Thursday, August 21, 2008

2008 Nok Ya Won Wild Hadong Ddok Cha

Class: Pressed green tea
Origin: Jiri Mountain, South Korea
Year: 2008
Vendor: Unknown. This was a gift from Matt, of MattCha's Blog.

Many thanks are due to Matt, who provided me with a generous helping of this Ddok cha. I don't really know what it is (other than pressed green tea, more info here [Edit: Also here]), but it is fantastic and exactly what I should have expected Matt to give (more on this later).

First, let's talk about the wrapping. Wow. Alright, enough talking. Take a look:

Wrapped cake
Gorgeous! (And I thought the Japanese were the best at wrapping and presenting tea.) The effort it took to wrap and decorate this sample is much appreciated. Also, the sample I received was once much larger, probably about twice as big, but due to foreseen circumstances much has been consumed. :)

Ddok cha dry leaf
Unwrapping the package, one finds something that looks quite a bit like puerh. Again, this used to be more cake-like (though with very loose compression), but not after I had my way with it. The dry leaf aroma is quite faint, completely unlike puerh, and smells like a Korean green tea; creamy, sweet, and grassy.

Ddok cha liquor
It tastes similar to how it smells; light, creamy, only slightly grassy, with an occasional hint of banana. Still, while it is soft and comforting, the flavor is not the highlight of this tea in my opinion. I do not have much skill in feeling cha qi, but this is easily the most pleasant cha qi I have ever experienced. It comes on slowly and has some strength, but it is not at all jarring or obnoxious. I feel incredibly comfortable (yet still alert) when I drink this tea.

Ddok cha leaf
As I mentioned earlier, this is exactly what I should have expected from Matt. This is not an in-your-face, full-flavored tea (like what I typically drink). Its beauty is much less obvious, even "shy", and could easily be missed if one is not attentive. Thank you again, Matt, for this eye-opening tea; it will not soon be forgotten.

Other reviews:
Stéphane (Tea Masters)
Marshaln (A Tea Addict's Journal)
[I'm pretty sure there are more reviews out there somewhere. Let me know if you find any.]


Salsero said...

Thanks for this second post about Koren tea, Brent. Do you have any comments about where Nok Ya Won Wild Hadong Ddok fits into the Korean tea world compared to the stuff you posted on previously? This is a whole different class? The other stuff wasn't pressed, was it? Is this aged?

Wes Crosswhite said...

You use your new camera for this?

Brent said...


I seem to recall that Ddok cha is basically compressed green tea, though I imagine the processing is slightly more complicated than that. This stuff is meant to age for a few years (not long-term like puerh though, IIRC), unlike "regular" unpressed Korean green tea.

As far as the experience goes, the ddok cha's flavor was similar but more muted and muddled than the regular loose green, but the ddok cha's qi was far more interesting.

Hope this helps. I think I posted a link to Matt's "What the Fuck is Ddok Cha" post somewhere here, that probably has better info than what I am providing. :)


Yes, I tried to anyway. :) Even if it isn't necessarily producing better pictures, it's a lot more fun and I can make it do more stuff.

Thanks for the comments,

~ Phyll said...

Gorgeous! Thanks for sharing the experience.

I think a few days ago Marshaln tasted the Ddok cha from Matt, too.

Brent said...

Thanks Phyll! I'll check it out.


Matt said...


Glad you savored the qi. Have fun with the new toy.

Be in contact via email with you soon.


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