Doncha

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Doncha
Cheongtaejeon tea.jpg
TypePost-fermented tea

Other names
  • Cheongtae-jeon
  • jeoncha
OriginKorea

Quick descriptionCoin-shaped post-fermented tea

Temperature85–95 °C (185–203 °F)
Time5‒10 minutes
Korean name
Hangul
돈차
Hanja
-茶
Revised Romanizationdoncha
McCune–Reischauertonch'a
IPA[ton.tɕʰa]
Alternative name
Hangul
전차
Hanja
錢茶
Revised Romanizationjeoncha
McCune–Reischauerchŏnch'a
IPA[tɕʌn.tɕʰa]
Alternative name
Hangul
청태전
Hanja
靑苔錢
Revised Romanizationcheongtaejeon
McCune–Reischauerch'ŏngt'aejŏn
IPA[tɕʰʌŋ.tʰɛ.dʑʌn]

Doncha (돈차; lit. "money tea"),[1] also called jeoncha (전차; 錢茶; lit. "money tea"),[2] is a coin-shaped post-fermented tea produced in Korea. The tea has been called cheongtae-jeon (청태전; 靑苔錢; lit. "green moss coin") in the Jangheung region in South Jeolla Province.[3][4]

History[edit]

The history of doncha dates back to the era of Later Silla, when Borimsa (Borim temple) was founded.[3] The Jangheung region in South Jeolla Province, where the temple is located, was the hub of Korean tea culture during the Goryeo and Joseon dynasties.[4] 13 out of 19 daso (tea place) in Goryeo were located in the region.[5]

Processing[edit]

Freshly shaped doncha

Tea leaves for doncha are hand-picked in May, from the tea plants that grow wild somewhere on the southern coast of the Korean peninsula.[6] Although roasting is the most common method of tea processing in Korea,[7][8] doncha processing starts with steaming the tea leaves.[9] Twelve hours after the harvest, tea leaves are steamed in a gamasot, a traditional cauldron.[4][6] Steamed leaves are then pounded in a jeolgu, a traditional mortar, or a maetdol, a traditional millstone.[3][6] the tea is then shaped into round lumps and sun-dried.[6] Once dried, a hole is made in the center of each lump of tea and they attain the characteristic shape of yeopjeon (coin) from which their name is derived.[6] The tea is then fermented for at least six months as aging helps to develop an enriched flavor and aroma, though sometimes fermentation can last for over twenty years.[4][6]

Preparation[edit]

A lump of doncha, about 7–9 grams (0.25–0.32 oz), can be steeped in 500–600 millilitres (18–21 imp fl oz; 17–20 US fl oz) of hot water for five to ten minutes.[3] The tea lump is often roasted on both sides over low heat before consumption.[3][6] Roasting helps with sterilization of the tea leaves, as well as the development of a unique aroma and flavor.[4] Doncha retains its aroma and flavor after re-steeping three to four times.[3]

Use in traditional medicine[edit]

In traditional Korean medicine the tea was thought to help alleviate mild symptoms such as stomach ache, aid detoxification, reduce fever, prevent constipation, and help manage cold symptoms.[4][6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "doncha" 돈차. Standard Korean Language Dictionary. National Institute of Korean Language. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
  2. ^ "jeoncha" 전차. Standard Korean Language Dictionary. National Institute of Korean Language. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e f 이, 영근 (9 April 2014). "[국내여행]그 분을 만나러 가는 여행…장흥돈차 청태전 복원 주인공 '김수희'". Maeil Business Newspaper (in Korean). Retrieved 22 March 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Don Tea". Slow Food Foundation. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
  5. ^ "Jangheung-dohobu" 장흥 도호부(長興都護府) [Jangheung Prefecture]. Sejong jangheon daewang sillok – Jiriji 세종장흥대왕실록(世宗莊憲大王實錄) – 지리지(地理誌) [Veritable Records of King Sejong – Monograph On Geography]. Veritable Records of the Joseon Dynasty. 1454 [1425].
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h 김, 성윤 (2 October 2013). "[오늘의 세상] '맛의 방주(사라질 위기에 처한 먹거리를 보존하려 만든 목록)'에 오른 돈차(엽전 모양으로 빚은 茶)·烏鷄(온몸이 검은 닭)… 한국 토종 먹거리의 재발견". The Chosun Ilbo (in Korean). Retrieved 22 March 2017.
  7. ^ 정, 동효; 윤, 백현; 이, 영희, eds. (2012). "deokkeum-cha" 덖음차. 차생활문화대전 (in Korean). Seoul: Hong Ik Jae. ISBN 9788971433515. Retrieved 22 March 2017 – via Naver.
  8. ^ 정, 동효; 윤, 백현; 이, 영희, eds. (2012). "bucho-cha" 부초차. 차생활문화대전 (in Korean). Seoul: Hong Ik Jae. ISBN 9788971433515. Retrieved 22 March 2017 – via Naver.
  9. ^ 정, 동효; 윤, 백현; 이, 영희, eds. (2012). "jeungje-cha" 증제차. 차생활문화대전 (in Korean). Seoul: Hong Ik Jae. ISBN 9788971433515. Retrieved 22 March 2017 – via Naver.