▲ Frangrance of Art is a great way to spend a relaxing afternoon Photo courtesy The Jeju Weekly
Tea lovers, there is a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered at Fragrance of Art (Ye Hyang) tea house. This traditional house in Aewol welcomes guests seeking respite from the busyness of life.
Some gems you come upon by random chance, but some places are worth planning your day for. Fragrance of Art offers more than just a quick break – it offers an experience.
The tea house is spacious, with high ceilings and a variety of seating arrangements, from low cushions on the floor to comfortable high chairs. There is also a private room for small parties.
▲ Frangrance of Art is situated in Aewol Photo courtesy The Jeju Weekly
Once you are seated, the owner will make you tea and bring you a delicious plate of homemade desserts. I enjoyed a hot cup of peppermint and mugwort tea that drove out the chill of a windy Jeju day.
My favorite sweets were the rice cakes rolled in sesame, and the dried persimmon stuffed with walnuts. These alone were worth the trip! And my introductory course of tea and desserts set a perfect tone for a leisure afternoon by the sea.
I also picked a tea from the handwritten menu. The flavors range from sweet fruits to bitter oriental medicine.
▲ Jujube tea Photo courtesy The Jeju Weekly
While the local guests prefer the healthy herbal tea (sipjeondaebotang), foreigners especially like the ginger tea and omija (magnolia berry tea). I opted for the mogwa (quince tea) served in a bowl.
But the drink is just a small part of the experience.
The soothing trot music in the background combined with the warm lights made for a cozy and relaxing atmosphere. And this gift of peace is exactly what the tea house owner, Ms. Kim Young-ae, wanted for her guests.
One can see Ms. Kim’s love for her teahouse, which is also her home. She designed and decorated the first floor with flower arrangements and pottery made by her own hand.
▲ The inside of Fragrance of Art Photo courtesy The Jeju Weekly
There is an intimate and artistic feel to the building. It really reflects the name - Fragrance of Art. Not only is her art showcased, but the setup also encourages other artists to participate.
There are also different traditional Korean instruments, like the gayageum, scattered around the house. Ms. Kim told me an interesting story about how one day a voice student started singing for his group of friends when another guest sitting nearby decided to join in by playing the gayageum.
▲ Photo courtesy The Jeju Weekly
This impromptu performance embodies the culture of Fragrance of Tea, where visitors share more than just tea with each other.
If you are looking forward to spending an unhurried afternoon with some lovely tea, Fragrance of Art is the perfect place to visit. The hours of operation are 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., from Tuesday to Sunday. Teas range from 8,000 to 10,000 won.
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