Tea has evolved to become one of the more popular beverages worldwide. More and more people are becoming tea drinkers because of the health benefits derived from tea and it has also become a way of relaxation for many.
Tea is called “cha” in Korean. It is said that “cha” was introduced to Korea from China sometime in the 6th or 7th century by Buddhist monks or Korean scholars who traveled to China, they eventually brought home with them tea, and that’s how tea made its way to Korea. Buddhist monks drank tea to avoid sleeplessness and purify their minds. With Buddhism flourishing in Korea, tea has gained more popularity but when it was replaced by Confucianism, tea culture was repressed. It was only in the early 19th century when the Korean Way of Tea Life was revived.
Korean tea ceremony is called “Dado”. The focus of Korean tea ceremony is the enjoyment of tea in an easy, formal and natural setting. Its simplicity is what differentiates it from the complexity of the Japanese tea ceremony, were it is bound by formal rituals.
Green tea is most often served in tea ceremonies. In order to prepare green tea the Korean way, a tea set is recommended (if I’m not mistaken, they call it cha-kee). A tea set is basically a small tea pot for brewing; a small tea bowl for water cooling; and tea cup/s. Now that you have the tea set, this is how the actual ceremony is done:
1. Boiled water is poured into the tea set (tea pot, tea bowl and tea cup/s) to warm the utensils. The water is then discarded.
2. The right amount of dried tea leaves are placed in the pot.
3. Hot water is allowed to cool in the tea bowl.
4. Warmed water is gently poured into the pot with the tea leaves and allowed to brew for about 2-3 minutes.
5. Water from the teapot is then poured back to the tea bowl to mix it evenly and is poured into the cups.