Omija (5 flavour) Tea

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Omija (5 flavour) Tea

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This is something very Korean, a special tea which is a unique blend of sweet, sour, salty, bitter and spicy. I first tried it in a traditional tea house in the Bukchon district of old wooden houses in Seoul. It came in a cup the size of a soup bowl, alongside a plate of some unusual but tasty cookies.

Once you get over the initial surprise of having all these flavours explode onto your taste buds at once, it is very nice indeed, quite apart from being supposedly good for headaches, hangovers and general malaise.

So when I saw this version in a store later, I had to snap it up, although I must confess that the interesting presentation was as big a draw as the flavour.

Koreans are good at ‘liquid teas’, which usually come in a jar and look more like runny jam with citrus peel than actual tea until you add water. This one was liquid with a lemon slice and some berries floating inside the pouch. All the instructions were in Korean but there were helpful pictures, a line marking how much water to add – either hot or cold, plus a handy straw.

There’s a ziplock style seal at the top of each pouch, but since this was already sticky on the outside I would not have liked to put it in my bag for consumption later. That aside, the tea itself was just as delicious as the proper version I’d had before. I hope I can find this again in one of the Korean groceries in Singapore.