Sejak Brewing Tips


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Sejak Brewing Tips

Postby JRS22 » May 28th, '12, 13:29

I just opened a bag of Sejak that I purchased from Tea Trekker last year. According to the label it's 2011 harvest 3rd plucking. So far my varied attempts at brewing have been very disappointing. I know that last year's tea won't be as good as fresh tea but given that it was packed and sealed in Korea I was hoping for enough fla or to tempt me to buy some 2012 harvest tea.

Any brewing tips for coaxing some flavor out of this tea?
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Re: Sejak Brewing Tips

Postby bambooforest » May 28th, '12, 23:19

How hot of water are you using? Sometimes green tea needs 180F.
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Re: Sejak Brewing Tips

Postby AdamMY » May 28th, '12, 23:31

JRS22 wrote:I just opened a bag of Sejak that I purchased from Tea Trekker last year. According to the label it's 2011 harvest 3rd plucking. So far my varied attempts at brewing have been very disappointing. I know that last year's tea won't be as good as fresh tea but given that it was packed and sealed in Korea I was hoping for enough fla or to tempt me to buy some 2012 harvest tea.

Any brewing tips for coaxing some flavor out of this tea?



Guidelines as to what you are doing would be helpful. I have had this tea twice now. Try about 1 gram per ounce, 175 degrees, with a first infusion of 45 seconds, second infusion of 30 seconds, then slowly increase temp and time after that.

But at the same time Korean teas have a very different flavor than Japanese teas or Chinese teas. Its a flavor I have a hard time explaining, but the really good Korean teas often remind me of lavender, and being deep in a pine forest, in which you can almost taste a hint of pine resin when you breath.
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Re: Sejak Brewing Tips

Postby Chip » May 28th, '12, 23:58

Knowing JRS's aversion to bitter elements,175* or hotter will likely twist her tongue into knots.

Hm, you could go higher ratio and possibly brew longer at the lower temps. This works for sencha, might work for Sejak. Bitter comes out at higher temps, much more so. To compensate for gyokuro, much more leaf is commonly used.

... but I could be way off the mark. 8)
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Re: Sejak Brewing Tips

Postby AdamMY » May 29th, '12, 00:36

Chip wrote:Knowing JRS's aversion to bitter elements,175* or hotter will likely twist her tongue into knots.

Hm, you could go higher ratio and possibly brew longer at the lower temps. This works for sencha, might work for Sejak. Bitter comes out at higher temps, much more so. To compensate for gyokuro, much more leaf is commonly used.

... but I could be way off the mark. 8)


Could do that, but in that sense then I would almost not recommend Korean teas. This may sound odd but even some of the better korean teas I have had that "pine resin" I mentioned comes across as bitter, though somehow in the mix presented in Korean teas I find its a very nice flavor combination. Though sadly that is often the Korean teas ( especially at Seajak, Jungjak, or Daejak) primary flavor.

Though I often compensate for higher leaf and lower temperatures, I hesitate doing that with people when I do not know how they are comfortable brewing, as quite a few people look at me like I am crazy when I recommend leaf to water ratio's much higher than 1-1.5 g per oz even though I say steep at 160F and get at least 5 steeps.
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Re: Sejak Brewing Tips

Postby TIM » May 29th, '12, 01:09

http://theteagallery.blogspot.com/2009/ ... a.html?m=1

This might help. Good bird's tongue should taste like sweet raw almond.
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Re: Sejak Brewing Tips

Postby Tead Off » May 29th, '12, 02:56

JRS22 wrote:I just opened a bag of Sejak that I purchased from Tea Trekker last year. According to the label it's 2011 harvest 3rd plucking. So far my varied attempts at brewing have been very disappointing. I know that last year's tea won't be as good as fresh tea but given that it was packed and sealed in Korea I was hoping for enough fla or to tempt me to buy some 2012 harvest tea.

Any brewing tips for coaxing some flavor out of this tea?

