I don’t know what Toki does, but I remember when I first came here in Korea quite a few years ago, the going was tough. Finding tea in Korea is not as easy as it seems, given all the teaware that they make. You do start wondering, after a while, where all the Korean tea is, because they seem few and far between, whereas you can find Korean teaware pretty easily.
For somebody who comes from Hong Kong, where caffeinated tea can be found everywhere and where the default is to wash your food down with a little infused camellia sinensis, Korea can be rough. I remember when I could get a real cup of tea in a very decent restaurant. That was in Seoul. Here in Pusan, it seems like the situation hasn’t changed that much. Mind you, this is not to say that you can’t find any tea in Korea… you can. Much of the time, however, they are teabags, and they are only offered if you look for it. Coffee is the preferred drink here, and finding a regular cup of tea that will scratch that itch when you’re addicted to the stuff is not easy.
There also seem to be those nice tea stores that dot the city, as I’ve passed by a few signs that advertise such establishments while riding a car, but until I’ve got some time to go roam the place, I’ll have to settle with darjeeling teabags. Why didn’t I bring my own tea?