Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.
Today’s Tea & Peace Reflection
A Video Presentation
by The Muyung Won Cultural Foundation
“The Myung Won Cultural Foundation carries on the legacy of the pioneer of Korean tea, Myung Won Kim Mi Hee. Myung Won Kim, Mi Hee dedicated her life to restore the traditional Korean tea ceremony and revive Korean tea culture. The foundation’s mission is to carry on the wishes of the late Myung Won to preserve, develop and promote Korean traditional tea ceremonies and tea culture, and develop tea ceremony masters and educators.” (from the Myung Won Cultural Foundation Website)
Today’s Tea Region:
Beosong, South Korea
The tea included in the Global Tea Blend has been provided by:
Korean Tea History
In addition to legends of an indigenous Camellia sinensis leaf, theoretically taking the history back additional millennia, the recorded history of tea cultivation begins 2000 years ago. In 48 AD (CE). According to this ancient history, the Princess Heo Hwang Ok of Ajodhya, India traveled through Sichuan Province, China to reach the shore of South Korea. She arrived with many treasures, including tea, introduced herself as a princess of Ajodhya and was introduced to the Korean King, King Kim Suro. Artifacts from this period are associated with tea customs and pottery. Traditional ceremonies though to celebrate this history are still practiced today. Korean tea history – from the fields to the ceremonies – is deeply intertwined with spiritual practices of Buddhism and Daoism
The ceremony, Charye can be translated as “Tea Propriety” during which family members gather during the Lunar New Year and Fall Harvests to honor ancestors with a tribute of tea, fruits and sweets.There are many different ceremonies in Korean Tea Culture, some sharing similarities with other international traditions but all unique and meaningful, preserving important aspects of history and culture.
The Pioneer of Korean Tea Ceremony – the Honorable Myung Won
Myung Won, Kim, Mi Hee restored, compiled, and presented the comprehensive procedures of the Korean tea ceremony to the public for the first time in Korea.
The procedures of 2000 year old Korean tea ceremonies were presented as the Royal Court tea ceremony, Buddhist Temple tea ceremony, Daily Life tea ceremony and Guest Greeting tea ceremonies in Sejong Cultural Center. The procedures are now known as Myung Won tea ceremony. The Myung Won tea ceremony continues today as the authentic traditional Korean tea ceremony.
Beosong has been recognized for their green tea for more than 1500 years. Historical records mention the tea from the mid 7th Century during the rein of Queen Seondeok. But it was not until the 1930s that green tea was produced commercially on large farms. In the 1980’s the local government decided to support the industry by subsidizing local tea businesses and by focusing on higher education and training with local universities and research institutes.
Categories of Korean Green Tea
Woojeon Cha – The first set of budding leaves in early Spring. These are usually plucked in early April and are considered an exceptional tea of high value.
Sejak Cha – The second plucking usually occurs between the end of April and into May. These leaves are usually plucked when they are not completely open and are still considered to be a premium tea.
Joongjak Cha – The leaves are those that are plucked a little later than the Sejak Cha, are more mature with leaf sets plucked with one or two of fully opened leaves.
Daejak Cha – The fully mature leaves are harvested from the last flush of the year.
Dokk-Cha – Compressed Tea Coins
Another interesting form of Korean Tea are called Dokk-Cha. These are pressed tea leaves formed with a center hole so that they can be suspended by a cord to dry and then to be sold as a “packaged set”. Each pressed coin is to be brewed for one steeping of a cup or pot.