Koreans and coffee

For me personally, one of the puzzles of Korean culture is that Koreans practically do not drink tea. It becomes especially strange, if we consider that all neighboring peoples are Chinese, Japanese and Russian – old and fanatical fans of this wonderful drink. It is not by chance that in the mass consciousness, Chinese culture is inextricably linked with tea as such, Russian – with a samovar, and Japanese – with tea ceremony. All these great neighbors have provided on Korea in the past or now there is a considerable cultural influence, but it turned out to be not enough to teach the Koreans for tea.

Of course, it would be an exaggeration to say that the Koreans do not drink tea at all. It’s not entirely so, for tea is well known in Korea since ancient times and his lovers there were always. The first mention of tea in the Korean texts belongs to the end of the period of three states, that is, the VII century, when tea was one of the items of prestigious consumption imported into Korea from China. At the time of the dynasty of the Core (X-XIV centuries.) Tea also enjoyed considerable popularity, then the local version of the tea ceremony even arose, closely connected with the Buddhist tradition (this ceremony is practiced and today). In this course, it was the advantage of green tea, while the european’s usual black began to penetrate Korea, and even then in meager quantities, only from the end of the XIX century. Currently, the Society of Tea Lovers, which organizes tastings and tea ceremonies, is quite active in Korea, which also gives a special magazine.

However, with the beginning of the XV century, tea consumption began to decline. This drink fell victim to the persecution of Buddhism, who deployed after the arrival of the Lee Dynasty (Choson). Tea in the minds of people in those days was too closely associated with the Buddhist ceremonial, and as a result, after the fall of Buddhism, his position turned out to be undermined. In other words, tea was "Politically compromised", how corn after the removal of Khrushchev. Contributed to the decline of culture of tea and the fact that it was an imported drink (in Korea for tea is too cold), and trade with China was not always encouraged by the authorities. Did not recover tea, especially black, from this hit and so. Although now black, and green tea can be bought in some Seoul stores or see in individual families, overall the popularity of this drink is small. Even in Korean tea – Tabanas, despite their name, tea as such is almost no.

Koreans and coffee

So, tea Koreans do not drink. What then they satisfy thirst? The main casual drink of Koreans until the very recent time was simply boiled water, as well as rice or barley decoction. Instead of actually, tea in our understanding Koreans also drink a variety of decoctions and tincture, which they call tea (Korean "Chha", which happened from the same Chinese word, which in the Russian version sounds like "tea", and in English – how "TEA"). From these tinctures are most popular "Insamchha" (Ginseng tea), "Tentonchukha" (tea from peanuts), "SENGANCHA" (Ginger tea), "Kyephichchha" (Cinnamon Tea) "Yuchzhachkha" (diluted with boiling water thick citrus syrup).

Popularity with these tinctures now can well compete and coffee, which penetrates Korea relatively recently, just about a century ago. It is curious to note that the most direct attitude towards the penetration of coffee in Korea. The first fashion for coffee introduced the king of the Kircheon himself, who was addicted to this drink in the nineties of the last century. Behind the king, understandable, and the courtesy (many of them, probably, did not like a strange drink, but if the king himself drank him – what they had to do?). He learned the king to the coffee relatives of the Russian Messenger to.Weber Mrs. Zontag, who first prepared this drink for the monarch at a time when the Korean government had hidden from the Japanese in the Russian Mission (was in the history of Russian-Korean relations and such a curious episode!). In general, the name of Mrs. Sontag often appears on the pages of Korean books, dedicated to the history of life of this country. Russian German, which in the 1890s. It was a little over thirty, beautiful and clever, enjoyed a considerable influence in the Korean courtyard, the queen of mines listened to her words. It was Mrs. Zontag that opened the first tea in Korea – Taba, it was she who taught to use the European cosmetics of Korean court letters and the Queen itself, it was she was given the right to build the first in Korea of ​​the European Type Hotel. The name of this woman (we note, completely forgotten in her homeland) It is known how many times had to be convinced, literally any Korean, a little of interest to the history of his country. With the light hand of Mrs. Sontag and began a triumphal procession of coffee, which now became, perhaps, the main drink of Korea.

Koreans and coffee

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