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Traditional Teas and Korean Dessert Cafés in Seoul
Turn down a narrow alley in certain neighborhoods in Seoul, and you are likely to find unique and charming cafés selling traditional teas and snacks. There are many such cafés in Insa-dong, Samcheong-dong, and other neighborhoods that are known for preserving their Korean traditional beauty. Traditional tea shops offer hot teas like jujube tea, citron tea, and ginger tea, as well as cold beverages like sujeonggwa and sikhe. Korean teas are great for warming the body and preventing a cold, so they are especially popular in winter. Recently, some cafés have begun offering fusion desserts that mix Korean and Western influences, such as hotteok pancakes and rice cake sandwiches.

OGADA: Medicinal tea to go

OGADA (오가다) is a medicinal tea take-out shop. Its unique menu offering includes various medicinal herb teas with modern twists. Before each tea is premiered, it is tested for medicinal effects by an Oriental doctor. Medicinal herbs are carefully selected so that the teas can be consumed by all customers, regardless of their health conditions. OGADA’s menu consists of about 40 teas, the most recommended of which are the sipjeondaebocha, infused with 12 medicinal herbs; the fragrant Chinese quince and citron tea; and the apple ginseng yam juice. OGADA currently operates 50 stores nationwide, including ones in Incheon International Airport, D-Cube City in Sindorim, and Seoul City Hall.

Recommended :
Seongnyuomijacha Tea (석류오미자차, Pomegranate-Schizandra Tea): 4,000 won
Sagwainsamma Juice (사과인삼마주스, Apple-Ginseng-Yam Juice): 4,000 won
Sipjeondaebocha Tea (십전대보차, 12-Herb Tea): 4,500 won
Mogwayujacha Tea (모과유자차, Chinese Quince-Citron Tea): 3,800 won
Sujeonggwa Slush (Cinnamon Punch Slush): 3,800 won
Baedorajisaenggangcha Tea (배도라지생강차, Pear-Balloonflower-Ginger Tea): 4,300 won

Hours :
Incheon Int'l Airport Branch: 08:00-21:00 (Open 365 days a year)
Sindorim D-Cube City Branch: 10:30 - 22:00 (Open 365 days a year)
Seoul City Hall & Jongno-gu Office Branches: 07:30-21:00 (Mon-Fri), 12:00-19:00 (Sat)
Busan Jungang Station Branch: 08:00-20:00 (Mon-Fri), 12:00-18:00 (Sat)
* Store hours may vary based on location.
Homepage : (Korean)

5 Cijung: A gallery café offering healthful drinks

5 Cijung (오시정) is a small gallery café whose name means ‘Heart of writing five poems’. The interior accents are cute and fun, and some of the decorations are available for purchase. The café is famous for healthful treats such as persimmon yogurt and fresh ginseng milk. Drinks are served with a warm scone and banana-orange marmalade. There are currently ten branches, including ones in Samcheong-dong and Hongdae districts, and on Garosu-gil Road in Sinsa-dong.

Recommended :
Hongsi (ripe persimmon) Yogurt: 9,000 won
Susam (undried ginseng) Milk: 10,000 won
Injeolmi Tteok (rice cake) Toast: 9,000 won
Coffee: 4,500 won – 8,000 won
Makgeolli (rice wine) Cocktails: 6,000 won – 8,000 won

Hours : 11:30 - 23:00 (Weekdays/Weekends)
Tel : 02-730-2008 (Samcheongdong Branch), 02-512-6508 (Garosugil Branch), 02-333-2375 (Hongdae Branch)
Homepage : (Korean)

W.e.: Offering Korean-Western fusion desserts

W.e. is a café that serves desserts that blend traditional Korean and Western cuisines. Popular street snacks such as hotteok and roasted sweet potatoes are reinterpreted into elegant and tasteful desserts served in a comfortable indoor setting. The hotteok pancake, W.e.’s signature dessert, comes with made-to-order hotteok (Korean pancakes with a sweet nut filling) served with a selected topping such as mixed berries, pan-fried apple, or banana, and an injeolmi (rice cake) ice cream on the side. The hot, chewy pancake is sensational when combined with the cold ice cream. Also popular are the sweet red bean fondue, where chewy rice cakes are dipped in a homemade red bean sauce, the 12-grain latte, and the pumpkin-sweet potato latte. W.e. can be found on Sinsa-dong Garosu-gil Street and in Samcheong-dong.

Recommended :
Hotteok Pan Cake Set (including injeolmi tteok ice cream): 12,000 won,
Danpat (sweet red bean) Fondue: 14,800 won
Multi Grain Latte, Sweet Red-Bean Latte, Pumpkin-Sweet Potato Latte: 7,500 won – 8,000 won

Hours : 11:00 - 23:00 (Mon-Sat), 13:00-22:00 (Sun)
Tel : 02-739-0919 (Samcheongdong Branch), 02-3445-0919 (Garosugil Branch)
Homepage : (Korean)

Jilsiru : A café offering traditional rice cakes

Jilsiru (질시루) is a rice cake café run by the Institute of Traditional Korean Food to showcase the outstanding qualities of Korean food. On display are Korean traditional dolls and bojagi wrapping cloths covered with beautiful embroidery. Available for purchase are rice cake products naturally colored with pumpkin, strawberry, coffee, and mugwort. Rice cake desserts available include rice cake sandwiches filled with vegetables and nuts, cakes made with rice flour, rice cake lunch boxes, and traditional drinks such as sujeonggwa, sikhye, and sweet pumpkin lattes. The café has two locations, one in Insa-dong and one in the Changdeokgung Palace area, which is the headquarters of the Institute. Those who drink a traditional tea at the Changdeokgung store can get free admission to the Tteok Museum on the second and third floors of the building.

Recommended :
Rice Tteok: 1,000 – 3,000 won
Kkulchal (glutinous-rice cake with honey) Sandwich: 2,000 won
Tteok Lunch Box Set: 6,000 won
Gungjung Topokki (Royal Stir-fried Rice Cake): 6,000 won
Tteok Cake: 30,000 – 80,000
Sujeonggwa (Cinnamon Punch), Sikhye (Rice Punch), Gukhwacha (Chrysanthemum Tea): 5,000 won

Hours : Insadong Branch 9:00 - 22:00
Tel : 02-733-5477 (Insadong Branch), 02-741-0258 (Main store)
Homepage : (Korean)

Café Young: Traditional snacks and tea enjoyed in a hanok

Café Young (융) is easily noticeable thanks to its eye-catching exterior in Samcheong-dong. It is housed in a renovated, traditional hanok building and features fun wall paintings. The small flowers on the windowsill, the menu hanging on the main gate, and the small yard and trees blend harmoniously, making people feel like they are entering a friend’s home. The Korean-style homemade desserts and traditional teas complement the cozy space. Famous menu items are the sweet rice seed hotteok with filled with sunflower seeds and nuts. Snacks can be enjoyed while sipping a traditional tea such as sujeonggwa, sikhe, or citron tea.

Recommended :
Chapssal ssiat hotteok (sweet rice seed pancake)
Injeolmi gui (grilled sweet rice cake with bean flour)
Sujeonggwa (Cinnamon Punch)
Sikhye (Rice Punch)
Omijacha (Schizandra Tea)
Yujacha (Citron Tea)
Mogwacha (Chinese Quince Tea)
Saenggangcha (Ginger Tea)
Daechucha (Jujube Tea)

Hours : 12:00 - 22:00
Tel : 02-736-7652 (Samcheongdong Branch)

* Prices are valid as of December 22, 2011 and are subject to change.

Date 02/09/2012

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