Korean Tea This You Need To Know

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Updated: 23.05.2022

Table of Contents:

    What is Korean Tea?

    Korean people love to drink tea. You would be amazed how many traditional tea café and modern café can be found in every corners of Korea. You can find a lot of different traditional tea cafes if you go to Insadong, Seoul in Korea. Café usually provides some Korean traditional sweets and rice cakes with tea. Drinking tea means a lot to Korean people. Throughout history Korean people have shared some sweets and a cup of tea with families and friends. Tea can make you feel relax if you drink a hot cup of tea before you go to bed, even it can help you to sleep very well. You can also enjoy freshly-boiled warm tea to start your fresh morning. Tea also can be a good treat for welcoming guest and tea is good for official and special occasions. You can get a lot of health benefits from tea. It will help prevent a lot of diseases and ailments if you drink Korean traditional tea. So it will not surprise that why some Korean woman drink and enjoy cup of tea for diet and health. There is a special tea festival in Korea. It held every year in Boseong, Korea. Boseong Green tea festival is held every year in May. You can enjoy a lot of different kinds of tea ceremonies and you can also enjoy the beautiful scenery or green tea fields and nature. You should take a photo there and you would not regret about that. 

    Korean traditional tea ceremony

    Darye is a traditional Korean tea ceremony. Darye’s literal meaning is etiquette for tea. Darye has more than a thousand years of history. Korean traditional tea ceremony helps you to meditate and make your mind peaceful. It makes you feel relaxing and soothing. That is why Korean tea ceremony is the perfect way of relaxation in the fast paced modern society in Korea. Especially Korea has dominant 빨리빨리(Ppal li-Ppal li, which means hurry-hurry) culture. There are three different kinds of style (Royal Darye, Seonbi Darye, and Friends Darye) in Korean tea ceremony. The Royal Darye is attended by the king and it last for 8 hours. The Seonbi Darye is for Korean Confucian scholars, and usually this ceremony for men but also open for both genders. Both Darye are conducted in silence. The Friends darye is similar to western afternoon tea so it’s more casual and people can enjoy chatting with some sweets. The tea usually served in traditional and beautiful pottery. Pottery mostly made in provincial kilns with porcelain. We sometimes use beautiful pottery with Korean art for tea ceremony. Historically the bowls and cups are made with religious influence. Celadon or jade green color (Punchong) pottery is for Buddhist tea rituals. The purest of white pottery is for Confucian tea rituals.

    How to make Korean tea and how to drink Korean tea

    Actually making Korean tea is quite simple.The first step is to put tea leaves in the pot and pour the hot water over it. Second step, we should wait a few minutes until tea leaves are getting open. And you can tell when you should pour the tea into the cups by checking the water color. Third step, if you think tea is ready to pour; you should slowly pour the tea into the cup.You should gently move the teapot when you pour the tea it will help the tea equally spread the flavor into the cup Fourth step, you should hold the cup with both hands and enjoy the beautiful tea color and smell it. You can take a sip if it’s not too hot and taste it in the mouth for a while. After swallowing the tea, you can enjoy the aftertaste of the tea in the mouth. This process can be repeated several times until the tea leave lose their taste. If you want, you can enjoy tea with Korean traditional sweets such as 한과(Hangwa), 약과(Yakgwa) and rice cake(Tteok), etc.

    What are the Types of Korean Tea (Cha)

    There are a lot of different kinds of tea in Korea. Cha means Tea in Korean.Korea has leaf teas, flower teas, fruit teas, Grain, bean, seed teas, Root, shoot, bark teas, Combination and other teas. You can tell a lot of different kinds of Korean tea have their own unique taste and flavor.

    Basically you can differentiate between these main teas:

    • Korean Leaf Tea
    • Koran Flower Tea
    • Korean Fruit Tea
    • Korean Grain and Seed Tea
    • Korean Root Tea

    Korean Leaf Tea

    Regarding leaf teas, Korea has not only green tea, black tea but also Baegyeop-cha (pine leaf tea) which main ingredient is Korean pine needles, Bakha-cha (East Asian wild mint leaves tea), Daennip-cha (bamboo leaf tea), Gamnip-cha (oriental persimmon leaf tea), Maegoe-cha (Rugose Rose leaf tea), Ppongnip-cha (white mulberry leaf tea), Sollip-Cha (Korean red pine leaf tea), Ssukcha (Korean Mugwort tea) and Yeonnip-Cha (Lotus leaf tea).

