Traditional Tea Ceremony at Bukchon Hanok Village With Trazy

By in Asia, Korean food, Ren, review, Seoul, South Korea, sponsor, sponsorship, tea, tea ceremony, Trazy
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Thanks to the awesome team at Trazy.com, an English-friendly tour booking website here in Korea, I was able to experience and participate in a traditional tea ceremony. I’ve been in love with tea since a young age after reading a Sailor Moon manga in 4th grade mentioning chamomile tea. I immediately went out with my grandmother to get some and from there, it’s history. Also, I have always loved the different ceremonies surrounding tea in so many different countries, so of course I jumped at the chance to try out a Korean styled ceremony. 

The tea ceremony is held at the Traditional Korean Tea Institute in the Bukchon Hanok village. I hadn’t been to this specific hanok village before, so I was a bit worried about getting lost. As it turns out,  the institute was actually super easy to find. The tea cups and pots on the outside of the building made it hard to miss.

Traditional Tea Ceremony At Bukchon Hanok Village With Trazy - The Nerdventurists - www.nerdventurists.com

As soon as you step in the door, the wall is covered in information about tea and the history behind tea ceremony. You step into what would be considered the courtyard area of the house and one of the instructors helps you into a traditional dress that is worn for tea ceremonies. The ceremonial robe was similar to a hanbok, which I’ve been able to wear before, but a bit looser. As this is a traditional ceremony, everyone sits on the floor.

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Traditional Snack Making

The experience starts off with a nice cup of green tea while you get to know the instructor a bit. Today, our instructor is Professor Seo Eunju, whose family has been teaching and performing the traditional tea ceremony for over one hundred years.

After enjoying the first glass of tea, you get to make traditional Korean tea snacks. There were four different flavors: pumpkin, strawberry, green tea and a powder made out of something similar to pollen from a pine tree. These are pressed into a wooden shape called a ddol, which has various traditional patterns. There are a range of sizes and you have to put a good bit of pressure on the little balls of dough. While I call them dough, they’re similar to a rice cake texture.

In this experience, you keep the snacks you make and are given an adorable Korean “Lucky Bag” to put them in. If you chose the larger designs, don’t choose the ones that are super detailed unless you are planning to spend a ton of time! I chose a leaf for one of mine, which didn’t seem that hard, but it ended up like a cabbage!

The Tea Ceremony

Once the snacks are finished, Professor Seo prepared another cup of tea, this time with matcha powder. The difference in the flavor and texture of green tea leaves versus matcha are really something to experience if you love tea. The smell and taste were very refreshing.

Traditional Tea Ceremony At Bukchon Hanok Village With Trazy - The Nerdventurists - www.nerdventurists.com

To begin the ceremony, you sit down at a small table that has a drawer. There is a very specific way you need to remove and place the items, so be very careful to pay attention. Unlike other tea ceremonies, the Korean ceremony is very comfortable and relaxed. It’s focused on relaxation and enjoying your time. So, make sure you sit in a way that’s comfortable for you to sit in for a while. In our experience, as there were only two of us and the professor, we did the ceremony around three times, and drank the tea ourselves.

Traditional Tea Ceremony At Bukchon Hanok Village With Trazy - The Nerdventurists - www.nerdventurists.com

Typically, you serve the tea to the guests, but as we had no guests, we just drank it all. No complaints here! The tea used in the actual ceremony is called yellow tea, and personally I feel it was lighter in flavor than green tea. While drinking the tea, you repeat three things “I am precious. I am important. I am treating myself today.” At first I felt a bit silly repeating it, but honestly, this experience is a great way to treat yourself and relax.

Traditional Tea Ceremony At Bukchon Hanok Village With Trazy - The Nerdventurists - www.nerdventurists.com

One of the things I enjoyed most is how you use the leftovers for a foot or hand massage.  After you finish your massage, the experience is sadly over and you will have to head back out into bustling Seoul. During the ceremony, it’s so calm and relaxing that you almost forget you’re in one of the largest cities in the world.

Now It’s Your Turn

Traditional Tea Ceremony At Bukchon Hanok Village With Trazy - The Nerdventurists - www.nerdventurists.com

I want to thank Trazy again for this amazing, relaxing experience. The ceremony takes around an hour or so. This leaves you plenty of time to go out and explore the rest of the hanok village before heading back into the real world.

Make sure to give yourself a break and try the Traditional Tea Ceremony in Bukchon Hanok Village if you are planning a trip to Seoul.

Check out our other Trazy adventures below!

    

This experience was sponsored by Trazy, but all opinions are our own.

Ren is a university student studying in South Korea. She enjoys blogging about life in Korea as a student, as well as K-beauty. Her favorite things include finding the most aesthetic cafes, the best PC rooms to play in, and wandering the streets in search of hidden surprises.
    • Anda
    • November 12, 2018
    Reply

    Interesting to read about this tea ceremony in Bukchon Hanok village. Is this a custom they practice anywhere else in Korea? I also am a great fan of tea and drink a lot of it, so if I ever make it to Korea I’d love to attend this ceremony.

  1. Reply

    What a great way to experience a traditional tea ceremony in Korea. I haven’t tried a lot of teas but I’m a fan of matcha. I’d be worried that I’d mess up something and would accidentally insult the instructor so it’s good to know that it’s meant to be relaxed though structured. I especially like the affirmations to say out loud – we should all do that more often!

  2. Reply

    Seems like a great activity for people that want to get a slice of the traditional Korean tea ceremony! Is this a custom that’s practiced in other places in Korea as well or is it just in Bukchon Hanok? As a tea lover, I know I must visit this place someday.

    • Lisa
    • November 12, 2018
    Reply

    What a charming and spiritual tea ceremony! I’d love to visit South Korea one day and try this for myself. I like that you made these Korean sweets too, and you get to take them away with you, yum! I like the sound of yellow tea too.

    • Sarah Wilson
    • November 13, 2018
    Reply

    This sounds like a lot of fun. I did a tea ceremony in Japan, so it would be interesting to see how they compare. We certainly didnt get any sweets, they look delicious.

  3. Reply

    My mom is a fan of Korea so much that she has learnt the language! I don’t know Korean though.
    I hope I’ll be able to take her there some day. Good to know of this English-friendly tour site. I will make use of it when I plan to go there.

  4. Reply

    What an amazing experience! I’d absolutely love to take part in something like this if I ever make it to Korea. I love that you got to make your own little snacks and that they use the leftovers for foot massages. Nothing goes to waste!

    • Yukti
    • November 13, 2018
    Reply

    I love tea and definitely, attending a traditional tea ceremony is the thing I would prefer to do in Korea. I would love to prepare that Korean snack and learn how traditionally those refreshing teas were made. It is great to see age-old traditions. Thanks for sharing your wonderful experience.

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