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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Korean Tea

"No need to speak of Fragrance, Color, Taste, Drink and Your mind becomes bright."
Seo Geo-jeong (1420 - 1488) a writer and poet

I had a chance to join darye while my trip in Jeonju, Darye is Korean tea ceremony literally refers to "etiquette for tea"or " day tea rite". This rite has been kept among Korean for a thousand years. After doing darye, I can say this is not just a drinking a cup of tea, but deeper meaning of that, it is a one part of Korean intangible art and heritage.

 Healing our negative feelings, clearing our mind and soul are some of the philosophy of darye. Drinking tea is also part of meditation. Although it looks easy to do but practically, it is not easy to follow, because there are some rules we must follow while doing darye.

The history of tea in Korea is ancient. Base on myth that tea was first brought to Korea in early 2nd century of the current era by a princess from Ayodhya from India who married King Suro, the first king of Garak. But it is usually agreed that the systematic planting of tea and drinking tea were brought from China by the first Buddhist monks.
Bulgap-sa in Yeonggwang and Bulhoe-sa in Naju are claimed as a starting point of Korean tea culture. One of the first clearly dateable records says that in 828 King Heungdok of Silla received tea seeds from Tang-dynasty which he sent to be planted on Jiri-san.

Choosing the right time while picking tea is the most important. If it is too early, the flavor will not be perfect, but if it is too late, the essence of the tea will be gone.
April 20-12 is recognize as the best date for picking tea leaves. Tea leaves which are soacked with dew after a cloudless night are best, and leaves should not be picked on a cloudy or rainy day.
Based on location, tea leaves from a valley are the best.

Traditional Tea Ceremony 

Source : Youtube

Source : 
Various online and private experience in Jeonju Worldwide Korean Blogger trip 2012.
Korean Tea Classics by Hanjae Yi Mok and the Venerable Cho-ui

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