Last year, was considered a very bad year for green tea in Korea by virtually all the farmers I spoke with. Very cold weather both damaged the yield and produced a not very flavorful crop, especially around Jiri mountain where most of the best teas are sourced.

Personally, I use about 5.5g in a 120-140ml teapot with water ranging from 65-70C for approximately 1 minute, similar to Adam's suggestion.

I don't think Korean green tea will be for everyone's taste as it is expensive and those looking for big flavor might be disappointed and frustrated. Balhyocha teas seem to yield up much bigger flavors with lots of profiles to choose from.

This year's harvest is reportedly very good, but, pricey. Hope this helps.
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Re: Sejak Brewing Tips

Postby JRS22 » May 29th, '12, 12:49

Thanks for all the advice. Up till now I've been brewing moderate amounts of tea at 150° as I would brew Chinese greens.

Today I tried 160° with a lot of tea, 6g to 150ml, 45s, 30s, 45s, and then up. I achieved the pine resin flavor with a minimum of bitterness - but still not to my taste. Tomorrow I'll try Chip's method, which I think of as Gyokuro style brewing.
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Re: Sejak Brewing Tips

Postby Chip » May 29th, '12, 13:37

TEAxperiments are FUN! Good luck, hope you find your personal sweet spot.
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Re: Sejak Brewing Tips

Postby JRS22 » May 29th, '12, 16:05

Chip wrote:TEAxperiments are FUN! Good luck, hope you find your personal sweet spot.


Thanks, and if I fail to come to terms with sejak there's Gyokuro, Sencha, wuyi oolong and Puerh to console myself with...there's enough tea there to keep me entertained for the rest of my life.
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Re: Sejak Brewing Tips

Postby Chip » Jun 2nd, '12, 23:35

Had a couple really nice Korean greens here at the WTE. Most notably a very hard to obtain earliest of Sejak 2012 from Hankook. They brew at very low ratios generally, about .33 grams per ounce.

It was devine!
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Re: Sejak Brewing Tips

Postby AdamMY » Jun 2nd, '12, 23:40

Chip wrote:Had a couple really nice Korean greens here at the WTE. Most notably a very hard to obtain earliest of Sejak 2112 from Hankook. They brew at very low ratios generally, about .33 grams per ounce.

It was devine!


I hope so, though my question is, does their time machine only work for tea? :lol: :lol: :lol:

Wow that sounds quite low. Do you have a guess at their Water temps? How about their infusion times? Though maybe this is their Expo brewing, brewing Sejak like I brew it for a few hundred people would go through a pound of tea if not more.

Either way, glad to hear you liked it. I hope you gave them an earful about how they need to publish harvest information on their US site :!:
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Re: Sejak Brewing Tips

Postby Chip » Jun 3rd, '12, 00:19

... well typing on a Droid. Wait, Samsung is Korean, too.

No, this was on their brewing guide. They also did some at a higher ratio which it handled quite well!

Also received an education on nomenclature for their teas.
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Re: Sejak Brewing Tips

Postby bambooforest » Jun 3rd, '12, 13:53

Hankook used to have a retail store in my city close to where I live. I purchased a 100 grams from their store once... I think the tea was a mixture of first and 2nd flush if I'm not mistaken.

It was really good and left an impression on me. Korean tea is unique and damn tasty.

Unfortunately, Korean tea is rather pricey, for one reason their yield is so low compared to other tea producing countries. And also, labor cost more in Korea, than say, China.
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Re: Sejak Brewing Tips

Postby JRS22 » Apr 7th, '13, 13:07

Update: I've been cleaning out my green tea storage area in preparation for the 2013 harvest. I now own a Seong-Il Onggi hobin and I figured, korean tea, korean pot, maybe the combo will do it.

I tried brewing at 150 degree water in the hobin and ended up with a good drinkable tea. There's a touch of the pine resin flavor, just enough to make it interesting, and not too much. There are 4 servings left and I'll be using, not discarding this tea.

Since 2011 was supposedly not a great year for korean tea, i'll probably try again with 2013 tea. O5tea sells samples.
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