5 best teahouses in Seoul

5 best teahouses in Seoul

The next time you're on your way to grab a Starbucks, consider one of these more traditional caffeine fixes

Though South Korea has been embracing the coffee culture in recent years (a new Starbucks seems to spring up every week) the country hasn’t entirely forgotten its traditional tea roots.

Whether it’s warming up during the insanely cold winters or chilling out with friends on the terrace under cherry blossoms in spring, Seoul has a handful of great teahouses worth exploring. 

 

Ggul

Seoul cafe culture

Who says tea can only be enjoyed sitting down? Ggul, the Korean word for honey, is a great little take away hut that serves up sweetened teas made from fresh honey. It also sits right in the heart of Ssamziegil Square, a funky shopping area.

Getting there: Anguk Station, Line 3, Exit 6. Walk straight down 100 meters. It’s on the left-hand side, on the ground level in Ssamziegil Shopping Square.



Suyeong Sanbang

teahouse in Seoul

Ultra-laid back Suyeong Sanbang is set inside a beautifully preserved hanok (traditional Korean-style home), and about as far away from the city madness one can get. Grab a cup of delicious omija, or five-flavor berry tea (7,000 won) and forget about time for a while.

Highlight: As far as tranquility goes, this teahouse is about as good as it gets in Seoul.

Getting there: Take subway Line 4 to Hansung University Station and get out Exit 6. Head straight up the main road to the three-way junction. Follow the bend and take the second road on your right from there.



Tteuran

Seoul teahouses

Equipped with a hot ondol (traditional Korean underfloor heating), Tteuran is well-suited for the winter months. There’s also a great garden and Tteuran also serves up a bundle of herbal and leaf teas.

Recommended tea: Be sure to try the nourishing ssanghwa cha, or “Double Harmony Tea” (8,000 won).

Getting there: Subway Line 3 to Anguk Station. Get out Exit 4. Walk straight and turn left at the third road. It’s there on your right. www.cafeaeran.com



Insadong

cafes in Seoul

Named after the area it sits in, this place has been here for 12 years. It’s a favorite for lovers (check out the graffiti scratchings on the tables and chairs) and even dignitaries.

Little-known fact: Lee Myung-bak is reported to like it here and even brought some of his closest cohorts here before the G20 summit took place in the capital.

Getting there: Anguk Station, Line 3, Exit 6. Insadong street begins a few minutes away. Walk straight down for around 100 meters. It’ll be on your right.



Dawon

seoul teahouse

Surrounded by art galleries and plenty of cherry blossom trees, Dawon is a great place to hang out during the warmer months. The daechu cha, jujube tea, (6,000 won) is hugely popular.

Interesting tidbit: Dawon is one of Seoul’s oldest teahouses, having kept its doors open for an incredible 30 years.

Getting there: Anguk Station, Line 3, Exit 6. Head straight down.

 

Originally from Ottawa, I spent five years in Holland before finally moving to South Korea. Having made Seoul my home for the last decade, I've had the opportunity to work for The Korea Tourism Organization (where I came up with the idea for my photoblog www.hermithideaways.com, HS Ad (where I wrote the slogan for Seoul City's global campaign) and freelance for Time Out, Conde Nast, Morning Calm (Korean Air's in-flight magazine) and Yonhap News, the country's largest news agency.

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