Saturday, April 12, 2014

Someyeon's Vegetarian Tea House DaJeon 다전


 5 Years ago I was wandering around Busan's busy downtown area Someyeon when to my surprise I happened upon a sign for a traditional teahouse. The sign was small and the tea house on the 4th floor. Upon ascending the flights of stairs I came to the 4th floor which was essentially the roof ! On the roof was a house which was the DaJeon tea house. Da Jeon in English is Tea Field (They used the Chinese characters).

The tea house has been there for many years now and although hard to find, is quite popular with Busan's vegans in the know as it has a very delicious vegetarian menu. While quieter on the weekdays, there is a steady flow of patrons on the weekends.

Essentially, there are two ways to get there :
The more complicated way is by heading behind the Lotte Department store in Someyeon until you arrive at the intersection pictured at left. There's a Pizza Hut and further down a Tom and Tom's coffee.
Go down the street further from the Pizza Hut to the Tom and Toms and keep going down. Eventually on your left you'll come to a WaBar







 This is a view of the earlier mentioned intersection facing towards the Lotte Dept.Store. The Nike and the Apple Store. From the Lotte you'll pass these stores and be facing the Pizza Hut which is across from these two.
 After the Pizza Hut, on the left a blurry Tom & Toms. Keep going down until you see the WaBar on your right.
Here's entrance to the  tea house. Not much for signage. These stairs are to the right of the much easier to spot WaBar.
 See here? To the right of the WaBar is a green sign that says 다전 4F.
 The second and much easier way to get to the teahouse is to start before the famous (and much easier to find) Pagoda Hagwon. Next to it on the first floor is a cellphone store and a side street. Across the small side street is ...
*ahem* here is the cellphone store and the side street. Looking more to the right across the side street you'll see....
 Dunkin' Donuts. Go between the cellphone store and Dunkin Donuts
 down the narrow street to the next intersection where you'll discover :
 The WaBar mentioned before and the 다전 sign.


 Up, up on the 4th floor you'll find plenty of seats.

 Here's part of the menu in Korean and English !


 A fine spread indeed! Their BiBimBap was excellent!
We ordered the Pumpkin Latte and their Green Tea Latte. Their Pumpkin Latte was very smooth indeed!
They also have various herbal teas on the menu.
Now you can count yourself as another 'in the know' as it is a rather hard to find tea house tucked in on the 4th floor up above several bars.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Gwangali TeaHouse Okada

 Spring is here and the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. The beach area is just starting to warm up. Down in the middle of Gwangali beach there is a new teahouse called Ogada or by its English name Korean Tea & Time. It is a great place to sit back and enjoy the seaview.

The tea house is centrally located right on the beachfront road.
Here's their phone number if you have trouble finding them though it should be rather easy.


I took these photos a few months ago, a week after they had first opened. They are much busier now and most likely will be very busy this summer. They have an awesome view of the beach and Gwangali and plenty of comfy seats.


Their teas are all distinctly Korean. They offer the traditional teas that can be found in most traditional teahouses around Busan and in Seoul.
However they also offer Korean tea blends : with nuts or cinnamon or other natural ingredients.
They do take-out as well as 'drink in'. Their website is www.ogada.co.kr
and there you can find their full menu. Most of it is in Korean however when you click the links you'll find that all their teas are written in English and in Korean making it very easy to select and order.





A great view and quite a menu. I'll post more details when I return there this weekend and check out another, though much smaller, teahouse in Gwangali. Until then stay steeped!
MWT.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Tea House Obituaries.

Two teahouses in Someyeon (downtown Busan) have closed. Both are relatively new compared with the others. However both had their own unique character and it is sad to see them go.

I had just happened upon the one near the Burger King in Someyeon (Oh Janae Wanunga) (pictured at right). Alas, it is now a book cafe.

The other, Da Soul, has also closed. There are still three thriving tea houses in Someyeon (one of which serves fine vegetarian meals). It seems though these new upstarts were no match for the well established.

Later this week, wearing a black armband, I shall remove them from my google tea house map.

On a happier note there are two new tea houses in Gwangali. I shall visit and review them this week.
Until then, Stay steeped!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Korean Tea Clothes

 Tea Clothes and Hanbok I found them at last summers International Tea and Craft Fair in Bexco Convention Center.

For the formal Chosun Korean tea ceremony (using leaf tea) people wear Chosun Dynasty style hanbok. The kind some Koreans tend to wear at formal occasions.
However for attending tea classes and less formal tea parties there is something Koreans call Cha-ot 차옷 or tea clothes. These clothes can be classified as a type of hanbok as the clothes are of Korean design and style although they are most decidedly different from the hanbok Koreans would wear to, say, a wedding.



 There are two key points in discerning what is called in Korean Cha-ot 차옷 or tea clothes.
The first is that Korean tea clothes come in earth tones. Most commonly in fall colors but some come in other colors than brown green and dark blue.
Later I'll do a post on my spring tea clothes (once they come back from the cleaners :-)

The second point is that the clothes upon close inspection have many fine creases making them look like dried leaves.

 Here, and above you can see Korean tea clothes. The manikins on the left here are prime examples as they include the head kerchief or beanie something you would not find in traditional hanbok but is often worn by teahouse owners and students of tea in and around Korea.
Headwear is optional though the standard outfit consists of long skirt, long sleeved shirt (though not too long as in a kimono) and vest.
 In this picture you can see the stall there are tea clothes in the autumn earthy colors. The two manikins however are sporting different attire. On the right and in the picture below we have a woman's hanbok. and next to 'her' we have Goryeo style hanbok.

I shall explain Goryeo Dynasty hanbok and its significance to the Korean tea ceremony in an upcoming post. Until then, stay steeped!
MWT.