Chong Tae Jeon, the Korean cake tea

I never heard about this antic Korean practice before consisting in aging tea pressed like small cakes, then to skewer them one after the other on a thread and to hang these strings of tea on the ceiling while waiting to be drunk.


This long standing custom remains of the post fermented Pu-Ehr cake teas elaborated in Yunnan and speciality of this terroir. But here, in Korea, the process seems to be different.
The green tea leaves are first cruched and then flatten out with the volar region of hand before being pressed in forms of different sizes whose smallest look like coins and weight from 5 to 7 gr. The pectin inside the tealeaves will stick them together. Once drilled, they are hung and age slowly during several years.IMG_2006

In the past, it was the only way to keep tea for longer time. For Korean people, tea was used as medicine. The medicinal property of tea could be reinforce by adding flowers or plants like lotus, barley or chrysanthemun.

To prepare this type of tea correctly, let it boiled for around 3 minutes. When this cake tea is young, its taste is light, even light minéral or perhaps better expressed metallic with a hint of nut and straw at a time.

Quite interesting…


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