|▲ Green tea master Park Su-geun of Myeongin Dawon|
Korea’s No.1 handmade green tea master
There are around 2,000 green tea farm houses in Hwagae-myeon in Hadong County. What makes Park Su-geun stand out among them is that he is the one who was recognized as the first handmade green tea cultivator in Korea. Park learned the green tea farming from his father at the age of 16. His grandfather had his own unique green tea making skill which was passed down to his father and then to Park. His father also often swung by the monks Yoon Po-san and Yangeum at the nearby Chilbul Temple to enjoy their ultimate green tea making and ceremony. In order to keep the secret of the family business, the Parks never have hired outsiders other than family members. “2,000 green tea farm houses have their unique way of making green tea. At Myeongin Dawon, we have stuck to ‘gujeunggupo’ where green tea leaves are roasted 9 times in a pot with temperature more than 160° and then rub-dried 9 times. It takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes to complete the process” explains Park. This makes the taste of the green tea removed of bitterness but enhanced of the original scent and delicateness no matter how many times you add water again. A good green tea has to have sweet taste under your tongue, tips Park. Thanks to the three generation long professionalism, Myeongin Dawon was chosen as the Tea of the Year at the 3rd Hadong Culture Festival in 1998 followed by Park himself as the 16th food master in 1999 by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. In 2001, he received an honor plaque of the international master tea and in 2008 appeared on the hit drama <Sikgaek> to demonstrate the art of green tea. The name Park Su-geun is now kwon in Japan, China and Los Angeles, US. Apart from green tea, the Parks boasts Dduckcha (or Dduck Tea) that also has passed down to three generations. Praised as one of the mastery teas in the world, the tea is also named Sugeunkicah borrowing his name and a 1kg bag of the tea is sold at 25,000 won in Seoul, a record high price in the world. If you feel like to drink a nice tea today, try Myeongin Dawon for you will be calmed and happy.
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