If you’re familiar with Korean green tea, you’ve probably heard the term “Jaksul” fairly often.
High-quality, artisan green tea is often refered to as Jaksul (작설, sometimes spelled “Jakseol”) in Korea.
The name, in Hanja, directly translates into “sparrow’s tongue”, referring to the tea leaf’s resemblance to the delicate shape of a sparrow’s tongue.
A more detailed break-down of the word is as follows:
작 (雀) 참새 ‘작’ – cham sae “jak” = sparrow “jak”
설 (舌) 혀 ‘설’ – hyuh “suhl” = tongue “sul”
Grading tea varies from country to country, sometimes even from company to company. But mostly within one country, the grading system is fairly standard.
When comparing teas between countries, I’ve heard the following saying a few times:
“Japanese tea focuses on color, Chinese tea focuses on aroma and Korean tea focuses on taste”
While it is fairly irresponsible (stereotypical even) to generalize, whoever first said it wasn’t completely incorrect. This is most apparent when comparing green tea from these three different countries. (More about that in a future post.)
So when comparing green teas (or any teas) of different companies, be sure to keep that point in mind. (It might be best not to compare since the focus is so different.)
Jaksul 101 – Does Size Matter?