Korean traditional tea party at Wilfrid Walker

By Bobae Lee, early childhood educator

Recently students at EELC Wilfred Walker had the opportunity to experience a traditional tea ceremony, known as “dado”.

Generally, a Korean traditional tea ceremony happens on the floor, but we did the tea ceremony on a table for the preschoolers as they are beginners. Korean traditional tea sets include tiny tea cups, a tea pot, a bowl, a bamboo tea scoop, bamboo tea leaves picker, a bamboo tray, and tea cloth.

Before we started the tea ceremony, the children observed the Korean tea set that I received from my mother in Korea. The Korean traditional tea set uses a different tea pot and tea cup than what is usually used in Canada. The children were fast to notice the difference.

“It is so tiny!” and “It is so cute” were their reactions to the traditional tea set, and they were excited to use it! I prepared organic green tea from Korea. The children generally use a tea bag to make tea so this was a chance to observe tea leaves. Before making the tea, the children looked at, smelled, and tasted the green tea leaves. The general consensus was that “it tastes like grass”.

In traditional Korean tea ceremonies, we pour warm water in each tea cup and tea pot for warming up. The preschoolers pretended to change the temperature of the water for tea.

As they tasted the tea, they described it in interesting ways: “It tastes like grass,” “It tastes like forest,” and “It tastes like nature.” Some kids really liked taste, the others felt it tasted strange. After drinking tea, every child picked the tea leaves with bamboo tea picker. It was great to teach them a tradition I learned when I was young.

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