Traditional Tea House in Seoul
After visiting some of the trendiest cafes in Seoul like Zapangi Vending Machine, Harry Potter Cafe and black and white 2D cafe, it was time for me to visit a more traditional Korean tea house.
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This charming tea house with equally as charming name Moon Bird Only Does Think Of Only The Moon (달새는달만생각한다) is located in traditional Korean house also called hanok .
This traditional hanok tea house is located in one of the back alleys of Insadong and is one of these places you need to know where to look to find it.
Off the main road and covered in lush greenery it can easily be passed by even when you know where to look. Make sure to check and plan the route on the map to make sure you won’t get lost on your quest to finding some premium tea experience in South Korea.
The entry covered in greenery kind of reminded me of the The Hobbit Hole (That time I visited Hobbiton). You will need to slide the door for entry.
Interior design of this place is rustic, traditional and antique, creating warm and cozy atmosphere. Once you step through the door, it feels like you have been transformed back in time.
The walls are covered in scribbles and notes left by the customers and there is a napkin wall where you can leave a napkin with your message on it.
Even though a place might look a bit cramped on the first glance, soft music, water fountains and strategically placed dividers create an intimate atmosphere that is suitable for a catch up over a cup of tea with a friend as well as for a romantic date.
We visited the place on a weekday in afternoon hours and the place was almost completely empty. One corner of the place was occupied with a buddhist monk and his companion whilst another corner was occupied by an elderly tourist couple. Me and Sara were in another corner and it felt like we were the only people in the house. Apparently it gets very busy on a weekend so do visit on a weekday if you can.
There are two options available to you: you can pick up a table (we went for cute table right next to the door) or you can decide on a traditional seating arrangement: sitting on the floor. Ask for “Bang” If you want to experience drinking traditional tea sitting on the floor.
This little nook is perfect for a traditional Korean tea drinking experience. It is probably not the best idea if you have sensitive knees though. :D
Waitress was fluent in English and the menu was in Korean, English, Japanese and Chinese language.
Generous portions of tea are served in ceramic cups on wooden coasters which eliminate the clinking of the porcelain and add to the soft sounds of the tea house. The prices start at 6 000 KRW and every order is served with complimentary traditional sweets.
This is one of these cute unique and traditional places you just must visit when traveling to Seoul. It is perfect for a short break from busy streets of Insadong, to rest after a shopping spree, to catch up with a friend, or to simply find a nook to hole yourself in with a cup of traditional tea and a good book.
The place is located about 10 minute walk from Gyeongbokgung Palace making it also a perfect place for a relaxing cup of traditional tea after a full day of exploring Seoul’s palaces (Read about my Hanbok experience here).
Menu And Prices All the tea is made in house and it will cost you between 6 000 KRW and 9 000 KRW.
Every order is accompanied with complimentary traditional Korean sweets.
Some of the available flavours are:
Artemisia Crinceps tea
Plum tea (seems to be their signature flavour)
Persimmon leaf tea
Sujeonggwa (traditional Korean cinnamon punch)
Shikhye (traditional sweet Korean rice beverage)
Tea is served either hot or cold as per your request.
How To Get There
Take orange underground line number 3 to Anguk (안국) station and use Exit 6. Walk down the Yulgok-ro (Jongno Police Station on your left hand side). You can either take Insadong 14-gil road on your left or cut through a small alley until you come out at Insa Hostel on Insadong 14-gil (인사동14길). Now all you have to do is find the right side alleyway. I would strongly advise you just type the address into Kakao Maps or Google Maps and follow the trail.
Moon Bird Only Does Think Of Only The Moon (달새는달만생각한다)
Address (English): 14-3 Insadong 12-gil, Gwanhun-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea Address (Korean): 서울특별시 종로구 관훈동 인사동12길 14-3 Opening Times: Cafe: 10:00 AM - 11 PM
Even though the selection of teas is not that big in comparison to other more modern places, and the price seems a bit high, it is most definitely worth the visit as you get a delicious cup of tea, free traditional snack and experience of drinking tea in traditional setting.
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Would you visit this cafe? Let me know in the comments below or on my Instagram.