When I wrote about South Korean Teas from Teas Unique on Monday I realized that I’d never but into blog-post-form the story of how Rob and I visited this really cool place on Jeju Island: The O’Sulloc Tea Museum.
I know, a tea museum? But trust me, it was so, so, awesome. Even if you’re not a tea freak like me, I’d bet you’d still get excited at the adorable demonstrations of Korean tea culture and beautiful, historic tea artifacts found inside. Plus, there’s a delicious café that serves FRESH matcha and these delightful matcha Swiss rolls, served chilled so their creamy centres are almost an ice-cream-like consistency.
These guys have tea pleasure down to a science. Note how they sprinkle a bit of un-whisked matcha on top of the creamy, frothy goodness underneath? I love it. Taking notes here.
AmorePacific opened the O’Sulloc Tea Museum in 2001. AmorePacific is a South Korean beauty and cosmetics conglomerate. Some of their brands include well-known South Korean beauty product lines such as Etude House, Innisfree, and Laneige, to name a few.
The tea fields near the museum are the Seokwang tea fields. As the first tea museum in Korea, with a mandate to spread Korean tea history and tradition, it’s very well-known in Korea.
Its exhibits include the Tea Cup Gallery, indoor garden, Tea Stone, space for fresh roasted tea, and the Innisfree Jeju House next door. It’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in Jeju, visited by 1.5 million people every year.
Outside the museum, families pick fresh tea. It was early spring when we arrived, so people were just picking the first leaves of the season.
You could pick your own tea, or buy freshly processed green tea inside the museum store. Because of its popular reputation, a souvenir from here will get you mucho bonus points with the friends and family back home.
Innisfree Jeju House
Right next door and a short garden walk away is an Innisfree store. Innisfree is a huge South Korean cosmetics brand, one of the top ones. A huge thing about their brand is their emphasis on how they source from Jeju Island. Because it’s seen as this island of peace, tranquility, and purity. Kind of like how in North America we buy expensive bottled water if is says Iceland or Fiji on the label. It’s all good, I’m just saying.
Inside the Innisfree workshop/lab/playroom there are a bunch of tables set up with iPads. From there you can choose a number of activities to do or things to make. Rob and I decided to make some handmade soap (soap!). It’s cute, it’s entertaining.
They bring you a bunch of raw materials and you have to massage your stick of (…unsoap?) into whatever soap form you want, adding Innisfree ingredients for different smells and colours along the way. You can then decorate it by pressing it into different shapes or embossing it. It was cool. Not as cool as tea, obviously, but it was still entertaining. A good vacation down-time fun thing.
How To Get There
From Jeju City, or pretty much anywhere on the island, the best way to travel if you’re a tourist is by taxi. The taxis are relatively affordable (a few dollars from attraction to attraction, for the most part), and the taxi drivers super courteous and polite. Our taxi driver even stopped by the field of rapeseed so I could jump in and have a photo-op!
You can tell Jeju is a honeymoon destination. Our taxi driver not only stopped so Rob and I could climb into this field of flowers, but then he took my camera and was like, “Kiss! Kiss!” Even the blurred photo on the bottom right is super dear to me because of that memory.
O’Sulloc Tea Museum Address
The O’Sulloc Tea Museum is at 15, Sinhwayeoksa-ro, Andeok-myeon, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do. It’s open 9 am – 6 pm. You can find more information on their website, here.
If you go, please tag me!!! I’d love to see what’s going on there now.