ORIGIN: SOUTH KOREA
he appears to be enjoying it. Lee can hardly contain himself when we drive by one of his crops. “That’s one of my fields,” he says throwing an excited arm out the window. I can picture him as a young boy proudly showing off a toy train set. “The other one is twice that size.” I peel my eyes off the road and glimpse a field carved into the mountainside. I admit it’s not what I’m expecting. There are no perfectly trimmed rows of green. The bushes are untamed, spread out like connect-the-dots, as if whoever planted them didn’t care about saving time at harvest. And what’s with all those giant boulders sitting in the middle of the field, taking up valuable tea real estate? Surely those are costing him money. These questions will have to wait. We arrive at Lee’s café, a wooden hanok that glows with a sunlit stain. Lee rushes inside, where he talks to an associate at light-speed before sitting
46 | AUGUST 2018 » freshcup.com
One of Hadong’s scenic tea fields on the slopes of JIRI MOUNTAIN. Tea was planted here after visitors from China brought the plant over some 1,200 years ago.
South Korea's Jiri Mountain tea, sourcing green coffee, shrubs, and cold brew safety