You might remember from my Starbucks posting that I started drinking coffee while in college. It’s an age where one can start to safely drink coffee without any developmental effects, and it happens to be an age where one desperately needs to stay awake a lot! Korean cafés, of course, know these facts. So, therefore, one can easily find an over-abundance of cafés near university entrances, or in university neighborhoods. I’m not sure how it was before the Korean coffee boom, but it’s especially pronounced now! Today’s review, my first of a café near a university, is of a typical university neighborhood café, Swingby.
On a busy Friday in early September 2010, I went to the busy commercial area just outside Dangook University in Jukjeon-dong (apart from, by near, the Jukjeon café street). At the time, I still enjoyed going to Caffé Bene, so I went there first for coffee and to catch up on e-mail (sometimes it seems like a never-ending process, sigh…). 😉 After a few hours, I still wanted to hang out around there, so I looked around. Just across the street was Swingby, and it caught my eye with its deck, bright colors, and wink logo.
Here’s another café on the busy and popular Jukjeon café street, but one that I didn’t go to very often: TakeSide. Actually, I only went there once! It wasn’t bad per se. As I wrote in my journal, it “was comfortable and delicious but pricey.” Short and succinct. You see, there are some cafés that think they are in Sinsa-dong (a trendy district in Seoul) and charge almost double the standard price for a drink than the average. Takeside wasn’t as bad, but at ₩6,000 ($5.23 on the day I went, $5.40 today) for a mocha, that’s still about 50% more than the usual price. So even if I like the coffee or drink, and even if the place is nice, I will ding points off of a café unless there is a really good reason to charge such a premium. So, sorry TakeSide, I enjoyed my visit, but didn’t go again.
Before the conclusion, here’s the delicious café mocha macchiato that I drank: