SUJEONGGWA (KOREAN SWEET CINNAMON AND GINGER TEA)
Sujeonggwa (Korean Sweet Cinnamon and Ginger Tea) 수정과
A delicious, refreshing, Korean Sweet Cinnamon and Ginger Tea, served hot or ice cold. Just lovely for afternoon tea and family gatherings. Sujeonggwa is a popular festive drink and always makes an appearance on Korean holidays such as Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving Day) and Seol (Korean New Year’s Day).
Watch My Easy Sujeonggwa Recipe Video (3m 31s)
When I was a kid, my mum often made a huge amount of this tea. I mean HUGE. She has a tendency to make big batches of food. But you guys know that by now if you have read my blog. When she made it, the whole house would smell of cinnamon.
Our neighbours loved the smell. My mum was very generous with her food and she would give some to the neighbours straight away even before we had any! As a child, I didn’t like cinnamon at all. Whenever my mum was making this tea, I used to think, ‘Why did my mum make this tea? It tastes terrible.’
After making hundreds of portions of this tea, she used to invite all of her friends round and would have a morning or afternoon tea time. She usually bought some cookies and fruits to have this tea with. I could hear in my room all the women laughing together and chatting about life, jokes and gossip. They would have such a great time.
The tea would last around 1 month as she made such a big batch. So, can you guess how many tea parties my mum had with her friends?
Later on in my life, I worked as an interpreter. The people who used the interpretation service were usually important people like ambassadors, CEOs, businessmen or engineers. There was lunch or dinner in the middle of the interpretation work and they always had a very nice Korean meal in one of the most expensive restaurants in my hometown. I say hometown, but Daegu has a population of 2.5 million people! As they needed to talk during their meal time, I could eat the wonderful food for free while working. That was the best perk of that job! The posh Korean restaurants always served this tea. Funnily, my taste had totally changed. I loved this cinnamon tea especially after gorgeous Korean food. It is full of aroma from the cinnamon and ginger.
You can drink Sujeonggwa hot or cold. In the boiling hot summer, we make it ice cold like slush and drink it.
A tip for making this tea is to simmer the ginger and cinnamon separately, which makes each ingredient richer. Koreans usually use roughly equal parts white and brown sugar but I have substituted the white sugar for a little honey to make it healthier. Using brown sugar gives it a deeper taste, but, you can use white sugar if you want to. Sujeonggwa is perfect for an impressive afternoon tea party with friends or a refreshing drink for yourself.
- 10 Cups Water
- 100g Ginger, Peeled and Sliced
- 50g Cinnamon, Washed
- ½ Cup Brown Sugar
- 4 tbsp Honey
- 10 Pine Nuts
- Pour 5 cups of water into a pan and add the ginger. Bring to the boil over a high heat and then lower the heat and simmer for 40-50 minutes. When ready, remove the ginger from the pan.
- At the same time, pour 5 cups of water into another pan and add the cinnamon. Bring to the boil over a high heat and then lower the heat and simmer for 40-50 minutes. When ready, remove the cinnamon from the pan.
- Place a sieve over a big enough bowl and strain the ginger and cinnamon liquids together.
- Pour the combined ginger and cinnamon liquid into a pan and add the brown sugar and honey. Bring to the boil and stir until the brown sugar dissolves.
- Serve hot straight away, or pour the tea into a large bowl and put it in the fridge or freezer. When the Sujeonggwa is ice cold, pour it into a cup and sprinkle with pine nuts or walnuts. You can add slices of dried persimmon to Sujeonggwa if you can get it. It is not essential. I can’t get them in Britain, so, I didn’t put them in. Enjoy!