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5 perfect spots for milk tea in Seoul

Select tea houses in Seoul for the comforting tea

Tieris

When you walk into Tieris located near Isu Station, a huge smile and gleeful greet saying the menu is at the door welcomes you. For some strange reason, it feels as if you are taken into a kitchen of a Japanese manga character. The very modest interior with the seemingly DIY cushions, pinewood furniture, display of tea cans and collection of tea ware all add to the coziness and hominess of the tea house. The menu is separated into 5 sections: Seasonal, Milk Tea, Flavored Tea, Organic Herbs, Origin Tea, and finally Sweets. At the end of the menu there is a Reservation Only section with 2 options: Afternoon Tea Plate for 26,000 won (3 layer tea plate and 1 type of tea for 2) and Self Tea Party for 10,000 won (unlimited refill for selected tea leaves). The Masala Milk Tea is served in a not overly ornate but beautiful teacup, finished with soft foam and light sprinkle of cinnamon. The mild taste of the milk tea was more aromatic than sweet, making it interestingly very light but satisfying. Subtle burst of masala (or a combination of Indian spices) serves as a perfect ending (the authentic masala was brought back by the owner from Kolkota). If you're looking for authentic Indian Masala Chai, you can always ask the owner to "take up a notch." If you feel a little indecisive, ask the owner what you’re looking for. She will open up jars of tea leaves for you to smell while providing you information as well as short stories that come with each tea. Visit their Facebook page for more

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Bangbae-dong

Proust

Located in Ikseon-dong, Proust is a "scent shop" and tea house. Inside, you'll notice that its one side is the tea house and the other is a place where you can experience scents and even make your own perfume, diffuser and candles. The café menu is quiet simple: royal milk tea (using Assam tea as the base) and Thai milk tea (using condensed milk and black tea infuse with rose scent). Of the 2, the the royal milk tea is more popular, with light, soft and specially sweetened with agave nectar. The iced royal milk tea comes served in a pretty bottle, winning the hearts of many customers. Proust, named after the author of the novel In Search of Lost Time, also created a set menu of tea and Madeleine cookies (in reference to the main character’s act of wetting a Madeleine cookie in the tea and remembering his childhood through the aromas). Like many of the venues in Ikseon-dong, Proust is also built on a renovated hanok, refurbished with white walls and wide windows. With the combination of traditional architecture, some DIY personalized fragrances and a nice warm cup of tea, this place offers an interesting hangout spot in the center of the city.

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Jongno-gu

L’Air Du Temps

This small café is a great place to spend some quiet, quality time. With a variety of items on their menu from coffee, tea and cakes, this place is known best for their milk tea. Perhaps that's only natural, as their milk tea is consisted with a great balance of aroma, softness and sweetness. On the shelf, around 30 books are available for read, suggesting that the café welcomes a quiet ambiance for readers, unlike many of the chain cafés which are in abundance around the city. Located on the main street between the bustling Sangsu and Hapjeong Station, everything about the L’Air Du Temps makes it a perfect fit for the back alleys of a quiet neighborhood. If you’re ever in the neighborhood, don't miss this one!

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Sangsu-dong
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Salon de Ceylon & Macaron

Salon de Ceylon & Macaron is a tea house in Yeonnam-dong, Dongjin Market alley. It may be hard to spot, but keep an eye out for the signboard marked “ㅅㄹㅅㄹ.” As you open the door, the marvelous scents of black tea and baking cakes will hit your nose and soothe your heart. The interior fits right in with the atmosphere of an old market alley and yet manages to stay classy and cozy. A 40 year-old grid frame window, which had been hidden, sandwiched between panels, has been restored using high quality lumber. The menu is quite simple: black tea, milk tea, macarons, and carrot cake. For black tea, you have a selection of high quality purveyors like Rishi Tea or Harney & Sons. Salon de Ceylon & Macaron is famous for their delicious carrot cakes, which are made using organic carrots, organic apples, organic unrefined sugar, and organic eggs free of antibiotics. Who could say no to that?

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Basilur Boutique

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.

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Gangnam-gu

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