After check out of Benikea Hotel, my first stop was OSULLOC – the famous tea company – and its vast tea fields. Innisfree Jeju House happens to be right next door, and it was definitely worth the visit. The two companies are both part of the Amore Pacific family, who also happens to be the owner of the land where OSULLOC and Innisfree happen to be located.
Today – we’ll start with OSULLOC
The tea fields are one side of the road, whilst the museum itself is on the other side. Its free to wander the fields and check out the museum. Its more of a solo exhibition hall, but its still nice to have a look at.
There’s also an observation deck where you can feel the breeze and look over the tea fields. Inside, you will find the exhibit, as well as the OSULLOC Cafe
In addition to beverages and desserts, you are also able to purchase OSULLOC tea to take home, as well as soaps and other ‘tea time’ items. They also carry my favourite Amos Professional Feel the Green shampoo – which I didn’t buy since I can buy it in Australia. I did purchase some tea though, as well as a ticket to ‘Tea Stone’ – the tea etiquette class run at OSULLOC. Places are limited, and classes are run every 2 hours. Unfortunately, the classes are only in Korean – the lovely instructor does demonstrate for you to follow, but as she’s also telling you how to make the tea, the reasoning and meaning behind the ceremony, its best that you have a relatively good command of the language. She also gives you some helpful tips on tea preparation, and other uses for old tea. The cost of the class is 15,000W and is definitely worth it.
The classes are held in a separate building from the museum and cafe, and honestly – its an amazing place to have tea. The water and the trees make for a wonderful setting.
The many teas that they produce – the fragrance is so good.
They offer you a cup of welcoming tea whilst you wait for the class to begin. I swear it is tea, not soy sauce.
You’re invited to the store room downstairs, which isn’t open to the general public – only those who participate in the class. It was really interesting to see how they stored the tea, and why they stored it that way.
Here’s the set up – there’s room for 20 in the class, plus the instructor. Each person is given a tea set that looks similar to this. We’re given three different types of tea, a thermos of hot water, two tea cups, some 떡 – Korean rice cakes (which were DELICIOUS – the best 떡 I’ve had on this trip so far), a bowl to throw the water away, what I like to call the 뚜껑 plate (the place where you put the lid of the teapot when pouring in the hot water), the teapot, and finally the bowl which you use to pour the water into the teapot.
One of the uses for old tea that isn’t suitable for drinking anymore? You can use them instead of essential oils on your burners. The heat will bring out the fragrance of the leaves – so you can still use them before throwing out the tea.
I ended up purchasing two boxes of tea from OSULLOC. One was the 벚꽃향 가득한 올레 (A Village Road Full of Cherry Blossom) and the other was 웨딩 그린 티 (Wedding Green Tea). Each box contains 10 sachets of leaves. The scent of both was amazing. I also received a tumbler at the end of the Tea Stone course – as well as two additional sachets of tea. I can’t wait to go home and drink some tea!
I would highly recommend a visit to the OSULLOC Tea Museum, and if you’re good at Korean, definitely consider taking part in the Tea Stone class. I really enjoyed the class, and it certainly made me reconsider my usual beverage choices (black coffee and wine). The tea is wonderful, and the location is lovely, so if you’re ever in Jeju Island – do come and visit.
Coming up next – my visit to Innisfree Jeju House. Stay tuned!