In early April 2011, I was still exploring my new neighborhood of Jukjeon, and learning about all of its ins and outs and side streets. Along one of these side streets, I found a rare rough and underdeveloped area of Jukjeon, which is typically known to be well off and fully developed. Near the small rough area, there was a café and an ice cream shop. But I was on my way to get dinner, so I decided to go there another time.
But! That other time conveniently happened to be the next day. After dinner at home, I figured why not try this new place now rather than later. So I walked there, and arrived when it was already dark, but a bright cube light and the promise of double espresso beckoned me in. I had found Coffee Florian.
[As a side note, as I’ve been writing this, the students at my school are practicing for Sports Day tomorrow. As it’s a beautiful day, I came outside to sit in the shade and enjoy the breeze, the break, and the students happily practicing. But one, and then another, and then a few more saw me and sat down with me to see what I was doing, ask me about my new laptop (an HP Spectre x360 15, for the record), see pictures of Jukjeon, see pictures of Seattle, hear stories, ask me to read Korean… etc. lol. I’m happy to comply, and I’m happy for their company, but it just made for a very sloppy writing session and post.]
Now, the many coffee historians among you might immediately have a flag raised in their head saying “wait! Florian is in Venice, not in Jukjeon!!!” Ah, yes, good catch, but notice the semantics of names. The historic café in Venice is “Caffè Florian“, with a backwards accented e. This one in Jukjeon is simply “Coffee Florian”, or otherwise 커피플로리안. Basically, an homage to the original. But without the history, the design, the gourmet, and the lifestyle, as the Venetian café’s website suggests. But that’s okay!
Actually, the café had a lot of nice design touches for its small size. From decorations hanging on the wall, to globe style lights hanging from the ceiling, to crisp and pretty chalk art on the menu.
I of course ordered a mocha, and later on I noted in my journal that it was a “really good mocha.” Not only that, the mocha came with cute complimentary cookies.
So, good coffee at a decent price in an attractive location near my house. What a great find, right? Well… after spending over an hour and a half there, there was something that was bothering me, which I remember to this day. The music. They kept repeating the music over and over again. By now, I can’t remember exactly, but I think it was a 30 minute loop of songs. Even if they’re good songs (totally subjective, of course), that’s still a little strange. If I recall, I wasn’t too thrilled with the songs, especially hearing them three times in a night. By 2011, it was so easy to have a large collection of songs, hundreds of hours of songs. Why they would keep playing the same five or whatever songs was mystifying. So I actually commented to the owner or barista, in my limited Korean, that the café was great, but the music needed more variety. And that I hoped to come back sometime to see if things had improved.
But, unfortunately, I still haven’t made it back there. I only lived in Jukjeon for about another year, and during that time, either the Jukjeon café street, or Seoul, or something else beckoned. I can only assume that they’ve improved their musical selection since then. 😉 ^^
Whenever I return to Jukjeon or its surrounding neighborhoods, I end up re-visiting some of my old haunts. Maybe one of these days I’ll give Coffee Florian another chance. If you happen to visit the area, and want a cute, quiet, out-of-the-way place with good coffee, I suggest you give it a chance too.
Here’s a link to a Google Map to find Coffee Florian.
Address: 경기 용인시 수지구 푸른솔로 92
Korean name: 커피플로리안
Final verdict: ***