Korea’s tea culture has a long history and tradition.
Tea trees had been cultivated in many areas in the period of the Three Kingdoms (early 3rd century B.C.-middle 7th century A.D.). According to Samguksagi (Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms) and other historical records, people of Koguryo (B.C. 277-A.D. 668), Paekje (late 1st century B.C.-660) and Silla (early 1st century-935) drank tea.
Tea culture was further developed in the period of Koryo (918-1392) during which a central office in charge of tea production, process, transport and consumption came into being.
At that time, tea service was rendered before national commemorations and there were big tea-cultivating areas with the increase in tea consumption.
The production of graceful Koryo ceramics promoted the spread of Koryo tea peculiar in taste and aroma and teacups held a large proportion in ceramics production.
Even neighboring countries regarded the tea as one of specialties of Koryo.
The tea culture was handed down to the Feudal Joson Dynasty (1392-1910).
According to geographical book attached to the True Records of King Sejong and Sinjungdonggukyojisungnam (Revised Handbook of Korean Geography), varieties of teas were included in the list of tributes levied on the southern parts of the country.
Typical of them were insam, semen cassiae and ginger teas. And teacups also held a large proportion in ceramics production at that time.
Tea culture of the Korean nation came to be brought into full bloom in the era of the Workers’ Party of Korea.
Various kinds of teas like Unjong tea (Kangryong black and green teas) have been widely spread throughout the country.