Sunday, June 28, 2009

'Old Tea Shop'

After almost 7 consecutive days of nonstop go-go-go, we finally took a day of rest (which happened to be a Sunday). Today, we planned on having a more cultural day, but our plans changed a bit because of the weather and we only ended up going to a traditional tea shop, packing and dropping our suitcases off at Tiff's apartment, and eating a highly-missed meal near KU.

One of the most relaxing things to do in Korea is to visit a traditional tea house. Insadong is known to house a few of these and each is unique in its own way. These are very charming, quaint rooms mainly lit by oil candles and lamps which gives the space a very intimate, harmonious, and warm feeling. The walls are filled with traditional Korean crafts and ornaments, Korean printed calligraphy on aged paper, and notes written by various visitors. They have a mini waterfall in the front and a few small caged birds set up around the shop that tweet cutely. I heard that in some of the shops, they allow the birds to fly around freely. Some establishments even have parrots that speak random Korean phrases! We visited 'Old Tea Shop' in a somewhat narrow alleyway in Insadong.
I ordered a jujube drink and Melanie ordered a Pear tea. I have no idea what mine is supposed to have in it, but it tasted a lot like one of my Grandma's soup except with a twist. We were also given a generous bowl of different traditional Korean treats. Sipping~
Some notes in the drawer --
It was lovely and relaxing, though, I can't say I'm a fan of the traditional rice treats. Next time, I want to try the Sujeonggwa which is a sort of delicious persimmon-cinnamon- ginger punch that is served cold at the end of many of my traditional Korean meals in Insadong.

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