December 08, 2021
KCNA Pyongyang Times

Paeksan tea, traditional drink of Korea

Date: 24/10/2021 | Source: Pyongyang Times | Read original version at source

Paeksan tea began to be widely drunk after it was eclipsed for 2 000 years though it was known to neighbouring countries in the period of Koguryo (277 BC-AD 668).

According to Samguksagi, or Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms, and other historical records, a drink called Songnam tea, predecessor of Paeksan tea, was popular in the period of Koguryo.

A plant belonging to the rhododendron family growing on Mt Paektu, it grows on clean rocks and its leaves look like willow leaves. Koreans dried them to use them as raw materials for the tea.

According to a record, the Qing dynasty under the reign of Emperor Qianlong in the 18th century imported a great deal of leaves of Ledum hypoleucum from Korea.

Due to the severe expropriation and sycophancy of noble ruling circles in the closing years of the feudal Joson dynasty (1392-1910) and the policy of obliterating the Korean national culture pursued by the Japanese imperialists during their military occupation of Korea between 1905 and 1945, the plant faded out. But it made a recovery thanks to the DPRK’s national culture preservation policy.

Paeksan tea is becoming a fresh natural drink as it is made from the leaves of Ledum hypoleucum growing on the rocks in northern highlands whose height is over 2 000 metres above sea level around the pollution-free Mt Paektu area.

Since it is rich in medicinal components that raise immunity and resistance, it helps invigorate humans and improve their health.

It is irresistible for its somewhat sweet and savoury taste, bluish-yellow colour and the combination of different fragrances peculiar to azalea blossom, rose, peppermint, pine and mugwort.

Round twisted yet properly straightened and crispy dried leaves feel nice. Dark green, vivid and brilliant tea reflects the emotions of life inherent to the Korean people who like mellow taste and smell.

The processing method of the tea was registered as a DPRK patent. It enhances the unique flavour, aroma and colour, while preserving the medicinal effects and shapes of leaves.

In general, tea has its recommended daily amount and time for consumption.

It is because it contains caffeine, a stimulant of the central nervous system.

However, there is no limit in the amount and time for daily consumption as Paeksan tea contains a moderate amount of caffeine.

The most unique effect of the tea is that it helps clear their brains, improves their judgment and memory and makes them feel mental stability by activating brain activities.

“As it contains much vitamin C, it relieves the fatigue of sports players when they drink the tea during a break. And it is good for improving the resistance of players and has high haemostatic and sterilizing effects on wounds,” said Kim Hung Chun, wrestling head coach of the Kigwancha Sports Club.

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