My wife and I have been exploring Korean Food for a few years now, and one thing that I’ve noticed is that there is a wide variety of tea in Korea that is regularly consumed. Many of these teas are also found in Japanese food (maybe Chinese food too) as well, but not all of them. So, I wanted to provide a sample of teas you can regularly find in Korea.
I noticed that green tea and such don’t seem as common in Korea. I know they drink it, I’ve seen it before, but if you go to Korean restaurants, you often find different teas.
Corn Tassel Tea
Corn Tassel Tea, or oksusu suyeom cha (옥수수수염차) is a popular tea in Korea. It’s also sold in Japan as tōmorokoshi-hige cha (トウモロコシひげ茶). It’s made from roasted corn tassels and has an earthy, slightly sweet flavor. My wife and I love it. We drink it regularly, and it seems to help my stomach a little if I eat too much or have too much stomach-acid.
You can usually find it sold in Korean markets in large boxes of teabags. It’s pretty cheap, but it seems to have lots of health benefits.
Roasted Barley Tea
Just like Japan, Koreans also like drinking roasted barley tea, called bolicha (보리차). You can drink it hot or cold, but many people drink it cold. We also drink lots of Korean roasted-barley tea, which we can get more easily sometimes than the Japanese one (both are equally good though). We boil a large pot, put it in a pitcher and drink it all evening over dinner.
Roasted barley tea is a good drink for children too. Our daughter started drinking it as early as 3 years old. It’s much better than soda or juice, I think.
Solomon’s Seal Tea
This is a more unusual tea that Koreans drink, but isn’t well-known. The name in Korean is dunggulrae-cha (둥굴레차). It comes from a plant called Solomon’s Seal in English, which is named after wise King Solomon from the Bible. In Japanese, it’s called narukoyuri (黄精).
This tea is less sweet than Corn Tassel Tea, but has a good, earthy flavor. Also, one possible benefit is weight-loss, so my wife encourages me to drink it. 😉 Actually, I like it, so I take some to work and drink this once a day, and one cup of corn tassel tea later in the day.
Korean Tea has a large variety of non-caffienated options, and many have health benefits, or at least are gentle on the stomach (and kids can enjoy too). Usually you have to go to a Korean market to find them, or at a Korean restaurant.