Caribou Coffee (chain; Sinchon branch)

On at least one occasion I’ve mentioned my DC days. Well, during those DC days I visited one of the local popular chains from time to time, as it was a refreshing change from the green siren. This was Caribou Coffee, a café whose ambiance lets you feel like you are visiting a lodge in Alaska Minnesota. It wasn’t the café I would make a point to visit, like Java Shack, Common Grounds, Murky Coffee, or Tryst, but it was certainly pleasant to do so, and Caribous were centrally located in places like Farragut Square or Logan Circle. (Though now, in 2016, they are a Peet’s and a construction site, respectively).

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So one day in January 2011, I decided to visit Sinchon. I had been there during a quick visit to Korea in 2003, but since it was so far from where I was living, I still hadn’t had a chance to visit in my almost 10 months there. To my surprise I found a Caribou there, not knowing that they had a presence in Korea, or any international presence for that matter.

Caribou Coffee in Sinchon
Caribou Coffee in Sinchon, January 2011

Happy to revisit pleasant DC memories, I entered and sat down. An Alaskan A Minnesotan lodge is a nice place to visit when it’s cold outside! Well, honestly, there were only touches of the lodge aesthetic. Guess they didn’t have permission to do a dramatic interior remodel.

Caribou Coffee in Sinchon
Caribou Coffee in Sinchon interior, January 2011
Caribou Coffee in Sinchon
Caribou Coffee in Sinchon interior, January 2011

I just decided to people-watch and do stuff on my iPhone while drinking a s’more-inspired Campfire Mocha.

S'more-inspired Campfire Mocha in Caribou Coffee in Sinchon
S’more-inspired Campfire Mocha in Caribou Coffee in Sinchon, January 2011

Later that night, it snowed, so it was an appropriate visit.

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I returned to this branch of Caribou again, but not until April 2014. It looked mostly the same… the logo above the door was the same… but looking closely, the logo on the door was different!

Caribou Coffee in Sinchon, sporting a new logo on the door
Caribou Coffee in Sinchon, sporting a new logo on the door

I decided to go with the tasty Campfire Mocha again, as chocolate and marshmallows are such a good match. I accompanied it with a raisin scone… unfortunately. It was kind of dry and tasteless. Somehow I remember that after almost two years lol. But at least the Campfire Mocha made up for it.

Campfire mocha and a raisin scone at Caribou Coffee in Sinchon
Campfire mocha and a raisin scone at Caribou Coffee in Sinchon, April 2014
Campfire mocha at Caribou Coffee in Sinchon
Campfire mocha at Caribou Coffee in Sinchon, April 2014

The interior could be more Alaskan Minnesotan-like, but it was a good experience of an east-coast a Midwestern chain that had a few memories for me.

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Here’s a link to a Google Map to find Caribou Coffee, Sinchon branch.

And here’s a link to a Naver Map and a Naver Map page about Caribou Coffee.

Address:  서대문구 신촌로 119 신영스카이텔

Korean name:  카리부커피

Website:  http://www.cariboukorea.co.kr

Final verdict:  ***

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