|Quick description||Coin-shaped post-fermented tea|
|Temperature||85–95 °C (185–203 °F)|
Doncha (돈차; lit. "money tea"), also called jeoncha (전차; 錢茶; lit. "money tea"), 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.
The history of doncha dates back to the era of Later Silla, when Borimsa (Borim temple) was founded. 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. 13 out of 19 daso (tea place) in Goryeo were located in the region.
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. Although roasting is the most common method of tea processing in Korea, doncha processing starts with steaming the tea leaves. Twelve hours after the harvest, tea leaves are steamed in a gamasot, a traditional cauldron. Steamed leaves are then pounded in a jeolgu, a traditional mortar, or a maetdol, a traditional millstone. the tea is then shaped into round lumps and sun-dried. 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. 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.
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. The tea lump is often roasted on both sides over low heat before consumption. Roasting helps with sterilization of the tea leaves, as well as the development of a unique aroma and flavor. Doncha retains its aroma and flavor after re-steeping three to four times.
Use in traditional medicine
- "doncha" 돈차. Standard Korean Language Dictionary. National Institute of Korean Language. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
- "jeoncha" 전차. Standard Korean Language Dictionary. National Institute of Korean Language. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
- 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.
- "Don Tea". Slow Food Foundation. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
- "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 .
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.