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One of the many fascinating things that you will notice about Koreans is their love for coffee. Streets are literally lined up with various kinds of cafes and it’s normal seeing many people carrying a cup of coffee anytime of the day. Before coming to Korea, I wasn’t really a coffee lover. But now, I find myself consuming coffee more often and going to as many interesting cafes as I can.
I searched a bit about the history of coffee and coffee shops in Korea and here’s what I learned. The cafe culture in Korea began in 1896 when Emperor Gojong first tasted coffee given by Antoinette Sontag, the sister-in-law of the Russian ambassador then. A few years later, the first “dabang” (다방) / cafe opened in the 1920s. In the 1970s, coffee shops became more popular among Korean college students. There, they drank coffee with friends and listened to music to relieve stress.
Since then, the number of cafes have obviously increased, and now you can see cafes on every street corner. Did you know that as of this year, there are already about 1,500 Starbucks branches in Korea? That’s quite a lot! There are also many Korean chain cafes around like Angel-in-us Coffee, A Twosome Place, Ediya Coffee, Paik’s Coffee, Hollys Coffee.
Korea is also famous for its fun and unique theme cafes. There are animal cafes, board game cafes, flower cafes, art cafes, book cafes, study cafes... The list goes on and it seems that there is a Korean cafe to cater to everyone's likes or hobbies!
Let me tell you about some of the interesting cafes I’ve been to:
1. Greem Cafe (IG: greem_cafe) – This cafe will make you feel like you’re inside a cartoon! It’s really fun to head out here with your friends.
2. C.Through (IG: c.through) – They serve your coffee with very cute drawings. My order looked to pretty that I didn’t want to drink it!
3. Cafe Onion (IG: cafe.onion) – The one I went to was their branch near Anguk Station. This is a must-see cafe if you want to experience traditional Korean hanok. Their coffee and bread are great too!
Indeed, cafes have become more than just places where you drink coffee. This is where you can relax, study, read books, talk to friends, learn new hobbies, and experience new things. If you know a cafe worth the visit, let’s go together!
Until next time!
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