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Jeju O’sulloc Tea Museum

 

 

Words and Photos by Jason Teale

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There are a lot of hidden gems on Jeju Island and about a million tourist traps as well. There is the Teddy Bear Museum, the Chocolate Museum, The glass museum and about a million more scattered across the island. Not to mention there is the Hello Kitty Island (also a museum), the Jeju Loveland (a museum of sorts) and Daeyoo Land Shooting range.

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However, one of the more charming places that didn’t scream “we built this to take your money!” was the O’sulloc Tea Museum. What sets this “museum” apart from the others is that it is not much of a museum but rather a cafe in disguise. Now, you might be thinking that this is exactly what a tourist trap is, but for some reason there is a sense of calm there. Sure, hordes of tourists flow through there, pushing and shoving their way to buy teas that they can easily find at Home Plus, but there is still a sense of calm.

I think the feeling comes from the design and the architecture. It is one of the few places that seems to be built with attention to detail and incorporates the surrounding nature. The mixture of lava rock and natural wood help soothe you into opening your wallet to purchase some expensive tea.

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The Innisfree House is also located on the same property and is something worthwhile to visit. While you might be scratching your head as to the connection that a cosmetics shop has to a tea field, the truth of the matter is that they are both run by the same company. Thus they have the same calm design and decor. However, the reason to visit the Innisfree shop is to make soap.

One of the main attractions is to make soap. I know it sounds strange but for 15,000 won you get to make 3 bars of soap and a canvas gift pouch is also included. The instructions are in English on an ipad at the workstation. This is the perfect place if you find yourself on Jeju in less than ideal weather.

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The biggest issue with any place on Jeju Island is the price. The cafe at O’sulloc is very nice and the tea is great but don’t expect to find anything cheap. For 2 green tea lattes and 2 slices of roll cake it came out to almost 25,000 won! Also, the cafe does get quick busy, especially during the tourist season. During this past trip I picked up my camera and before my butt left my seat there was already an ajumma sitting at our table.

On the plus side, this is a great place to select and sample teas. With so many people sipping watery americanos, this is a refreshing place. There are of course programs and information sessions available but due to the high traffic of visitors, I would give it a miss. I would check out the viewing deck that gives you a birds eye view of the tea fields surrounding the museum.

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O’Sulloc Tea Museum is located near Seogwipo, so don’t even bother with a taxi. My advice would be to rent a car and drive out there. Trust me, it is much better than taxis or busses on Jeju Island.

Address: 425, Sinhwayeoksa-ro, Andeok-myeon, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do

More information can be found on the Korean Tourism Site

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