Summer 2014 Interview – Mina Park (Hankook Tea Company)

Powdered Green Tea

Q1. What is your Name?

Mina Park

Q2. Do you represent a business? If yes, what is the name and your role.

Hankook Tea Company (General Manager)

Q3. Where are you located in the world?

Los Angeles, California, USA

Q4. What is your favourite Summer drink and why?

My favorite would have to be iced green tea (not sweetened). I love tea in general – hot or cold. But, to me, green tea (of all the teas) seems to be the most refreshing when iced. I like to use powdered green tea that is harvested in spring or early summer. I use powdered tea because it is easier to prepare, and it contains more nutrients than steeping tea leaves because you’re consuming the entire leaf. Also, an earlier harvest (compared to mid to late summer harvest) gives the lightest, grassiest flavor profile, which makes the drink even more refreshing.

Q5. What is the perfect Summer’s day setting to enjoy the drink?

On a bright, sunny day…especially refreshing during a break in the middle of a busy day.

Q6. Is there a right or wrong way to prepare the drink? i.e. Never drink without ice?

Ratio is probably the most important factor. Depending on if you like your tea stronger or lighter, more or less tea needs to be used. Powdered green teas tend to be stronger in flavor compared to steeping the tea leaves, and a little bit will go a long way. If you put too much, you will end up with a pretty potent and almost bitter profile. It’s worth taking time to play around with the tea to water ratio to find the perfect balance for your own personal taste.

Also, using a tea whisk will help dissolve the powder. Especially if the powder is really fine (i.e. ceremonial grades, which are ground down really fine with a stone mill), clumps are likely to form. Drinking little clumps of undissolved powder may give you a burst of flavor that you may not prefer (I personally don’t mind it).

Q7. Is the presentation of the drink important? i.e. ceremony, type of glass, setting.

Presentation definitely does add to the experience. Because the color of higher grade powdered green teas are usually a beautiful bright green, drinking it out of a tall glass cup is lovely.

Q8. Is there a Summer’s day drink that you feel is underrated? If so, why?

Iced green tea latte. While I don’t like pure teas to be sweetened, I do prefer my lattes to be on the sweeter side. Instead of a cafe latte, I prefer green tea lattes because of the added health benefits. Mix powdered green tea with milk and sugar (or any preferred sweetener) and add ice. There are green tea latte mixes available – just stir in milk and it’s ready to drink.

I think this one is underrated because when people think of lattes, they think coffee. Tea lattes (hot or cold) make a delicious beverage. And having it iced presents an even smoother texture that is silky and sweet to the palate. The added health benefits minus the caffeine crash is also a plus for me.

Q9. Where can people find out more about you? i.e. shop address, Twitter username, website url

www.hankooktea.com

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