Pot boiling tea – Hongdae
The freezing weather continues. They said this cold wave because of the global warming. Last week was mild but this week, even if ‘onset of spring’ of solar term, it is falling down to 17 degrees below zero again. Thinking about last summer, after sweltering weather, the temperature was changed quickly, so then, may be warmth will be coming soon.
I was walking around on the back street of Hongdae area like a maze, looking for the way to the subway station. It was so cold my fingers were frozen even wearing the woolen gloves. Soon after seeing the water vapor of the window of a shop, I just walked in it. The scent of something strange, the sound of water dropping, candles, well arranged with little pots on the shelves and oriental figures make some exotic atmosphere.
A man was moving over the patrician for seeing who’s coming in the shop but he didn’t say anything like “Hello” or ” May I help you?” at the first even he saw me. All the products were printed in a foreign language, he said those were made in China and Taiwan. I asked more like “How much is this?” or “What is it?”. He answered generously. His attitude was talking to one of the neighborhood, not to the customer. Actually, I’m not fond of tea, but I was standing there, still. In the unique world. I wouldn’t get out. At that moment, he said, you can try some tea, so I asked, even though I don’t buy it this time?, he answered, yes.
He guided me inside of the partition. One side of the wall filled with tea product covered with oriental paper. The other side by windows are full of little pots. All those pots were collected by him over the last 20 years from his selling tea beginning. He moved into the Hongdae area about 2 years ago.
We sit at the table across each other. On the table, there was a tea tray, porcelain cup sets, some tools for tea and also lots of little pots. The gorgeous, expansive, antique tea pot on the side is from Taiwan. Maybe this pot is the main character of the sign of the shop, winning of Seoul Good Sign, 2011.
From the pouring the water into the cup with tea leaps, he started to make tea. Covered the cup, waited for brewing for a few minutes and then threw away, it’s good for the taste of tea. He poured the hot water in that cup again, then stirred it well. A few minutes later, he poured the brewed tea into the tiny cups and served one of it in front of me with the wooden tongs.
The hot steam was coming up in my cup. I don’t like hot, so waited for getting cool down. Then he said it’s not that hot, so good to have it while it’s warm. I followed him.
The taste was great.
All the chilliness was gone away and the scent enchanted me. Actually, I didn’t like a black tea but that one was good. Maybe his performance was a magic. His hands when he made tea was so smooth, seemed like dancing. We could chat more with the happiness from just a cup of tea.
I wondered that how it is for the person who has low of blood pressure. He explained many people think tea would be bad for that person, but in the case of puer tea, it’s fermentation, good for them. Older is better. So the price of them are various, some are 4 hundred million. Amazing.
You can put it at ambient temperature, don’t need to seal in tight protected from air, because it’s fermentation foods like a fermented soybean lump, one of the Korean traditional food. So you can feel the change of the taste of the tea, after even opening the product, because tea product continues its fermentation process.
The days of yore, the people in North and South in Asia trade the horse and tea each other. When their relationship soured, the South didn’t sell the tea to the North. That was the strong arm for them, because tea has lots of vitamin and essential for the North in the cold weather.
He served third one with same tea leaps, but I felt the second one was better. You can choose your own preference. The process of making tea is almost a great performance. As I asked if it’s possible to take a picture of him, he felt shy and said he was not good at taking an interview but he was a natural born story teller, so it was not hard to get his smile.
He prepared other tea, Chinese one, for me, green colored. It looked more popular with a cheaper price than puer tea.
I bought a puer tea, made in 2007. The package design is simple in brown color, looking good to give a present.
It was only for a few hours, but was like a long journey to the somewhere.
For more information
Location : 9-4, Wausan-ro 11-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Your comments below, we love it.