Coffee lovers all around the world should rejoice as the Gangneung Coffee Festival will be back again this October! First held in 2009, the event celebrates the emerging coffee culture in Gangneung-si. A variety of coffee related events such as exhibitions, photo exhibitions, coffee-making and coffee-bean roasting will be available for the festival attendees.
Admission/Participation Fees: Free (tho some programs may require a fee).
When: 6-10 October 2017
Address: 131, Nanseolheon-ro, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do
How to get there: From the Gangneung intercity/express bus terminal, take bus 221 and get off at Anmok (the last stop), and walk to the festival ground (10-min walk).
The story of Tea history in Gangneung and Trace of Heo Family
Gangneung is originally a town where people enjoyed drinking tea, however transformed to a city of coffee culture. Gangneung however is the only city that keeps the cultural heritage site of tea culture that dates back to Shilla dynasty (57BC -935AD). Tea utensils used by Hwarang (social group in Shilla Dynasty) community can be found near Hanseongjeong pavilion.
The Heo family refers to Heo Yeop (father), Heo Song, Heo Bong, and Heo Gyun (sons), Heo Nanseolheon (daughter) that lived in Gangneung inthe 16th century. Known as talented in literature, the people called them as 5 Good Writers in Heo Family. Amongst them, Heo Nanseolheon and Heo Gyun were outstanding. Heo Nanseolheon produced 211 beautiful peoms before her death at the young age of 27, while Heo Gyun was a prominent politician, poet, novelist and scholar, with his most credited work, the story of Hong Gildong, which reflects his progressive thinking. The family enjoyed drinking tea, especially Heo Gyun who wrote many poems about tea.
“…The sun goes down in the small garden, I am drinking freshly brewed tea in a silver cup. Lotus flowers are on the pond, rain wet roses are in full bloom…”
In conjunction with the family’s love of tea, Heo Gyun/Heo Nanseolheon Memorial Park was built in 2007 in remembrance of them. The park consists of the birthplace of the brother and sister, a memorial hall and traditional tea experience center.
Gangneung Chodang Dubu Village
South of Gyeongpo beach, lies a village famous for its dubu (tofu). The beans are grounded for Chodang dubu, and after several steps, salt water from the East Sea is used in the congealing process. These resulted in soft and light tofu.
The name Chodang originated from Heo Yeop, a minister in Samcheok. He made tofu with Gangneung sea water and the people complimented on its plain and savory taste. The name Chodang was Heo Yeop’s pen name.
Address: 99, Chodangsundubu-gil, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do
The story of the coffee masters in Gangneung (first-generation baristas)
Park Yi Choo, started his coffee business in Seoul back in 1988 before moving his business to Gangneung in 2000 to spread self-roasting coffee. You can enjoy a cup of coffee brewed by the man himself in Bohemian Roasters in Yeongjin or Gyeongpo store.
Another cafe, Terarosa Cafe and Coffee Factory started as a factory which supplies coffee beans for cafes. The cafe offers nice brunch menus as well as coffee in a unique and refined atmosphere. The owner of the cafe, Kim Yeong Deok, dreamed of a cultural cafe where visitors can come and read books, writing or talking to others. The cafe even hosts small concerts every year.
Anmok Coffee Street is a transformed street where coffee chain stores and cafe owned by baristas emerged into coffee haven. Terrace seats facing the ocean became the main attraction, after the fragrant coffee, of course.
Address: Changhae-ro 17, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do
Coffee Cupper Museum
Various and rare coffee relics can be found here. Visitors can learn about the history and culture of coffees from around the world here. There is also a coffee farm where coffee beans are grown and produced for the first Korean coffee for commercial purposes.
Address: 2171-17, Wangsan-ro, Wangsan-myeon, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do.
Operation Hours: 0930-1900
Admission Fee: 5000 KRW for adult, 4000 KRW for 4-19 years old
Program Fee: 10000 KRW per program (Coffee roasting, Hand-dripping, Espresso Extraction, Planting activity, Chocolate activity).