Insam-cha (ginseng tea) As a child, I remember sitting under the kitchen table while a group of my mother’s Korean friends sang, gossiped, told stories and joked about making ginseng wine for their husbands. Men in Korea consume ginseng wine for its supposed potency and vitality properties (if you get my drift!). Though ginseng tea probably won’t give you the same kick as the extract or the wine, I do find it gives me energy and I like to add some honey to it. You’ll most often find it in a powdered form in foil packets, and like cilantro, the taste is divisive. I love it, but there is indeed a strong taste and smell that some people find medicinal, which you may have tasted in various energy drinks.
Yulmu-cha (Job’s Tears tea) Thick and soupy, yulmu-cha is a powdered combination of Job’s Tears, a grain plant, and nuts, often walnuts, and sometimes black beans. High in protein, this is a vending machine favorite in Korea that you can sip between classes to fill you up and scrape you off the academic ground.
Story sourced from Paste Magazine - written by Dakota Kim