    Korean Flower Tea

    Flower Tea at a Teahouse in Hongdae, Seoul
    Flower Tea at a Teahouse in Hongdae, Seoul

    Regarding Flower teas, Korea have a lot of beautiful flower teas and flower teas taste is very subtle. Dohwa-cha (Peach blossoms flower tea), Gujeolcho-cha (White lobe Korean dendranthema flower tea), Gukhwa-cha (Indian Chrysanthemum flower tea), Maehwa-cha (Plum flower tea), Mindeulle-cha (Dandelion tea), Mongnyeon-cha (Magnolia tea) are Yeonhwa-cha (Lotus flower tea) the most popular flower teas in Korea. 

    Korean Fruit Tea

    Regarding Fruit teas, Korean people make fruit teas using Jujube, Goji berries, citrus peels, cheese pumpkin, plum, quince, walnut, Ginkgo, magnolia berries, carnelian cherry, pomegranates, and Yuja. 

    Other Korean Tea (Grain, Bean, Root, Bark)

    Grain, Bean, Root, Bark Tea
    Grain, Bean, Root, Bark Tea

    Regarding Grain, bean and seed teas, Korean people make Grain tea using Barley, sicklepods, brown rice, buckwheat, rice, mung beans, corn kernels and job’s tears. Korean people also enjoy Root tea because it’s really healthy. Korean people make root teas using Korean angelica root, balloon flower root, Solomon’s seal root, East Asian arrow root, cinnamon bark, red ginseng, Korean ginseng, yam, Korean ginseng root hair, ginger, burdock roots and lotus root. 

    Combination of Korean Tea Ingredients

    Regarding combination teas, you can get both health and subtle taste benefits. Hyeonmi-nokcha (picture before, singe teabags, left lower corner) and Ssanghwa-tang is the most popular combination tea in Korea. Hyeonmi-nokcha made by brown rice and green tea leaves, Ssanghwa-tang made by white woodland peony root, rehmannia root, Mongolian milkvetch root, Korean angelica root and cinnamon bark. 

    What are the most popular Korean teas?

    Koreans love to drink their tea. But there are very popular teas among the korean teas. These following five teas are the most common teas. In fall into love with the Yuza Cha *hihi*


    Omija-cha is a traditional Korean tea made by dried magnolia berries. The color of tea is really pretty. It’s like a mysterious red color. Omija means five flavors, so if you drink Omija-cha, you can taste five different flavors such as sweetness, bitterness, sourness, saltiness and pungency. You can enjoy this tea either hot or cold. 

    Yulmu-cha (Job’s tears tea)

    Yulmu-cha is a perfect tea for winter time. You can find Yulmucha in vending machine in Korea. It is made by roasted, powdered Job’s tears with nuts. It’s very milky, mild, think and soupy so some Korean people drink Yulmu-cha as light morning meal. 

    Yuja-cha (yuzu tea)

    Fresh Made Yuja Cha
    Fresh Made Yuja Cha

    If you get a cold, Yuja-cha is the perfect remedy for you. Yuja-cha is a traditional Korean tea made by hot water and Yuja marmalade. It’s sweet and sour flavor with beautiful yellowish color tea. Yuja is a kind of citrus fruit. It contains high Vitamin C so it’s really good for your health. 

    Korean Oranges and Citrons on a cozy market
    Korean Oranges and Citrons on a cozy market


    Ssanghwa-tang is the most unique Korean traditional tea. It’s a dark brown color and slightly bitter, ginseng-like and mysterious taste. It’s the most popular medical tea in Korea. It’s a combination tea using traditional Asian herbs such as white woodland peony root, rehmannia root, Mongolian milkvetch root, Korean angelica root and cinnamon bark. If you want, you can add sugar to relieve the bitterness of Ssanghwa-tang.

    Bori-cha (barley tea)

    Some Korean people drink Bori-cha almost every day. It made by roasted-barley. You can enjoy Bori-cha either hot or cold. It has deep, roast and toasty flavor with a little bit of bitterness. Korean people enjoy drinking Bori-cha as daily base drinking so it can be a substitute of water. You can find Bori-cha at Korean household and Korean restaurants very easily. 

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    • Gast Logo Debbie : 2021-11-21 11:18:31

      I thought this was a wonderful article

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