Korean tea is a beverage consisting of boiled water infused with
leaves A leaf (plural leaves) is the principal lateral appendage of the vascular plant plant stem, stem, usually borne above ground and specialized for photosynthesis. The leaves, stem, flower and fruit together form the shoot system. Leaves are ...

(such as the tea plant ''
Camellia sinensis ''Camellia sinensis'' is a species of evergreen shrubs or small trees in the flowering plant family Theaceae whose leaves and leaf buds are used to produce tea. Common names include "tea plant", "tea shrub", and "tea tree" (not to be confused w ...

Camellia sinensis
root In vascular plant Vascular plants (from Latin ''vasculum'': duct), also known as Tracheophyta (the tracheophytes , from Greek τραχεῖα ἀρτηρία ''trācheia artēria'' 'windpipe' + φυτά ''phutá'' 'plants'), form a large grou ...

flower A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom Image:Cerisier du Japon Prunus serrulata.jpg, Cherry blossoms in Paris in full bloom. In botany, blossoms are the flowers of stone fruit fruit tree, trees (genus ''Prunus'') and of some other plan ...

fruit In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term "botany" comes from the ...

grain A grain is a small, hard, dry seed A seed is an embryonic ''Embryonic'' is the twelfth studio album by experimental rock band the Flaming Lips released on October 13, 2009, on Warner Bros. Records, Warner Bros. The band's first double albu ...

edible mushroom Edible mushrooms are the flesh Flesh is any aggregation of soft tissue Tissue may refer to: Biology * Tissue (biology), an ensemble of similar cells that together carry out a specific function * ''Triphosa haesitata'', a species of geometer ...

edible mushroom
s, or
seaweed Seaweed, or macroalgae, refers to thousands of species of Macroscopic scale, macroscopic, Multicellular organism, multicellular, ocean, marine algae. The term includes some types of ''Rhodophyta'' (red), ''Phaeophyta'' (brown) and ''Chlorophyt ...
. It may or may not contain tea leaves.


According to the ''Record of Gaya'', cited in the '' Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms'', the legendary queen
Heo Hwang-ok file:Suriratna_2019_stamp_of_India.jpg, A commemorative Indian rupee, Rs. 25.00 postage stamp on Princess Suriratna(Queen Heo Hwang-ok ) was issued by India in 2019. file:Queen_Heo_2019_stamp_of_India.jpg, A commemorative Indian rupee, Rs. 5.00 ...
, a princess of the State of "Ayuta" (theorized to be
Ayodhya Ayodhya (; IAST The International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST) is a transliteration scheme that allows the lossless romanisation Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scienti ...

, India), brought the ''Camellia sinensis'' (var. ''assamica'')
tea plant
tea plant
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

Korea Korea is a region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impact characteristics (human geography), and the interaction of humanity and the environment (environmental ...

and planted it on Baegwolsan, a mountain that borders the city of
Changwon Changwon () is the capital city of Gyeongsangnam-do South Gyeongsang Province ( ko, 경상남도, translit=Gyeongsangnam-do, ) is a in the southeast of . The provincial capital is at . It is adjacent to the major metropolitan center and port ...
. In practice, however,
Labrador tea Labrador tea is a common name for three closely related plant species in the genus ''Rhododendron ''Rhododendron'' (from Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical an ...
and fruit teas, such as
magnolia berry tea
magnolia berry tea
and goji berry tea, were more widely used in the
Samhan Samhan, or Three Han, is the collective name of the , , and confederacies that emerged in the first century BC during the , or Samhan, period. Located in the central and southern regions of the , the Samhan confederacies eventually merged and d ...

