What is green tea?Green tea's origin, Type of Green tea

What is green tea?

A tea plant is woody evergreen and belongs to Angiospermae, Dicotyledoneae, Archlamydeae, Theaceae and Camellia as systemartic botany.
A tea plant devides into two types, Assam and Chinese beed. Wild green tea of Ji-RiMountain belongs to Chinese beed and its semi-fermented tea also belongs to the same type and its tree is an ailanthus. In contrast, Asam breed is from old tree, which is usually used in brewing black tea. The original meaning of tea is what makes with young leaves picked from a tea plant and we usually call these well trimmed or chunked tea leaves, tea powder as dry tea. The aqua type of folk tea that we usually enjoy includes pure tea soup made with leaves, skins, roots, powdered tea, and thick tea soup. Meanwhile, our ancestors named substitute tea including ginseng tea, euconomiaulmoides tea, quince tea, pine tea, ginger tea and citrus tea which does not use tea leaves but other ingredients.
Substitute tea(traditional tea) has been prevalent after the middle century of Chosun dynasty. In korea dynasty and an early age of Chosun dynasty, our ancestors drank traditional tea with other various ingredients. Korea's traditional tea has remedial effect on many diseases, easy to drink which makes it so popular among these days. It is also fine to drink for a long time because of its own flavor and components that have their own effects on human body.

The origin of Green tea

Green tea, originated in China has the longest history more than any other beverage. Tea has been used for medical and beverage to human for about 5000 years. At first, it was derived from medical, edible plants by chewing them, then changed into more delicately form by boiling herbs. Its effects rapidly spread in Tang/Song dynasty period when Buddhism became popular and spread by Buddhist monks.
In Korea, during the period Shinla dynasty, it was written that tea existed from SendeokKing (A.D.632-647), however the plantation of tea has started by DaeRyum,, who lived during HeeongDuck King(A.D.828). by spreading the tea seeds which are taken from Tang dynasty.
「Dashingaejeolmok」, 「Choeusunsaeu」, 「Dongdasong」 written by JeongYakYoung, 「NongJeongShinPeyon」 written by AhnJongSu, and 「Dakyoung」 written by YookWu are literatures about planting tea in Korea. According to old Korean tradition, when woman get married, they often take a tea seed as a symbol of chastity. The characteristic of tea tree, which always die when moved from its own zone, was symbolized as chastity.

Types of Green Tea

1. Classified by its size of leaves.(It is often related to the period of Tea manufacturing.)

  • Ujeon tea - A tea made by very early leaves and sprouts during Kogu.(April 20~ April 21)
  • Sejak - A tea made by fine leaves and sprouts in 5 days after Kogu
  • JoongJak - A tea made by leaves and sprouts after Sejak before Ipha
  • Ipha - A tea made by leaves which is thicker than the leaves of Joongjak
  • DaeJak - A tea made in midsummer

2. Classified by an area of production and producer

When you visit a traditional green teahouse where various menusexist, you may be confused if you only think about the classification by the size of tea. Since tea has its inherent name derived from its area of production and producer of it, it might be helpful to know its own name.
  • JakSul Tea - Jaksul derives its name from its shape of leaves, which is similar to a tongue of sparrow
  • JukLok Tea - It means that a tea drained the dew of bamboo
  • BanYa Tea - It means that a tea is made in a traditional way

3. Classified by tea manufacturing ways

The time of frying procedure diversify the flavor and taste of tea. Frying less than 50% of tea leaves is called the process of parching, while frying more than 50% of tea leaves is called the process of toasting, so tea is classified by parched and toasted tea.
There are various teas from not frying tea leaves at all instead drying them on sun, which is called Illswae tea to parching bit, called Parched tea, Half-toasted tea and Fully-toasted tea.
Illswae tea
  • Parched tea: SerLok tea, BanYa tea, SsangKye tea
  • Half-toasted tea: Jaksul tea, YuBi tea, Choi tea
  • Fully-toasted tea: Sumi tea, BoHyang tea, HwaGae tea, JeongJae tea.

A procedure of steaming tea leaves by vapor diversifies the color, taste and flavor of tea. Steaming in a steamer, blanching in boiling water, steaming roasted tea leaves with a cold water, and getting the tea leaves together then steaming are the ways to steam tea leaves. And the amounts of steaming process diversify the classification of tea.

  • BooJeoing: SerLoktea (parched tea)
  • YakJeoing: Jaksul tea
  • BanJeoing: Ssangkye tea
  • GangJeong: SerLock tea (steamed), Bongro tea
  • WanJeong: Selocktea(made by very clean dew)
Fermented tea

The amounts of fermentation diversify the color, flavor and taste of tea. It is divided into three criteria. By a way of fermenting, there are sun fermenting, indoor fermenting, heat fermenting, and sealing fermenting. On the other hand, by the period of fermenting, there are pre-fermented tea which is fermented at the beginning of steaming, and mid-fermented tea, which is fermented during the steaming, and final-fermented tea, which is fermented after the tea manufacturing process. Lastly by the amounts of fermented condition, there is low fermented tea, middle fermented tea, high fermented tea, and fully fermented tea.

  • Non-fermented tea: Green tea, YongJeong tea
  • Low fermented tea: Cheong tea, PoJeong tea
  • Half fermented tea: OhRyoung tea, CheolGwanEmm tea (Chinese tea)
  • Highly fermented tea: MooIeAm tea, Boi tea (Chinese tea)