Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tea World Festival 2013 (Seoul, COEX)

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The  Tea World Festival 2013 took place at COEX last week.

I wasn't able to spend as much time there as I'd have like to, but here are a few of the highlights of our visit...

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The first booth we came across was selling "ddeok cha" (caked tea), green tea that's been roasted, pounded, then shaped into little disks, and pieced to be strung on a line and dried. I've yet to try it, Mr Ahn always insists it's not delicious when I ask about it, but maybe one day I'll decided to sample a package.

Further in the back was a puer making demonstration, which filled the area with a pleasant, sweet aroma.

A booth from China specializing in Phoenix Dan Cong. I wish I'd sat a little earlier, as the tea I was offered was nearly spent (the Phoenix hadn't flown just yet, but it was about to). Even a little on the weak-side, it was still incredible!

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$200/100g! (About $900/pound)

Silver kettles and pots. The taste of the tea is said to be improved by silver (I wouldn't know!).

Kenyan black tea

"Balhyo Hwang Cha" (Fermented Yellow Tea)

With Kim Eui Jung, Chairwoman of the Myung Won Cultural Foundation, Korean Tea Ceremony Federation, and holder of Korea's Intangible Cultural Asset Number 27, the Royal Court Tea Ceremony. She is recognized with the Ok-Gwan (Jade) Order of Cultural Merit from the Korean Government. I mentioned that I'd just been south to make tea at Cheong Seok Gol, which happens to be their neighbor, and she gave me a box with a sample of green tea and yellow tea and said to drop by their farm the next time I'm in the valley.

Just a couple of tables down was one of the biggest surprises. I recognized soem pots that Kkik Da Geo recently began supplying, and when I asked the girl if they were really Jin Tō Geun pots, she nodded yes and pointed over to a man, saying, "Jin Tō Geun."

I only know a few Chinese words, but tried my best to tell him he makes the best pots I've ever laid eyes on. His son came over and translated for me. I had some photos of his pots on my phone, so I showed him that I have two of his pots. Not only does he have true Zhuni clay that's been in his family for nearly 200 years, but his craftsmanship and artistry are incredible (I'll share more in a future post).

They were almost as excited as I was to meet him to know that someone from Canada knew his name and owned his pots. His son took our picture to show his mom in Yixing, which was pretty cute, I thought.

His replica of the first Yixing teapot. I will also write more about it in the future.

The last sip of Lotus Root Tea. Tasted somewhat like a burnt potato chip (which I think tastes really good!).

A stone carved pot


  1. Nice review. Sounds great, wish I could've made it up there. No folks from Tetley or PG Tips??

  2. Joseph,

    "Mr Ahn always insists it's not delicious when I ask about it..."

    Spoken like a true Korean teamaster... hahahha. Some Korean teamasters that one has ran into also think this. They were all from Seoul though, go figure... hahhaa

    Thanks for this nice review of the festival.

    Let us know what Kim Eui Jung's tea tastes like, eh.


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