Must-Visit Locations for Tea in Asia
It’s no wonder that the best places to indulge in tea culture can be found in Asia. Whatever part in Asia you find yourself in, you can be sure to find a local tea variety. This guide covers the best must-visit locations for tea in Asia.
Tteuran Teahouse in Seoul, South Korea
by Linda from Linda Goes East
Located in one of Seoul’s last untouched neighborhoods, Tteuran teahouse is the perfect place to relax and indulge in Korean tea culture. The owner is a lovely lady preparing homemade Korean snacks and soups along with first-class local tea varieties. The café is located inside an old Korean style hanok house with traditional furniture and decorations. I recommend ordering traditional Omija tea made from a sweet and sour red berry. Also be sure to try the mixed Korean snack platter with a variety of rice cakes and Korean cookies.
The teahouse is situated in the heart of Ikseon-dong, one of Seoul’s last old hanok villages that are not filled with tourists and crowds. The neighborhood is home to many residents still living in old Korean houses. Many artists and creatives opened up shop in the neighborhood drawn in by the inspiring mix or old and new.
Tteuran Teahouse was one of the first places to open in Ikseon-dong and has since been a popular hangout place in the afternoons among locals and foreign visitors who appreciate Korean tea culture.
Orchid Conservatory at the Majestic Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
by Soraya from HelloRaya
Any excuse to dress up in your Sunday best, pig out over delicious pastries, while sipping on good ol’ fashion English tea…well, that’s my cup of tea! Afternoon tea is a very British tradition, that has been introduced all over the world. More and more restaurants are now incorporating this experience into their menu, which makes for a lovely afternoon out with the girls. While for the most part, afternoon tea experiences are quite similar, I am always on the lookout for a point of difference. Something a lot more unique. Something worth paying for the experience.
And that is exactly what I found at the Orchid Conservatory at the Majestic Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
An afternoon tea at the Majestic Hotel is like no other. Why? Because you are sitting in a room filled (and I mean FILLED) with beautiful orchids. Plus, the tea is great, the food is delicious, and the service is excellent. So if you are looking for an afternoon tea experience with a twist, look no further than Majestic Hotel in Kuala Lumpur. But hot tip – make sure to book ahead of time, and come dressed for an elegant afternoon.
Daehan Dawon Tea Plantation in Boseong, South Korea
by Stacey from DufflebagSpouse
Lined with massive cedar trees, the road leading to the Daehan Dawon Tea Plantation in Boseong is majestic, reminiscent of its royal beginnings. Green tea once grew in the wild and was soon cultivated for the Buddhist Temples and the Royal Palaces during the Silla Dynasty. Boseong has been a tea plantation ever since. And although there are more than 1,097 rural households that operate privately owned tea farms in the area, Daehan Dawon is the largest and offers spectacular views of the tiered fields, which are harvested 3-4 times per year.
The plantation is a self-proclaimed green tea Theme Park— dedicated to the enjoyment of tea and its’ production. However, there aren’t any rides at this theme park, you’ll enjoy it at your own speed. The only thrill you’ll receive is the thrill of accomplishment after climbing seeming-less endless stairs and enjoying the view of the wavelike patterns of the fields below. There are a lot of exhibits on the calming and medicinal uses of green tea, the primary ingredient in many Korean products from ice cream to perfume and you can sample many of them at the cafes and gift shops on site.
Tea Factory in Ooty, India
by Priya from Glorious Sunrise
Ooty, the queen of hills in South India is famous for its lush green tea plantations. Ooty alias Udagamandalam is a tea lover’s paradise. Ooty has a tea museum that is attached to a working tea factory. The factory tour takes you through the entire tea making process. You get to see how the tea leaves are sorted, dried, processed and then packed into tea packs.
After the factory tour, you can enter the tea museum. The museum has interesting boards full of information about the history of tea. Later as you come out of the museum, you will be given a super fresh cup of tea made from the batch that has been just processed. There is an outlet for you to purchase the tea packs too.
I enjoyed this tour a lot as I am a great tea lover. I enjoy tea in all kinds of weather and Ooty was just perfect for my taste.
Yuyuan Teahouse in Shanghai, China
by Nicole LaBarge from Travelgal Nicole
On my visit to China last year I made it a point to try lots of different cuisines and of course try teas straight from the source. My favorite tea place in Shanghai hid inside the Yuyuan Market, also known as the City of God Temple, and sells an array of different types of tea grown in China. They also let you try all the different teas before you buy.
While we were there we were able to try green tea, jasmine tea, white tea and oolong tea. You probably heard of most of those types of teas but oolong tea is very popular in China as it is used for many health benefits.
My favorite photos are of the flowering teas. These teas bloom once you add water!
Palampur Tea Plantation in Palampur, India
by Neha from Revolving Compass
Palampur is a small town in the Kangra Valley in Himachal Pradesh, India. It is located in a valley, right at the foothills of Dhauladhar Mountain Ranges. With pleasant summers and cold winters, Palampur enjoys just the perfect weather for tea plantation. Hence, it abounds in tea estates, and is fondly called “The tea capital of North India”. On our recent visit to Palampur, we had the privilege of staying in a Lodge at one of the famous tea estates, “Wah Tea Estate”.
