Boseong Green Tea Festival
April and May ushers in the tea season here in Korea and Korean traditional tea is celebrated at the Boseong Green Tea Festival in May. Welcome to week 329 (5/25/2107) of Travel Photo Thursday. Enjoy this photo essay of everything the festival has to offer.
We arrived in a gentle rain and climbed the hill past the lush terraced tea fields to our first stop, the tea leaf drying shed. We were supposed to pick the leaves before arriving at the drying shed, but the inclement weather resulted in a quick change of plans.
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Lots and lots of tea leaves are dried here.
It takes approximately an hour to clean the leaves and dry them in the gas roaster.
While in the roaster we were busy little bees tossing the leaves constantly. They dried faster with the air circulation and went in and out of the roaster four times before our tea leaf making masters were satisfied the leaves had reached the perfect level of dryness.
Voila! We each have our own perfectly dried tea leaves to take home and brew in our waiting teapots.
Next, it was off to the tea museum where you can learn everything there is to know about tea growing and tea making. Loved the fact that the exhibits are English “friendly”!
My favorite display was this stunning silk tea ceremony robe featured with a number of teapots and bowls. I closed my eyes and could envision the elegant ceremony unfolding with this colorful robe as the centerpiece. Can you?
Then, it was off to a private dining room where we were served a traditional Korea meal prepared by local Korean ladies. The side dishes you see here are called banchan, and believe it or not more arrived after we sat down to eat.
The main course was bulgogi, melt in your mouth marinated grilled beef. Each of the banchan was prepared to perfection and complemented the beef perfectly.
Korean Traditional Tea
Then, it was back to the Boseong Green Tea Festival and checking-in to our onsite Korean style hotel. If you ever visit Korea and stay in a Korean style hotel, you will sleep on the floor on a yo, which is a thick blanket. Honestly, not my favorite bed, but okay for one night and especially when you’re tired. I think I could have slept on a rock that night! After checking in, we headed next door to the main stage and the evening tea drinking area. Luckily the rain had stopped, and we were treated to some great teas and a variety of traditional music. This was easily my favorite event of the Boseong Green Tea Festival. The ladies preparing the tea looked gorgeous in their hanbok and were genuinely excited to introduce us to Korean tea and cookies. I lingered at each table enjoying the wee cups of tea on offer while enjoying the traditional performance.
Along with the green tea, matcha tea was also on offer.
Readers can view a video that I shot of the traditional music and dancing here.
The next morning we were up early to visit the fields to pick tea leaves. This was one event that didn’t excite me and the fields were muddy from the evening rain. I enjoyed myself wandering around taking photos.
The remainder of the day was slow paced as we were on our own to enjoy the market area where we ate lunch and sampled more tea available from the various tea vendors on site.
I enjoyed watching the matcha tea being whisked and then savoring the fresh flavor.
I discovered my new favorite tea, magnolia. The tea is light and fresh with just a hint of flower. I bought a small bag to enjoy at home. Two of the delicate petals makes a relaxing pot of tea to enjoy with a good book or a favorite movie.
The bus trip back to Seoul was uneventful, although long. If you do travel by bus on the weekends in Korea you have to be prepared for the traffic jams. Be sure to have a good book, and your electronic devices fully charged.
Believe it or not, this overnight tour to the Boseong Green Tea Festival was free of charge. The government is anxious to have foreigners experience the sights and sounds of Korea. If you’re planning on visiting Korea soon, check out FundayKorea to see what tours and events they have on offer. All you need is a passport. These tours are perfect for budget travelers (solo or couples), who are eager to experience traditional Korea. You can find out more about the Boseong Green Tea Festival here.
Have you been to a green tea festival? Let us know in the comments.
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