Moving along through the samples of South Korean tea, courtesy of Hankook Tea and Honam Tea Estates. Today’s review will focus on the Organic Jaksul Chut Mool Green Tea. This tea is certified organic by the USDA and Korea. For more information about Hankook Tea, visit their website here.
The leaves of this Organic Jaksul Chut Mool are selected from both the first flush (Sejak) and second flush (Joongjak) harvests. The leaves are harvested by hand in May of each year. The leaves in this sample are from the 2013 harvest year.
The sample packet has been opened, and a clean aroma is complimenting the fresh appearance of the leaves. Let the journey begin…
The dry leaves have a uniform dark forest green color. All leaves are small to medium fragments, and are rolled. A few of the leaves are rolled into a pellet shape. There are very few bare stems, and the ones that are present are quite small. The aroma has scents of sweet wood, fresh grass, and light brown sugar.
Nine grams of dry leaves were placed in a 18 ounce (530 ml) cast-iron teapot. Purified spring water was heated to 175°F (75°C). The leaves were infused for one minute thirty seconds.
The first infusion produced a liquor with a bright yellow with a slight jade green tint. The aroma has scents of fresh wet grass, light wood, and light brown sugar. The body is light-medium, with a clean, very smooth texture. The taste is very fresh, with a slight savory (umami) character, and notes of wet grass, light flowers, light wood, and very light brown sugar. The aftertaste is fresh and grassy, with a very impressive floral essence lingering on the breath.
The second infusion produced a liquor with a darker shade of yellow-gold with a slight jade green tint. The aroma remains grassy, lightly woody, and lightly sweet. The body remains light-medium. The taste is grassy, with a stronger floral note, light wood, and very light brown sugar. The aftertaste is more floral, and the essence continues to impress me with the strength and linger time.
The third infusion produced a liquor with a pure light jade green color. The aroma has lightened some, but remains grassy and floral. The body is light. The taste has also lightened some, and retains the grassy and floral notes. There is a light sweetness in this infusion that is very pleasant. The aftertaste is grassy and floral, and the flowery essence continues to be very pleasant.
The infused leaves have a uniform fresh forest green color. Some leaves are slightly lighter than others, perhaps the difference between the first flush leaves and second flush leaves. The leaves are all small to medium sized fragments. The leaves have a soft, silky feel, but are not as delicate as I expected. These leaves may still have an infusion or two of aroma and taste left in them. The aroma has scents of fresh cut wet grass, wet wood, and a very light floral hint.
As compared to my previous review of the Jaksul Gamnong Green Tea, which consisted entirely of first flush (sejak) leaves, I am leaning toward preferring this Jaksul Chut Mool, with the blend of first flush and second flush (Joongjak) leaves. This Jaksul Chut Mool had a fuller, more robust aroma and taste, and I also feel that it held it’s strength in aroma and taste through three infusions slightly better than the Gamnong. The Gamnong also had more umami to the first infusion than this Chut Mool. I do not care for umami the way that many tea enthusiasts do, so the lack of umami in the Chut Mool is not a problem for me. One characteristic of the Chut Mool that stood out to me was the strength and linger time of the flowery essence that was left on the breath. The flowery essence that a tea leaves is something that I enjoy immensely, and a strong and lasting linger will always result in a better review from this enthusiast. This Jaksul Chut Mool had a great flowery essence, and a long lasting linger. I was also impressed by the retention of the taste strength from first to third infusion. I really enjoyed this green tea.
Thanks to Hankook Tea and Honam Tea Estate for providing the sample. I think the Huang Cha will get the next review. Cheers!