Difference between tea from Boseong and Hadong

By Sooji Im

be-oom's teas are sourced from the largest tea-growing regions in Korea, Boseong and Hadong, located along the southern coast of Korea. Both locations benefit from being in close proximity to some of the highest mountains in the country and mineral-rich rivers.

Although the two regions are not far from one another, there is a distinct difference between teas from the two regions.

Many tea farms in Hadong are located on high hills and mountains (average altitude of tea farms is approximately 500 metres). The climate conditions make it very suitable to make high-quality teas (read more here). This however also means challenges for large-scale tea farming. As a result, tea leaves are not only picked by hand, but also pan-fried (roasted) by hand on a hot stone pan and rolled by hand. The skills required to make teas by hand are not easily learned - those skills have been passed down for generations since tea arrived in Korea some 1,200 years ago. Hadong teas are some of the finest and rarest teas as a result and are sought after by many tea collectors and connoisseurs.

Boseong's tea farms are located on relatively lower hills, but with distinct seasonal changes in the temperature with breezes from the ocean. Thanks to the ideal climate conditions for growing green tea, tea farms in Boseong were developed in 1930s and many farms are able to product in large scale. Our Boseong teas are still picked and processed by hand.

Farmers hand-picking leaves at Bohyang Tea Company in Boseong

Due to geographical and historical differences, teas from the two different regions differ in flavour and texture. Our Boseong Black and Hadong Black teas also taste different, as Boseong's black tea is fully oxidised black tea, whereas Hadong Black is a partially oxidised tea, which is not technically classified as 'black tea' (see product information). My personal favourite is Hadong Black, as it has a unique combination of smoky and sweet flavours resembling the taste of good dark chocolate with a hint of caramel.