Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 Hwagae Uricha (Tongecha) at the Probuzeny Slon Teahouse

Visiting Brno, Czech republic, I'm once again sitting in one of my favorite tea-rooms here, mentioned several times on this blog – the Probuzeny Slon teahouse. At the moment, I am enjoying last infusions of a wonderful and unusual tea, one of those I wanted to try since the moment I first heard about it.

This tea is Hwagae Uricha (Tongecha), a Korean yellow tea produced by master Cho Yun Suk and imported by Teamountain. Quite an unusual Balhyocha for me, as it isn't loose – instead, this tea is pressed into the shape of a 100 gram ball and its appearance may be reminiscent of Pu-erh.

It's taste and smell is amazing – if someone would give me these dry leaves just to smell without seeing it, I would be tempted to say it's dark chocolate. Its taste is similar – wonderfully chocolate-like and sweet and it doesn't seem to get any bitterness even after long steeping times. As I gradually prepared numerous infusions, its smell and taste evolved, revealing more spicy tones, fruit, nuts, flowers and several other fragrances, making each infusion different.

Another thing worth mentioning – after a day of wandering through the winter city, this tea was exactly what I needed. As soon as I came to the teahouse and took the first sip, my body felt regenerated – and, immediately, warmed.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to take a photo of its dry leaves, which were still in a pressed form. After the session, though, the leaves are beautiful – quite small, whole and ranging from dark-green to dark-brown in color.

This post isn't going to be any longer. I just felt the need to share this unusual tea-experience – at least like this.

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