If you're looking to spend your afternoon like royalty, TWG Cheongdam is exactly where you should be head. Through exclusive contracts with a large number of tea estates around the world, this Singaporian brand has managed to procure the highest-quality tea leaves, which they blend into 1,000 different types of tea. Currently, 450 of these teas are available at their Cheongdam location. While it’s wonderful having TWG's professionally trained tea masters provide you with recommendations, we can tell you right now that the Pomme Prestige (apple-infused black tea) is the season-appropriate choice for this month. If you're looking to try one of their steady sellers, the Silver Moon (berry-infused green tea) and 1837 black tea are what you should have in your cup. Aside from their large selection of teas, the afternoon tea sets and pairing meals are what really set this salon in a class of its own. The tea masters are also professionally trained in food pairing and will happily go through their menu options with you.
Established in 2002 as a small tea house in Paris, Theodor is a relatively young player of the industry. Yet, with founder Guillaume Leleu's interesting background as a literary writer and being the world's youngest tea taster, this brand exudes a unique sensibility that attracts many novices and aficionados alike. Fortunately for those of us living in Seoul, Theodor has a location in Cheongdam which serves as a salon as well as a boutique tea shop. Their scented teas, such as the J.C. Absolu Oolong (flower and peach-scented, goji berry-infused oolong leaf tea), are strong in aroma yet bright and clean. All of Theodor's tea tins are marked in one of four colors: black, pink, green or blue. Learning what each color signifies whilst conversing with the highly knowledgeable tea masters is a uniquely pleasurable experience.
From England’s Royal Albert bone china to Russian Lomonosov Imperial Porcelain, there are over 200 ornate tea sets lavishly displayed throughout this tea salon. Customers first select the tea set of their choosing, and move on to "scent tasting" to select a tea. Fortnum & Mason, Wedgewood, Hediard, Dragonfly Tea and Dilmah are just a few of the brands offered here. Once a month, a tasting event for a tea and dessert paring is offered. To participate, follow their blog at blog.naver.com/cubic0304. To add to the experience, each table has decorative headpieces and lace gloves for you to try on.
Over 200 years old, this German brand takes pride in its quality teas. It has three locations in Korea, with two in Seoul (COEX and Sangam-dong) and one in Pangyo. Although ostensibly casual in appearance, it upholds a certain amount of class. The COEX location gives off a cozy vibe with its hardwood tables, numerous filament light bulbs hanging from the ceiling and a wall stocked with more than 250 tea tins. Along with fresh fruit and herbal teas, the brand offers their take on the traditional black, oolong and green teas. To treat yourself to the perfect break, pair your tea with one of their desserts, which includes macarons, éclairs and scones, served on a black stone slate decorated with powdered sugar, cinnamon powder, almonds, chocolate syrup and mint leaves.
While this place is on the more casual side, the quality of its teas is pretty serious. As a leading Ceylon tea brand of Sri Lanka, the world's fourth largest tea producer, Basilur takes pride in its authentic black teas. While the most popular choice here is the 1001 Night (loose black tea based milk tea) that comes in a large teapot, the chilled Icewine Black Tea is uniquely refreshing with its subtle and pleasantly acidic grape scent. Between their loose leaf teas and tea bags, the former is, without a doubt, what you should go for.