Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Coffee in Korea

For those of you who were --like me-- not expecting to find a great coffee culture in Korea, here is proof that this is not true: Korea is a great place for plenty of tiny and cute, large and professional, colorful and simple coffee shops. Since I am a chronic coffee-addict I have sought out the nicest coffee places around the SKKU campus by Hyehwa Metro station. Here are some impressions:

Coffee Shop °1: The best coffee you can probably get around campus:

Across from the Main Gate you can find a small Lotte Market. Not far down the street you have to take a left into a small side road. You will see a sign for "Inside Hostel." The coffee shop is right next door.

My favorite is always the Café Latte. They have a lot of different kinds of coffee beans from various regions, which they roast themselves. But also their other drinks and food are really good!

Try the Matcha Green Tea Latte! 

Also you will find some Western food, sandwiches, salads, french toast etc. 

  • The coffee is simply the best
  • They have an English menu and the staff also speaks a little bit of English
  • The athmosphere in this place is great! Often they play jazz music and I like their simple décor.

  • This Café is probably the most expensive one I've been to around Hyehwa. The Latte costs about 5,500 KRW and the salads and sandwiches are about 10,000 KRW.
  • The Café doesn't allow you to share the Brunch (for ex. French Toast).
Coffee Shop °2: Maybe not the best, but certainly the best for the price:

This Café is right by the side gate in the street that goes to I-House. You won't miss it, it has a name written in Russian (unfortunately I still couldn't find out why).

I love the Café Latte. The cute Korean guy always fills up the huge cup, so you get a lot for the price. Also the Americano is great!

  • Cheaper than most other places
  • Better Coffee than in the Cafés on Campus (and a bigger cup!)
  • Really nice owner who doesn't speak much English, but who still attempts a little small talk. Super friendly!
  • I always get the coffee to go because the interior of the Café isn't very inviting. Its dark inside and the chairs look uncomfortable.

Coffee Shop °3: Sunny days need to be spent outside!

You won't miss this place if you walk from the side gate (or I-House) down towards Hyewha station--but don't take the bigger street, instead walk the faster side street. It's also the side street where you will find the Mexican place (Dos Tacos) which you will probably check out within your first week (its so popular among exchange students.)

  • I like this place to study when the weather is nice and I don't want to stay indoors. They have a little terrace. It's the only place that seems really nice to sit outside and enjoy the sun.
  • The coffee (Latte, Vanilla Latte etc.) is really good!
  • The drinks are a little more pricy.
  • The staff isn't all too friendly.
  • You always have to ask them for a real cup, if not they'll give you one of these cups to go out of paper (hate that!). 
Coffee Shop °4: Coffee has to go with…. SWEETS! 

 This place is in the same side street as the previous one, but if you walk the street down (towards Hyewha, away from campus) you need to take one of the side streets on your right. I can't say exactly which one, but you should see a sign that says: "Everyday Cupcake." Actually these side streets are full of little Cafés, so just keep your eyes open. If you don't find this one, i'm sure you will still find at least 2 other ones.



  • This place has a huge selection of cupcakes, but also other amazing deserts and slushes. Just delicious!
  • I was a little disappointed by the cupcakes themselves, try their other desserts instead, in my opinion they are better.
  • Some of their drinks are simply TOO sweet!

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