If I told you there’s a zero-calorie drink that tastes great and is healthy, you wouldn’t believe me.
Guess what, there is. Korean tea! 🍵
Korean teas are made from every root, herb and flower imaginable with rich and unique flavors. After a few thousand years of experimenting, they really whittled it down to the gems. Some lower blood pressure, boost immunity and help you lose weight too.
But which ones are the best?
I’m going to cover Korean tea brands by which tea variety they do best. I also include the region most famous for each tea type.
Get ready for some tasty, high-quality and (sometimes) affordable Korean teas.
Great news for those living in the U.S.A., U.K., Canada and Australia, you can get these too!
Here are the best Korean tea brands I grew up drinking.
They go great with a nice traditional tea set.
Let’s get started!
1. Best Green tea brand: O’sulloc (오설록) & Nokchawon (녹차원)
O’sulloc tea is perfect for treating yourself or your loved ones. Have a cup of O’sulloc green tea after a steamy hot bath for the full spa experience. Be sure to check out their awesome tea experience if you’re ever on Jeju!
Nokchawon offers pretty good quality green tea at an affordable price. If O’sulloc is the Lexus of teas, Nokchawon is Toyota.
If you’re not sure about the brand, you can simply check the place of origin. Korean green tea from Hadong (하동), Boseong (보성) or Jeju (제주) regions guarantee above-average flavor!
2. Best Barley tea brand: Dong Suh (동서식품) & Woongjin (웅진)
Dong Suh Foods Corporation is the traditionally favored brand for barley tea (보리차 or bori cha)!
You can buy Dong Suh barley tea bags at H-Mart or other Korean grocery stores in your neighborhood.
Barley tea is great when served cold in summer and hot in winter by simply steeping one of their tea bags.
Dong Suh is also known for its instant mixed coffee: Maxim (맥심). Maxim Mocha Gold is pretty sweet and tasty. It’s no surprise that it’s popular among the older generation.
Woongjin (웅진) sells ready-to-drink, zero-calorie barley tea, called “Sky Barley Tea (하늘보리)”, available at Kim’s Mart.
Barley is barley in Korea and there’s no special region where it’s grown.
3. Best Honey Citron tea brand: BOKUMJARI (복음자리) & Danongwon (다농원)
Citron tea (유자차 or yuja cha) is of course best when mom makes it for the winter after the harvest season.
The next best is BOKUMJARI, which is a social welfare corporation specializing in jam and citron tea. You not only enjoy delicious tea, but also help others when you buy it.
Danongwon sells delicious sliced citron tea as well.
If you can’t find these brands, make sure to get citron tea from the Goheung (고흥) area.
4. Best Ssanghwa-cha (쌍화차) & Mixed Grain tea brand: Damtuh (담터)
Ssanghwa-cha is great! Maybe I have the taste buds of a grandma, but I’ve always loved it since I was little.
It’s an herbal/root tonic containing jujube, cinnamon and more. Ssanghwa-cha has a bitter taste with a bit of a sweet note at the end.
Damtuh is available in the US with its American branch in Commerce, CA near Los Angeles.
This brand also offers a variety of grain powders like misutgaru (미숫가루) and yulmu-cha (율무차), which make excellent meal replacements with their nutty, savory flavor!
5. Best Corn Silk tea (옥수수수염차) brand: Kwangdong (광동제약)
Kwang Dong Pharmaceutical sells drugs, health supplements and drinks.
They also make my favorite Cornsilk Tea Drink, which is 0 kcal with a clean, savory taste!
If you’re hungover, Oriental Raisin Tea (헛개차) will fix you right up. When you wish to leave a good impression on an ajeossi, this $1 drink will do the trick. They’re always happy to get one.
6. Best Red Ginseng tea brand: CheongKwanJang (정관장)
You’ll find massive CheongKwanJang stores at every duty-free zone in Korea. They make a great souvenir for anyone over 40 in your life.
Ilhwa (일화) also sells ginseng tea, but is more known for “McCol (맥콜)”, which is a barley soda. I used to drink it before yaja (야간자율학습, a voluntary study at night that was not so voluntary) after dinner in high school.
They make high-quality 100% pure Ginseng extract you can add to hot water to turbocharge your health.
7. Best all-around luxury brand: Chaeon (채온)
When money is no object, Chaeon is the brand for you. Imagine an amazing flower tea (꽃차) that blossoms in your tea cup. They make that dream a reality and more.
This brand is tough to find outside of Korea, but boy is it worth it. Chaeon offers Korean tea varieties that few outside the motherland have tried.
I love their teas because they’re processed the least. You get whole dried ingredients that pack a ton of flavor and health benefits. I only buy this brand for my best of best friends.
Here are some of the flavors they offer:
- Peach blossom
- Marigold flower
8. Honorable mention: Ssanggye (쌍계)
Think of it as the jack-of-all-trades of Korean tea brands. They do many varieties and can be purchased overseas, but they aren’t marvelous at anything.
Their sampler set is the perfect way to get introduced to unique Korean tea flavors overseas. It makes a great gift for people you like just enough.
Ssanggye captures the vitality of Jirisan (mountain) and sells it to you.
Here are some of their flavors:
- Mulberry leaf tea
- Bellflower tea
- Plum flower tea
- Hibiscus tea
- Puer tea
9. Best Kombucha tea brand: TEAZEN (티젠)
Kombucha is so hot right now.
While it’s not Korean per se, the brand TEAZEN, became famous after Jungkook of BTS introduced “TEAZEN Kombucha” during VLive.
The brand is also continuing its success with actress Kim Tae-ri (김태리) CF (commercial).
What are some Korean gifts I can give in the States or Canada?
Check out our post about 17 Korean Gift Ideas for each Holiday and Occasion.
What are some things I can do instead of buying Korean gifts?
Here are a few ideas:
- Learn more about Korea
- Eat some Korean food
- Sing noraebang
- Play drinking games
- Explore a K-town near you
- Brush up on your hallyu history
- Watch a Korean movie or TV show
- Listen to Korean music
- Get involved in a Korean American Association
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Did we miss anything?
Let us know your thoughts or questions about Korean tea brands!
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