Korea has become a global cultural superpower thanks to the rise of the Hallyu wave (the Korean wave). People from all over the world were curious about Korea’s music, fashion, food and more. One of the biggest pull factors for Korea is tourism and travel. Many have come to the country to discover its traditional/modern fusion charm, experience tourist attractions and sample some of its iconic food/drinks. An interesting aspect of Korea’s traditional food culture is Korean tea culture.
Aside from traditional tea culture, you might even have heard of phrases like ‘idol drink’ or ‘idol water’, which is a special drink that idols drink to prevent bloating. This drink is also made with Korean tea – green tea to be specific. This shows how Korean tea culture is integrated into citizens’ everyday lives as well.
Korea has a wide variety of teas to choose from, all with different flavors and health benefits. In fact, some of Korea’s hottest tourist attractions are the tea fields.
Some of the iconic Korean tea fields include Hadong Tea Plantation, Boseong Tea Plantation and Jeju Tea Gardens.
Hadong: the origin of Korea’s green tea culture
One of the most prominent tea regions in Korea is the Hadong green tea region. Hadong is the region where the first wild tea seeds were planted during the reign of King Heungdeok of the Shilla dynasty. This makes it the cradle of Korea’s green tea history. Kings have also enjoyed this tea for many decades.
Tea in this area has been grown ecologically and naturally for centuries. Every process in the fields is done by hand and most of the trees are extremely old. The green tea plantations in this area are non-linear, which gives it a raw aesthetic appeal compared to Korea’s other tea fields.
You can go to Hadong Tea Culture Center or Maeam Tea Culture Museum. You can try making tea and experience a lot more. The best time to go would be during the Hadong Wild Tea Cultural Festival in May.
AB6IX’s Park WooJin and Park JiHoon (still members of Wanna One at the time) also visited Hadong for the KBS program”battle trip”. They visited the area during the spring. It is a famous tourist spot in the flower season because of its beautiful cherry blossoms!
Boseong: the famous green tea aesthetic fields
If you’re looking to visit one of Korea’s most aesthetic photo spots, Boseong’s green tea fields are an excellent destination. The most famous would probably be the Daehan Dawon Tea Plantation and there is a museum where you can learn about Korean tea culture, nearby cafes and restaurants where you can try numerous green tea flavored treats such as matcha lattes, naengmyeon green tea (Korean cold noodles), green tea ice cream and more.
You might even recognize the tea fields from the cult classic K-Drama”The Legend of the Blue Sea” (2016). Remember the breathtaking scene between Lee Min Ho and Jun Ji Hyun?
Jeju Island: Endless Tea Gardens
Jeju Island is another Korean tourist spot famous for its tea. There are several famous tea fields and tea gardens to visit.
You can watch”Wanna One Go in Jeju-do” to get an idea of what the camps are like, as members of Wanna One visited camps with Korean brand Innisfree.
Innisfree has a huge line of products with green tea because it is so good for the skin. You can also visit Innisfree Jeju House.
The famous Osulloc tea brand is also a representative part of Korean tea culture. They are an award-winning tea brand that has been cultivating tea from Jeju Island since 1979. You can even visit the Osulloc Tea Museum to learn more about the various teas.
How to Enjoy Korean Tea in Seoul and Abroad
Don’t worry if you can’t reach Hadong, Boseong or Jeju Island; you can also experience korean tea culture wherever you are!
If you are in Seoul, you can check out the cafes all over the city where you can have modern or traditional tea drinking experiences. We definitely recommend having a tea ceremony experience in a hanok (Korean house) at least once in your lifetime.
You can order Osulloc products here. There are several other Korean tea brands that you can also check out.
What do you think of Korean tea culture? Will you be visiting any of these tourist attractions on your next trip to Korea? Let us know in the comments!