In Seoul there are so many amazing cafés that have unique and creative themes. If this interests you, I high recommend reading Helen's blog post, 5 Uniquely Themed Cafés in Seoul. However, I had the opportunity to go to an amazing tea shop that specializes in preparing themed tea courses. To go, you would need to sign up beforehand but I highly recommend going sometime and if you are unable to take the time to go, I recommend at least going there to buy their milk tea (they are famous for it). Luckily, my friend Yunna made the reservation and also was the one who discovered this tea shop!
Each season ALTDIF tea shop changes its theme and makes tea drinks that match this theme. Yuuna told me that last time she went the theme was space so all of the drinks were somehow connected with that. This season the theme was Alice in Wonderland. I arrived at the tea shop, which is located in Hongdae, and walked around for a little bit to explore. I highly suggest walking around Hongdae during the day time and at night because it's such a different energy. During the day, it's fun to look at all the shopping and coffee shops, while at night it seems to be filled with street performances and you may even run into a famous person!
When I arrived at ALTDIF, we all sat at a bar and the barista explained the theme to us. (Just a warning for those who don't know Korean, I am unsure if she could speak English or not because for us she spoke in Korean the whole time.)
First Course: We started out with the first course which was titled "Down the Rabbit Hole". This tea was a black tea that was very light and refreshing.
Second Course: The second course was definitely my favorite. It was called "Mad Hatter" and was connected to the tea party scene where Alice meets the Mad Hatter and the March Hare. This tea was an oriental tea that had a very strong flavor mixed with honey. The barista topped it off with a milk cap and put a cone on top like a hat. The tea was very delicious and fit the name perfectly!
Third Course: The next tea was named "Whooo Are Yoooou?" which is based on the caterpillar Alice meets in the story. This tea was a green tea with green tea. The barista put sweet rice cake on a bamboo stick which was supposed to symbolize the caterpillar.
Fourth Course: We were able to choose our fourth course drinks from a list of drinks. I chose "Velvet Cloud Tea" which was coco tea mixed with a sweeter milk tea. Yunna chose "Fire and Ice" and this is the tea I would highly recommend for those who go! As the barista made this tea, she needed to use a flamethrower to harden the top sugar layer sort of like a creme brulee dish. When Yunna received the drink, she let me do the honors of cracking the top layer and trying it. It was very tasty and very fun to watch! We also got a sweet tart during this course. We had the option of decorating it to look like the Cheshire cat... I will let you guess which one is mine and which one is Yunna. (Hint: Even though I am in the art club, it doesn't mean I am good at drawing..)
Fifth Course: Sadly all good things must come to an end... At least it was a delicious ending. We received two small glasses of tea with the name "Drink One and Shrink, Drink the Other and Grow." One of the drinks was a hot fruit tea, and the other was the same fruit tea but it was infused with yogurt and served cold. Both of the teas were great but I love sweet things and the yogurt tea was a bit sweeter.
As if the five courses of tea weren't enough for us, we left with ALTDIF's famous milk tea. I must say there is a reason that they are famous for the milk tea! This adventure took about two hours so I would suggest going on the weekend if you have time or going when you don't have any classes. It is definitely worth the stop and if you don't have the time for the five courses, maybe just stop by for the milk tea! It was a wonderful day well spent with a good friend!
Also if you would like to read Helen's blog about her adventures at different cafés around Seoul, I will leave the link: https://www.ciee.org/go-abroad/college-study-abroad/blog/5-uniquely-themed-caf%C3%A9s-seoul