Friday, June 20, 2014

Sealing the fragrance

Even though we were up until 1:30 am, finishing off the ninth roast and I'd only slept for two hours the night before, I eagerly got up at 5:30 when I heard Prof Ahn preparing the tea kettle. After our morning tea, I went into the workshop to see the tea master already at work "sealing the fragrance." This is a very important step in the process. It's important not to have anything scented on your body and hot even to wash with soap, just rinse your hands well with hot water. For this, it's important not to be dirty in the first place.

The gamasot is heated to only 80°C, and the leaves are gently turned for three tedious hours without pause. Most of the group had lost interest in the process by now, but I thought it was fulfilling to be a part of the final process.

As I mentioned in the first post of this series, Prof Ahn was very impressed with our final product, exclaiming loudly that he could sell it at 500,000 woo per 100 grams (about twice the price of the best Korean green tea!). I think he was exaggerating a bit, but, still, we ended up with some very good tea!

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