Tea Growing Regions of Korea
Korea has four major tea growing regions: Mt. Jiri, Boseong, Jeju Island and Jeonnam. Mt. Jiri , Boseong and Jeonnam are located in the temperate southernmost region of the Korean peninsula, nestled on mountain slopes near the ocean and Jeju is a sub-tropical volcanic island off the southern coast.
Mt. Jiri is the birthplace of Korean tea cultivation; the first camellia sinensus seeds being planted by Kim Taeryom at the Ssanggyesa monastery on Mt. Jiri in the first half of the 9th century AD. Today the forests surrounding Mt. Jiri are graced by thousands of wild growing tea plants, some of them hundreds of years old, descendants of those original plantings.
View Teas Unique's Mt. Jiri teas here.
Boseong has been a tea producing region of Korea since the Japanese Occupation (the first commercial tea plantation was established by the Japanese in 1939). Teas Unique's Boseong Jaksul teas come from a single estate plantation located on the rolling hills of Unrim village, along the Boseong River, not far from Lake Ju An. Their tea fields are covered in a sea of fog until sunrise, with only the surrounding mountain peaks emerging through the mist. Watered by the morning dew, the camellia sinensus leaves are plucked by hand in the late spring and summer, then hand roasted in a wok and dried. This process is repeated nine times, according to the traditional method handed down through the generations. These are true, heirloom, hand-crafted artisan teas.
View Teas Unique's Boseong teas here.
Jejudo, off the Korean south coast, is a volcanic island dominated by Hallasan, a volcano 1,950m (6,400') high. The volcanic soil and sub-tropical climate make this island an ideal location for tea growing. The fastest growing region of tea production in Korea today, Jeju Island tea plantations are dominated by Seoul-based conglomerates who have established huge tea operations based on automation, machine picking and Japanese steaming methods. These highly commercial operations have been aggressive in exporting their product and as a result, Jeju Island green teas are the most commonly available and the most well known to American tea drinkers.
View Teas Unique's Jeju Island teas here.
The tea plantation in Nokjin Village that supplies Teas Unique was established in 1965 and contains many camellia sinensus bushes that are over 40 years old. Located near the northernmost boundary of Jeollanam-do (Jeonnam Province), the cooler climate of this estate is ideally suited to the production of powdered green tea (matcha). Tea bushes selected for powered green tea production are covered in shade cloth for several weeks prior to harvest, thus giving the teas a deep green color and a robust grassy flavor.
View Teas Unique's Jeonnam teas here.