The Unjong Teahouse on Changjon Street, Pyongyang, is not only a comprehensive service base but also a hub of tea culture dissemination.
“Our teahouse serves green, black, Tienguanyin, barley and corn silk teas, and many tea drinkers visit here,” said manager Kim Mi Yong.
According her, Unjong tea helps prevent senile arteriosclerosis, hypertension and cardiomegaly and ensure the smooth activity of the heart as it contains a plenty of caffeine, tannin, vitamin C and other vitamins.
It is winning growing popularity for its remarkable fatigue-relieving, poison-neutralizing, anti-cancer and age-retarding effects.
“I often come here to have tea, and tea makes me feel refreshed and arouses national sentiment at the same time,” said Choe Hak Min living in Kyongnim-dong, Central District, Pyongyang.
Korea boasts a time-honoured history of tea culture.
Already in the period of the Three Kingdoms—Koguryo, Paekje and Silla, tea trees were cultivated and spread in the southern area, and Samguksagi (Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms) and other historical records say that tea culture permeated the Korean people’s life, and a scene of drinking tea can be seen also in Koguryo tomb murals.
In the course of drinking tea for a long period of time, people came to believe that the quality of a tea is determined by the quality of tea leaves and water as the well as teacup appropriate to them and, therefore, these three factors constitute the criteria for good tea.
Drinking tea slowly while relishing its taste and fragrance and appreciating the teacup has become an aspect of cultural life.
In the DPRK, tea leaves are produced in large quantities in Kangryong County of South Hwanghae Province and Kosong County of Kangwon Province.