast were the sole protectors of Korea's tea traditions. Attempted conquests by Japan ravaged much of what remained; however, the monks were resolute and continued to protect Koreas traditional means of cultivating tea and its ceremonies.
The early 20th century saw the colonization and occupation of Korea by Imperial Japan. Followed by the Korean War and the division of Korea by the United States and the Soviet Union, much of Korea's agricultural areas were left completely destroyed. Yet, resolute, those same monks continued to persevere, continuing to cultivate small amounts of tea on the hallowed slopes of Jirisan (Mount Jiri), and protecting Korea's tea traditions.
While tea continued to remain relatively scarce throughout Korea's remarkable development between the 60's and 00's, tea has seen a renewed renaissance throughout the nation.
Today, Korean tea is renowned around the world for it's remarkable quality. Old tea growing regions have become new again, with tea actively cultivated on the hallowed slopes of Hallasan on Jeju Island, the southern coastal area of Boseong, and the ancestral home of tea in Korea - Jirisan.
Having endured the hardships of the past, Korea's tea traditions are a testament to the resolute nature of Korean culture and its everlasting dedication to excellence. Renowned for their incredible quality, delicate taste, and complex aromas, Korean teas are the gold standard by which all other teas should be judged
You can learn more about the tea growing regions of Korea below.
Standing nearly 2,000m tall, the fabled mountain of Hallasan stands watch over all of Jeju Island.
The slopes of Hallasan are host to our single-estate Jeju Island teas. Grown in this sub-tropical region, in the fertile volcanic soil, and caressed by the gentle sea breeze, our teas from Jeju Island are smooth, delectable, and have pleasantly subtle marine notes.
In Korea's southernmost region, bordered by the fabled Jirisan and the magnificent Korean coast, sits the home of our single-estate Boseong teas.
Surrounded by glorious mountain peaks, tranquil lakes, and a peaceful river, our Boseong teas are adorned by a blanket of mist each spring morning. The result is a luxurious single-estate that is sure to bring tranquility to your day.
The fabled home of Korean tea.
Having given rise to and protected Korea's tea traditions for hundreds of years, the second tallest mountain in Korea holds a special place in the hearts of Koreans and tea drinkers alike.
Mount Jiri remains home to some of Korea's greatest tea plantations, and to the courageous monks and the magnificent monasteries which have protected Korea's cultural treasures for thousands of years.
How Korean Tea is Different
Korea's tea culture has remained loyal to its millennia-old traditions and dedication to serving only the finest quality teas.
With harvesting techniques that have been passed down through the generations, the finest quality teas remain small-batch, hand chosen, and hand-processed. The result is a highly exclusive, ambrosian, and decadent tea that has become renowned worldwide for its quality. Grown amidst the most magnificent coastal mountains and harvested in small quantities with the same care and attention to detail as they were 2,000 years ago, Korea's tea attracts the most discerning of tea drinkers.
Taste the teas that are winning awards globally today.