Wow! Today (July 3 Seattle time) happens to be the 5th anniversary of this blog, which I started on a rainy day in Caffè Fiorè in Seattle. Since then, I do feel like I’ve found my blogging voice, but I regret not using it to post reviews as often as I’d like. They are few and far between, and tend to come in spurts when I find some time. But the project continues…
Meanwhile, I checked out my statistics, and was particularly curious about my all-time country view list. No surprise, South Korea and the USA top the list. But a big shout-out to all the people who have checked my blog from Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, and even Mexico, and all the countries that follow after that. I really appreciate it! And I’ll try to continue to be a source of review of cafés in and around Seoul, be they big, small, open, or closed. Thanks for reading, and enjoy your summer with a refreshing iced coffee. (Or if you’re in the south, it’s mocha time ^^). Until next time!
About a week after trying Coffee Florian, I was exploring my neighborhood once again. Nestled at the northwestern edge of Beobhwasan (법화산), which to my surprise unexpectedly has a huge Korean Wikipedia entry about it, is the fairly new campus of Dangook University. I’d been to the Dangook University area a few times to eat with friends, but now I was there to explore, and eventually find coffee.
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.
Here’s an interesting graphic from The Korea Herald about how much coffee an average Korean drinks in a year. The interesting, thing, however, is not the amount. Look at what a small chunk of that cup brewed coffee, i.e. coffee made by a barista in a café, takes up! It’s only about 1/7 of the total coffee. Imagine if Koreans replaced their coffee mixes with more trips to the neighborhood café… Cafés would have to multiply even more. My school went from having 0 cafés nearby last year to 4 as I write in May 2017 [May 9 update: make that 5! another one just opened a few days ago]… this could easily go up to 10. We’ll see what happens…
While my regular posts are still about cafés I visited a few years ago, I certainly went to many new and amazing cafés in 2016. So here, while not a regular post or review, is a little gift of eye candy at least.
A few cafés are well kept secrets. Others are secretive just because they are far away from view, deep in a neighborhood or deep in the mountains. Today’s café, With Coffee House, is one of the latter.
Happy Friday to everyone. Are you thirsty? Do you feel like taking a little trip to one of the international centers of coffee? Italy is just a plane ride away, after all…
But it’s not that simple, is it? However, there are other options for experiencing other parts of the world. And if you want some Italian coffee, an Italian coffee chain has made its way to Korea and other parts of the world. It’s called Caffé Pascucci.
Now here’s a place a little closer to home. My friendly neighborhood café, to be precise! (after 2010’s Liesgen Haus and before 2013’s Risio Coffee). In our fluid back-and-forth chronology, were are now in early 2011, when I moved to Jukjeon-dong. As I mentioned that I was happy about, the Jukjeon café street was about a 20 minute walk away. But even closer to home, which was a block away from the border with Seongnam / Bundang, there was a small selection of cafés too. Much as I loved the café street, sometimes I wanted something quickly, or a change of scenery. Fortunately, the coffee gods complied, and provided me with a pleasant place to go to in a pinch. Let me introduce to you the tiny but charming Cafe Nell.
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.
The story of the Jukjeon café street started with rumors. I had returned from GEPIK (Gyeonggi English Program in Korea) orientation in the middle of April 2010 with a few hundred other foreign teachers, and about a dozen or more of us were left in Jukjeon station, as that was a central transit point for all of us. We were all wondering what to do… whether to hang out for a while or just go home after a busy few days. One guy had a great idea. He had heard about or past by a tiny neighborhood with many cafés not very far from the station, somewhere to the south. It was a really nice place, and everybody would like it! But somehow, the group didn’t agree, and we all went our separate ways. But I remembered that rumor, and soon it would become a pleasant and repeating reality.