The USP of Wah Tea Estate is that all their tea is organic, 100% pesticide free and carefully hand plucked. These come in a different range including Kangra Green, Kangra Black, Valley Chamomile, Tulsi Green, Lemongrass Green and Lemongrass Tulsi Green. The tea of Wah Tea Estate rivals the most famous tea brands in India. The experience of staying at the Lodge right amidst the tea garden and sipping the hot brewing tea was an experience of a lifetime for us.
A Tea Lovers’ Paradise in Darjeeling, India
by Sandy & Vyjay from Voyager
In the middle of the 19th century, a British Surgeon named Arthur Campbell was transferred to a picturesque town, high up in the lesser Himalayas, from Kathmandu, Nepal. The surgeon carried with him the seeds of a Chinese tea plant and started tea planting in his new home. The rest is history. The picturesque and enchanting town is Darjeeling which is situated in the North-East region of India. The tea that is cultivated now in about 87 tea estates or plantations spreading over a region of 17,500 hectares of land, is known the world over as, “Darjeeling Tea”. Darjeeling Tea was the first Indian product that received a GI tag.
Darjeeling is primarily known for its black tea, however, the other varieties are popular too. These are its green, white and oolong varieties. Oolong is a traditional Chinese tea. Darjeeling is a must for any traveler who wants to wake up in the morning in the midst of lush tea plantations and breathe in the fragrant mountain air. The act of sipping your morning cuppa while casually viewing the spectacular snow-clad Himalayan mountain ranges assumes divine proportions in Darjeeling.
Boh Tea Plantation in the Cameron Highlands, Malaysia
by Cali from Cali on the Go
Tea with a view. How about when tea is the view? There are two Cameron Valley Tea Houses (number 1 and 2), overlooking expansive tea plantations, just a short ways outside of the main town in Cameron Highlands, Malaysia. Reachable by either taxi or refreshing 5 km walk, you can quickly replace all calories burned with warm scones or cheesecake and a pot of local tea. For just 50 cents more you can purchase a wristband to head down the steps into the plantation and explore. There is no better way to spend a day than drinking tea, eating baked goods, and taking in the tea-nery (tea scenery? no?).
O’Sulloc Tea Museum and Plantation in Jeju, South Korea
by Kristina from Nerdventurists
The O’Sulloc Tea Museum and tea fields on Jeju Island are a must for any tea enthusiast. Korea prides itself on its tea from Jeju, and nowhere is that more cherished than at O’Sulloc near Seogwipo City.
While small, the museum does offer a history of O’Sulloc as well as tea culture in Korea, especially Jeju. Exhibits include a tea cup gallery, including showcasing tea cups around the world. The real heart of the O’Sulloc center is the tasting area where you can try everything the brand has to offer. Green tea ice cream to roasted and fermented teas to cakes infused with O’Sulloc’s staple green tea – it’s all here, and it’s all delicious. Once you’ve had your fill, head outside to the sprawling green tea fields. Guests are free to walk around the fields, ask questions of the gardeners, and take many a selfie.
Fun fact: the museum and corresponding gift shop and cafe are all housed in a building the shape of a teacup.
Teahouse in Jiufen, Taiwan
by Gina from Gina Bear’s Blog
Jiufen looks like something out of a movie with its scenic views of a town embedded into the mountains. The smells of delicious cooking of this small town in Taiwan excite your senses and entice you to indulge its culinary uniqueness. Lanterns pave the street where you can also catch the soft scent of tea in the air. You see clouds roll over on a cloudy day to find you might be taken to another universe.
The town of Jiufen was the inspiration for the critically acclaimed film and highest grossing anime, Spirited Away. A young girl named Chihiro gets thrust into the world of the Gods and becomes a servant to Yubaba, the witch of the bath house. While in Jiufen, you can’t take a bath, but you can indulge in some of Taiwan’s most famous teas in the tea house that inspired the film. It’s a bit overpriced for what you get, but even the inside gives life to the movie.
Jinuo Minority Tea Village in Xishuangbanna, China
by Linda from Linda Goes East
Located in China’s Yunnan Province, the Jinuo minority is a thriving community producing a fine variety of local Puer teas in the mountain areas near Jinghong City. In this area, around 17,000 Jinuo people live together in a community. Their main source of income is showing visitors around their village and tea production. Jinuo tea making dates back several hundreds of years when the tribe traded Puer tea with other parts of China.
Today, the Jinuo are proud of their old heritage and put great emphasis in their tea making. You can sample and purchase a variety of different Puer teas in the village. Moreover, locals hold traditional tea ceremonies for visitors in their private homes made of bamboo and wood. Visiting the Jinuo minority village in Xishuangbanna was one of my favorite parts of this trip and the tea was amazing.
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