If you want to avoid the tourists in Insadong and impress your friends, definitely make the slight trek out to Suyeonsanbang.
Sorry, no menu pictures, but the tea was a little pricey. It's worth it though for the atmosphere. It's very quiet, which was definitely nice because we were catching up. It was nice to not be surrounded by people everywhere!
Suyeonsanbang is located in a hanok (traditional Korean house). Unlike a lot of the hanok cafes in Insadong and Bukcheon, this is actually pretty traditional through and through. You sit on the floor and the tables are quite substantial, which means, in my opinion, they aren't trying to impress tourists with some "traditional" prefabricated tables that they can easily replace.
This is the tea set. It's quite nice and fits the theme. Again, each cup is pretty unique and fits each specific type of tea - there's a certain type of cup and amount of water to use for each type of tea.
I got the Omija tea - this is definitely my favorite type of Korean tea, but it's somewhat of an acquired taste. It's sweet, but mainly a bit sour.
Since coming back to the US, I typically brew my own using some Korean tea bags, but there are some instant tea options, too, that I've brought to works.
In the picture: left is the daechu tea (Korean jujube tea - buy concentrate here), middle is my omija tea, and right is yuja tea (Korean citron tea - buy concentrate here). All three have a special place in my apartment, I'm being serious.
We also ordered some injeolmi (Korean rice cake) and got some some yugwa (traditional puffed glutinous rice snacks). The yugwa is service. They're quite nice, so definitely recommend you check them out if you see them. They're quite fluffy and sweet, but have a somewhat fruity flavor - the fruit depends on which color you eat.
They have some other traditional Korean snacks like the dense honey cookies - yakgwa (buy various flavors here) and, my personal favorite, bingsu (Korean shaved ice).
This is the interior. There's hanji (Korean traditional paper) throughout the tea house. There's also some traditional Korean teapots for decoration.
The windows are also covered with hanji. In the room we were in, when we looked out the window, we saw the hanok, the garden, and the traditional walls.
This is a view of the garden. We went around dusk, so it got quite dark, which added to the ambiance of the tea house, but I could see this is probably quite nice any time of day. I think it would also be quite beautiful in winter.
Because I didn't want to be too weird, but there IS a bathroom, but you do need to go outside. Usually, that's a bad sign, but this bathroom wasn't TOO bad. I definitely would say, you should go only if you really had to use the facilities. It was clean, but it's kind of a trek and it wasn't clean enough for me to want to use it unless it's an emergency situation.
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