Asia is a paradise for tea lovers. While South Koreans prefer coffee over tea, they do appreciate their long tea culture by keeping traditional teahouses alive and establishing new modern brands. Here’s a collection of where to grab the best cup of tea in the city.
This lovely teahouse is a true hidden gem in Seoul. Mostly Japanese tourists know about this place due to the 2009 Korean-Japanese film Café Seoul. The owner of the teahouse purchased the venue in early 2009 after she passed by it and instantly fell in love with the location. She makes all the traditional snack foods herself, and the teas are impeccable.
This lovely tea garden is located inside the Kyung-in Museum of Fine Art in Seoul and is a traditional Korean hanok house. Homemade teas and Korean snacks are also on the menu here, and the prices are reasonable. The unique charm of the tea house is made up of antique furniture and the sweet smells of omija tea, the top seller of the venue.
Hidden away in a narrow alleyway, Moonbird Teahouse is a hip location for all those who appreciate good tea in a trendy atmosphere. Also situated in a lovely hanok, the quirky designs totally set the mood: scribbles on the walls, black-and-white photography, and oil lamps. Order your tea, and you truly get your money’s worth. All beverages are served in large cups and come with delicious Korean snacks to nibble on. You just cannot go wrong with this place.
Only a side street away from the hustle and bustle of Seoul’s busy Insadong district lies this lovely tea house. The Shin Old Tea House is a typical Korean tea house with floor seating only. Step into the doors, and the relaxing and cozy atmosphere will fill your entire body. Spend a few hours here on a lazy afternoon, and you’ll feel like you just had a spa treatment done.
Literally translating to “gathering house of writers in the mountain,” Suyeon Sanbang was the home of Korean novelist Taejun Lee. The house had been remodeled and turned into a teahouse after his death and opened to the public in 1999. The tea house is a true gem in all four seasons, as you have a splendid view of a small garden that is ever-changing.
Originally from Jeju Island, O’sulloc has teahouses all over Korea. Specializing in green tea, you will not only find hot and iced variations but also delicious green tea cakes and ice cream. While these teahouses might not give you a traditional Korean experience, they are a hip place to meet up with friends and chat.
Visit this lovely Chinese teahouse, and you’ll find the perfect tea to suit your needs. After filling out a couple of health-related “yes or no” questions, you’ll be provided with the ideal herbal mix. On top of that, the house itself is worth a visit for the amazing interior design.
If you are looking for exquisite international teas, head over to Ronnefeldt Teehaus 1823. With over 200 years of experience, this German brand offers a great selection in teas for every taste: from fresh fruit and herbal teas, to the traditional black, oolong, and green teas. Another reason to visit are the delicious desserts, such as scones, macarons, and éclairs.
If you appreciate tea culture and fine china, Le Petit Verre will fulfill your dreams. The tea salon is decorated with over 200 different tea sets, from English to Russian china. While you can always have a cup of the here, we recommend taking part in the monthly tasting events for tea and dessert pairing.
While this teahouse might seem more like a tourist trap due to its location in the busy Insadong area, you shouldn’t underrate it. In fact, locals come not to have one of the shaved red bean ice creams on offer but rather the special mugwort teas. To make this tea, mugwort from Ganghwa Island is used and aged for four years in sea fog. If that doesn’t sound unique, what does?