Ethiopia (aka pattern Ethiopia) (Hongdae)

So here’s a place I wanted to visit more and should have visited more. It’s in the artsy, eclectic, popular nighttime area of Hongdae, the neighborhood around Hongik University. But in those early days of living in Yongin, especially before the opening of the Sinbundang Line, Hongdae was so darn far, as I mentioned in my Café Haru post. So my visits there were very few and far between, until a few years later. But as a good Traveler and explorer that I claim to be, I did go there from time to time. And so I went to a place called Ethiopia, one time, and then another.

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My first sighting of Ethiopia café was in March 2011, on a chilly evening. It looked cozy, and I noted it (in other words took a picture of it) as a place I should visit in the future.

Ethiopia café
Ethiopia café, March 2011

But I didn’t get to go until December of that year. I met up with a friend on a Wednesday evening, and we had dinner at the now defunct Ding Dong Traveler’s Café. Ethiopia was just a few blocks away so it seemed like a good place to visit to keep chatting. The entrance looked almost the same as in March, but here’s another picture of it for posterity. ^^

Ethiopia café in Hongdae
Ethiopia café, December 2011

Chalk menus are always a nice personal touch. And it was really nice to see it in two languages too! That’s a lot of work! I’ll forgive the English misspellings. 😉

Ethiopia café menu
Ethiopia café menu, December 2011

My friend had… what seems to be a cappuccino, while I had an affogato as I had already had coffee before meeting up with her.

Friend's drink and my affogato at Ethiopia café
My friend’s drink, presumably a cappuccino, and my affogato at Ethiopia café, December 2011

But what’s that beside the presumed cappuccino? Something yellowish or tan colored? It wouldn’t be honey. Well, I just asked a barista at the café I’m currently at, 100yr Coffee * (near Hongdae!), and she presumed it’s sugar. Brown sugar… I guess that makes sense. Ah, my iPhone 4 had an awesome camera for its time, but I think its color balance and fidelity was quite a bit off in dim lighting.

Anyway, I didn’t think to ask my friend about her drink, and if I did, I certainly don’t remember after five years lol. And as for my affogato, well, it’s hard to go wrong with that, right? Ice cream plus espresso, simple but delicious, and the sliced almonds were a nice addition.

The café was cozy and well decorated, and as I had no complaints, I kept it on my list of places to return to in the future.

*nice place, but my mocha was made with Hershey’s chocolate syrup. it didn’t taste bad, but it’s a cheap way to go.

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The future, in this case, was a year and six days later, in December 2012. I wasn’t working in Korea at this time; I was in between jobs and just there for a visit. I had agreed to meet up with my 형’s cousin, an aspiring barista, and talk with him about English coffee terminology a little bit. We decided to meet in Hongdae, and I suggested Ethiopia. He KakaoTalked back to me, pattern? And I was like, what? It turns out that sometime in the intervening 372 days (as 2012 was a leap year), Ethiopia had been renamed “pattern Ethiopia”. So after a little bit of initial confusion, we finally figured it out and met. If I remember correctly, it was a cold day, but the café was really hot. But I still decided to go for something other than a mocha, despite it being my first coffee there. I had drip coffee!

Ethiopia drip-coffee at Ethiopia, now renamed pattern Ethiopia
Ethiopia drip-coffee at Ethiopia, now renamed pattern Ethiopia, December 2012

Specifically Ethiopia drip coffee. Was it Yirgacheffe? Sadly, I don’t remember and didn’t take note of it anywhere. Did I like it? Um, sadly, I didn’t take note of that either. For this trip to Korea, I wasn’t keeping a regular journal as I was when I was living there. But, I can say it wasn’t bad, I’m pretty sure I would remember that. Let’s just call it average or better than average drip coffee, okay?

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Well, since then, I haven’t been back to Ethiopia / pattern Ethiopia. Even though I went to Hongdae much more often in 2013, this café was still a little out of the way, and I went to so many other places. Now in 2016, I live far from Hongdae again. But, I’ll give it another chance if I have the opportunity. If it’s still there…

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Here’s a link to a Google Map to find pattern Ethiopia.

And here’s a link to a Naver Map and a Naver Map page about pattern Ethiopia.

Address:  서울특별시 마포구 와우산로 160

Korean name:  패턴 에티오피아

Final verdict:  ***

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