Osulloc Tea Museum in Jeju: Is it worth a visit?
The Osulloc Tea Museum in Jeju is almost always included on every itinerary for Jeju you can find. The question is: is it really worth a visit, or is it just overrated? This is what I kept thinking when I planned my own Jeju Island road trip. I did pay the team museum a visit and am sharing my final verdict with you in this post. So keep on reading to find out.
Jeju’s Environment is perfect for tea growing
The tea leaves grow in harmony with Jeju’s natural environment, blessed with mild sunlight, winds that blow year-round, clear water, and volcanic soil.
The average temperature of 14° Celcius and the slightly acidic soil makes Jeju perfect for growing tea. Adding to that good annual rainfall and humidity, there really isn’t a much more optimal land for harvesting tea in the region.
How to get to the Osulloc Tea Museum in Jeju
You can reach the museum quite easily, especially if you travel by car. There is a vast parking lot directly in front of the museum.
The best way to get to Osulloc Tea Museum without a car is to line 151 bus from Jeju City, which takes 54 min and costs ₩2,200 – ₩3,100.
Jeju Osulloc Tea Garden
There are three Osulloc tea plantations in Jeju. Seogwang Tea Garden is located near Sanbangsan, where clouds and fog form as the air rises over Mt. Hallasan. This location improves the color and quality of the tea leaves.
Dolsongi Tea Garden is another area where Osulloc grows tea. This place was turned from a volcanic wasteland into a rich tea plantation. It is known for the volcanic soil consisting of many broken pieces of stone from hardened volcanic ash.
The third tea garden owned by Osulloc is Hannam Tea Garden. The local name translates to “the first place to see the sun in the village” and is another great area to produce high-quality, organic green tea.
Osulloc Tea Museum in Jeju
The tea museum is right next to Seogwang Tea Garden in the western half of Jeju Island. It was opened in 2001 to spread and raise awareness of tea culture.
I had previously visited the Tea Museum of Korea in Boseong – so I was a little bummed by the “museum” part at Osulloc. In my opinion, Osulloc Tea Museum is a beautiful cultural space dedicated to tea. A huge shop and café on the first floor of the main building and the outdoor garden/park area is also charming and relaxing. An adjacent building is only used for tea classes, which you need to sign up and pay for. The main building’s top floor also has an observatory from which you can see the nearby tea fields.
However, I felt that the museum lacked informational areas that genuinely explain the history of tea on Jeju or the history of the brand itself. There is a small showroom with different teaware from all across the world and Osulloc tea packaging over the years. A giant tea pressing machine stands in the middle of the shop and café area – and that is all the “museum” really dedicates to informing its visitors about tea.
Compared with the tea museum in Boseong, the Osulloc Tea Museum in Jeju really isn’t a place where you can learn a lot about tea culture. Instead, you can purchase and enjoy tea in a beautiful space.
Innisfree Jeju House
My favorite part of the Osulloc Tea Museum in Jeju all was probably the Innisfree Jeju House. It is part of the Osulloc Tea Museum grounds and covers two individual greenhouse-like showrooms that combine shopping with a café.
The interior design is stunning, and the menus of the cafés in both houses vary slightly. One serves some more brunch-style dishes, while the other one focuses more on desserts. The dessert café also overlooks the green tea fields giving it an incredibly charming atmosphere.
You can sample and purchase some Innisfree favorites, and they also sell products that are exclusive to the Innisfree Jeju House. I picked up a green tea lip balm that has become my new favorite.
Osulloc Tea Museum in Jeju: Is it worth a visit?
Yes – but I wouldn’t call it a museum. Much rather, I would classify it as a big shop and café space. It is worth a visit if you want to try and buy some tea from Jeju, plus the adjacent green tea fields are also beautiful.
It is worth mentioning that Osulloc Tea Museum in Jeju was selected as one of the world’s top 10 museums by Designboom, a world-renowned online magazine for design and architecture. It’s also one of Jeju Island’s most popular tourist attractions, with more than 1.5 visitors every year.
Having said that, Osulloc Tea Museum should definitely be on your Jeju itinerary – even if the name is a bit misleading!
More things to do in Jeju Island
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