Korean tea ceremony
Another authentic discovery we’ve made while here in South Korea is traditional Korean tea ceremony. Although most of the Eastern Asian countries are recognizable by the tea culture, it is interesting how each of them has a different, special way of growing and cultivating tea.
The Korean tea ceremony is also known as dado, which literally means "the way of tea". This tradition is over a thousand year old, and it is still being kept alive. The tea ritual is believed to be very relaxing and soothing, especially today considering Korean pali-pali lifestyle. It is also a way to preserve Korean art through music, pottery, clothes and different decorations.
In fact, they value their tea culture so much, that there is even a special tea festival held every year in Boseong, a small region in the south of the country and the largest tea producer in South Korea. Boseong Green Tea Festival is held every year in May, when the tea leaves are being picked and prepared, and the people can enjoy endless tea ceremonies. They even light up the tea fields during night in different colors. It’s a true heaven for all the tea lovers.
We were lucky enough to take part in two tea ceremonies in city of Gangneung. Since this is something we don’t have the chance to see in the countries where we come from, the whole process of serving the tea was a unique experience for us, and we enjoyed every moment.
Visiting tea house in city of Gangneung
We were welcomed in a warm atmosphere, ready to begin the tea ceremony
The tea is served in traditional pottery with Korean art
Although a big fans of coffee, we were thrilled with the whole process of the tea serving and drinking ceremony. There is something so calming in this ritual, that is really easy to get used to it.
The first step is to put tea in the pot and pour the water over it. Second step, after waiting a few moments, tea is slowly being poured in the cups with a gently moving the teapot in order to equally spread the flavour. Third step is to hold the cup with both hands, look at the tea colour, smell it, take a sip and taste it in the mouth for a while. After swallowing, one can enjoy the aftertaste in the mouth. The process is repeated several times, until the tea leaves lose their taste. Sounds a bit complex, but we enjoyed every step, since the taste of that tea can’t be compared to any that we tried so far.
First step: putting the tea in the pot and pouring the water
Second step: slowly pouring tea into a cup
Third step: holding a cup with two hands, observing the tea and tasting
Tea ceremonies are a way of socializing
Our second ceremony in the city of Gangneung was held in a very traditional way. First, were welcomed by the lovely ladies and made us feel comfortable from the very beginning. Of course, the floor culture is present even in this ritual, so after taking our shoes off, we were dressed in traditional Korean clothes and welcomed to sit on the floor to enjoy the ritual. One of the key elements of the Korean tea ceremony is to be done with ease and naturalness. So we tried to feel natural, which was quite a challenge while wearing a hanbok.
We had a full tea experience, dressed in traditional hanbok dresses
Having long chats about Korean culture and traditions over tea and some sweets
Just like we enjoy various experiences and activities in BIG BERRY, especially with our BB partners, how great would it be to hold a tea ceremony in the luxury landscape surroundings? We may not have a green tea fields, but we have our own little berry plantation, so we could produce some delicious fruit tea.