The Korean word ‘darye’ refers to the Korean tea ceremony, which has been led by Buddhism and handed down over a long period of time. However, the tea culture fell into decline during the Joseon Dynasty when Buddhism was suppressed by the State. Nevertheless, Buddhist temples have played an important role in maintaining the tea culture until the present day in Korea, and the majority of tea ceremony experience programs are available at a temple.
Geumgangsa Temple is a representative temple of Busan that offers a Korean tea ceremony program. Located at the entrance to Geumgang Park at the foot of Geumjeongsan Mountain, Geumgangsa Temple is a relatively new temple, but it is popular among people who want to visit a temple easily and meditate in the middle of the city. The road running from Geumgang Park to Geumgangsa Temple, which is surrounded by green trees, leads to the temple’s tea plantation.
Held in a small building, the Korean tea ceremony experience program, in which participants wear hanbok (traditional Korean clothes), consists of three steps. First, you will learn about the history of Korean tea and the tea ceremony, including such fundamental matters as the required water temperature. Second, you will learn how to brew tea using a teaset. Lastly, after observing a demonstration by a monk, you will drink your own tea in a calm and reflective mood according to the tea etiquette. A tea ceremony at a serene temple is characterized by a calm and peaceful atmosphere where you can enjoy listening to the clear sounds of the wooden teaset and the pouring of tea into a white ceramic cup, and appreciate the rich taste of warm tea.
As Geumgangsa Temple has its own tea plantation within its precincts, you can visit the tea field, and pick and dry tea leaves - provided it’s the season, of course. You will surely enjoy the refreshing scent of tea and the green field.
Geumgangsa Temple offers the tea ceremony experience program all year round. It also holds a special springtime cultural event, the Tea Culture Festival, which offers members of the public an opportunity to experience a variety of teas and learn all about the tea ceremony, as well as sample various teas and tea snacks.
Simply watching people dressed in hanbok and making tea according to the tea ceremony etiquette will leave you feeling relaxed and calm. The tea ceremony experience will offer you an opportunity to make tea with great reverence and sincerity while adopting the right posture and to appreciate a cup of tea amid a quiet atmosphere.
The tea ceremony experience will help you enjoy a relaxing break from your hectic daily routine by brewing and appreciating tea in a slow and leisurely way.