Era instead. It is a widely held belief that the systematic planting of tea bushes began with the introduction of
Chinese tea#REDIRECT Chinese tea Tea is a beverage made from the leaves of tea plants ('' Camellia sinensis'') and boiled water. Tea leaves are processed using traditional Chinese methods. Chinese tea is consumed throughout the day, including during meals, ...
culture by Buddhist monk, Buddhist monks some centuries later. Some of the earliest Buddhist temples in Korea, such as Bulgapsa, Bulhoesa, and Hwaeomsa, claim to be the birthplace of Korean tea culture. The import of Chinese tea products started during the reign of Queen Seondeok of Silla (631‒647), when two types of tea bricks, ''jeoncha'' () and ''dancha'' (), were imported from the Tang Empire. In 765, a Buddhist monk is said to have presented an offering of the tea to Gyeongdeok of Silla, King Gyeongdeok and the Gautama Buddha, Buddha. ''Camellia sinensis'' tea plants spread throughout the country in 828, when Heungdeok of Silla, King Heungdeok received seeds from the Tang dynasty, Tang Empire and sent them to be planted on the Jirisan mountain. Tea was usually offered to the Buddha, as well as to the spirits of deceased ancestors. Tea culture continued to prosper during the Goryeo Dynasty. Tea offering was a part of the biggest national ceremonies, such as Yeondeunghoe and Palgwanhoe, and tea towns were formed around temples. During the reign of King Myeongjong of Goryeo, Myeongjong (1131‒1202), Korean Seon, Seon-Buddhist manners of ceremony prevailed. Jeong Mongju and other scholars enjoyed tea poetry, ''dasi'' (), and tea meetings, ''dahoe'' (). The state of ''daseonilchi'' (; "tea and ''dhyāna in Buddhism, seon'' in accord") was eulogized. Xu Jing, a Song dynasty envoy who visited Goryeo in 1123, wrote in the ''Gaoli tujing'' that the people of Goryeo were avid tea drinkers and set out tea three times a day. Goryeo coinage, Coins were accepted at tea and wine shops (茶酒店). During the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), Korean tea culture underwent secularization. The House of Yi, royal family and aristocracy used tea for simple rites, a practice referred to as ''darye'' (, "tea rite"), which is often translated as "etiquette for tea". Towards the end of the Joseon Dynasty, commoners adopted the practice of using tea for ancestral rites. The word ''charye'' (, "tea rite"), cognate to ''darye'', now refers to ''jesa'' (ancestral rite). In the past, the two terms were synonymous, as ancestral rites often involved offerings of tea to the ancestors. Wedding ceremonies also included tea offerings. The practice of packing tea into small cakes, which lost popularity in China during the 14th century, continued in Korea until the 19th century. In 1895, Gojong of Korea, King Gojong of the Korean Empire used coffee for the first time. In 1896, grocery stores began to have tea rooms as annexes, and the first modern tea house was established in 1924.



Although tea from the ''
Camellia sinensis ''Camellia sinensis'' is a species of evergreen shrubs or small trees in the flowering plant family Theaceae whose leaves and leaf buds are used to produce tea. Common names include "tea plant", "tea shrub", and "tea tree" (not to be confused w ...

Camellia sinensis
'' plant is not as popular as coffee in South Korea – with the annual South Korean tea consumption at per capita, compared to for coffee – grain teas are served in many restaurants instead of water. Herbal and fruit teas are commonly served, both hot and cold.


From ''

Camellia sinensis ''Camellia sinensis'' is a species of evergreen shrubs or small trees in the flowering plant family Theaceae whose leaves and leaf buds are used to produce tea. Common names include "tea plant", "tea shrub", and "tea tree" (not to be confused w ...

Camellia sinensis


* ''Nokcha'' (; "green tea")
Green tea, the most common form of Korean leaf tea, is an nonoxidized tea made from the dried leaves of the . ''Nokcha'' can be classified into various types based on several different factors. The most common is the flush, or the time of the year when the leaves are plucked (and thus also by leaf size): these varieties are named ''ujeon'' (; "pre-rain"), ''sejak'' (; "thin sparrow"), ''jungjak'' (; "medium sparrow"), and ''daejak'' (; "big sparrow").
Loose leaf tea is called ''Green tea, ipcha'' () or ''yeopcha'' (), while powdered tea is called ''garu-cha'' () or ''malcha'' (). Roasted ''deokkeum-cha'' (; "roasted tea") are more popular than steamed ''jeungje-cha'' (; "steamed tea").
Southern, warmer regions such as Boseong County, Boseong, Hadong County, Hadong, and Jejudo, Jeju are famous for producing high quality tea leaves. ''Banya-cha'' (; "prajñā (Buddhism), prajñā tea") and ''Jungno-cha'' (; "bamboo dew tea") among others are renowned. ''Nokcha'' can be blended with other ingredients, such as roasted brown rice to make ''hyeonmi-nokcha'' (; "brown rice green tea") or lemon to make ''remon-nokcha'' (; "lemon green tea").

Partially oxidized

* ''Hwangcha'' (; "yellow tea")
A tea made of partially oxidized leaves of the . The tea, like oolong from China, is a cross between unoxidized green tea and fully oxidized black tea. The oxidation process for ''hwangcha'' is very specific, which enables it to develop its unique flavor.


* ''Hongcha'' (; "red tea")
Fully oxidized tea, called black tea in the west, is called "red tea" in Korea, as well as in China and Japan. ''Jaekseol-cha'' (), whose name shares the same origin as the green tea ''jakseol'', is a traditional black tea variety from Hadong County, Hadong in South Gyeongsang Province.


* ''Tteokcha'' (; "cake tea") or ''byeongcha'' (; "cake tea")
A Fermented tea, post-fermented tea brick. ''Borim-cha'' () or ''Borim-baengmo-cha'' (), named after its birthplace, the Borim temple in Jangheung County, Jangheung, South Jeolla Province, is a popular ''tteokcha'' variety. * ''Doncha'' (; "money tea"), ''jeoncha'' (; "money tea") or ''cheongtaejeon'' (; "green moss coin") is a Fermented tea, post-fermented tea brick, made into the shape of ''yeopjeon'', the Joseon coins with holes.

Other leaf teas

Flower teas

Fruit teas

Grain, bean, and seed teas

Root, shoot, and bark teas

Combination and other teas

See also

* Misutgaru * Sujeonggwa


{{Teas Korean tea,