For the longest time I refrained from entering a coffee shop: I had this prejudgement that cafés were only for stylist, classy individuals who were perhaps wealthy due to having some form of a link with business – even to this day some cafés project this vibe. With such expectations is mind I believed I would ‘be the odd on out’ especially if I would go to one without company. It wasn’t until a few years ago that my inquisitiveness regarding Starbucks got the better of me. I needed to see what all the hype was about for myself.
Ever since discovering that coffee isn’t absolutely disgusting at least not when mild in bitterness and iced, I have been infatuated with cafés – particularly dessert cafés. As stated on numerous occasions in South Korea the coffee culture thrives on a large scale, maybe even more so than in London and New york; which is hard to believe when most busy men and women in the cities are rarely seen without grasping a coffee cup or flask. Not only has Korea been highly influenced by America – and not just in terms of the food/drink industry – I think coffee, for example, has evolved into the lives of many Koreans as cafés bring the suitable study/social life balance in which they seek.
Where I used to live in South East London both independent and franchise cafés lacked the provision of study corners; thus only creating areas for relaxation as well as general practicality. I believe if Western cafe’s adopted said implements which are provided in Korean coffee shops, anyone who needs to study (not solely teenagers and university students) would feel more inclined to willingly study without getting distracted or bored by only working from home or within education environments; furthermore taking advantage of such strategies could encourage more people to read for pleasure.
As much as I adore to sit in a cafés with my partner, sipping a iced Caramel Latte over random conversation; I have come to enjoy my own company in coffee shops. Mid afternoon on weekdays is the best time to head to a coffee shop in Incheon or Seoul: children are still in school, the majority of people are at work which leaves plenty of seating choices and usually a tranquil atmosphere.
Currently my favourite coffee shop is Cafee Bene and Angel-in-us; aside from appreciating their menus, the interiors of their stores usually take on a rustic style with light coloured wooden furniture and accessories.
TIP: The best seating arrangements are near a window or tucked away in a corner/by a partition wall.
Question of the day: Which is your favourite dessert café or coffee shop?