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Cafe

95. – 99. Mango Six, Cofy Plz, I *Heart* Coffee, Coffeemama, Dal.Komm Coffee

95. Mangosix Coffee & Dessert (Gimhae)

95. Mango Six Coffee & Dessert (Gimhae) I first saw this somewhere in Gwangan, Busan, about two years ago. They had a self-serve froyo station, akin to those that were exploding all over the U.S. a few years ago. I wonder if that’s still a thing over there.


88. – 94. Fall In Coffee, Yoger Presso, ToPresso, Cafe Droptop, Coffine Gurunaru, Alice2046, good & goods

I have heard stories, anecdotal mostly, how even the scent of coffee can cause one great need to have a poo. Does this happen to you? Because, I also read recently that one of the sneaky causes of constipation can be drinking too much coffee.

Here are some coffee shops in Korea that have English that may raise an eyebrow or two, causing several heads to be scratched in the process.


Our Commune: Putting the Community Back in Gyeongnidan

The neighborhood of Gyeongnidan, which is nestled not far from the bustling main strip of Itaewon, was once a peaceful residential neighborhood inhabited mostly by international expats and elderly Koreans. Over the past few years, however, it has been popularized by food bloggers and television programs, transforming into an overcrowded commercialized district of lifeless cafes and restaurants established with priorities placed on the wallets of their proprietors rather than serving a community.

 
While the gentrification of Gyeongnidan does have its upsides, any traces of the neighborhood it once was have seemingly all but vanished. Long term residents of the area are disheartened by this, longing for a relaxing space they can come together, without having to wait in preposterously long lines. While such a place might only seem like the stuff of dreams these days, the newly opened Our Commune, located on the main road just next to the GS25 (previously 7-11), is the answer to residents’ hopes.


87. Lemon Tree Cafe (Random Weekly Review)

As a red-blooded American, I have occasionally been guilty of thinking the world revolves around the U.S.A. Go ahead, call me an Imperialist Asshole. I try to remind myself it’s not whenever this happens. But, in Korea, with American-style English being crammed in the brain of every child, a McDonald’s on every corner, and usually a Starbucks right next to it, it’s not always easy.

The popular music scene, however, is often a great way to remember. K-Pop dominates. Occasionally, too, a song from elsewhere in the world catches ROK ears, a song that barely registers, if at all, in the United States.

In the mid-1990s, that song was “Lemon Tree.”


83. – 86. Aco Coffee, Caffe Tiamo, Caffe Primo, Coffee of Dream

Do you know what I drank this morning? Coffee. And then, I had coffee.

83. Aco-Coffee (Gimhae). Can anyone tell me what the

83. Aco-Coffee (Gimhae). Can anyone tell me what the “aco” in Aco-Coffee is supposed to mean?


77. – 82. Cafe Icebean, Essentia, Pasta Farm, Eat, Coffee & Mobile, Take Out Coffee

Here are some more “not just coffee” entries. Whether it’s a bakery, dessert cafe, or even an eyeglass shop (or, an excellent flower shop), it seems everyone thinks they need to have coffee in the mix if they want to survive. That includes…


76. Mint Bloom Flower Cafe (Random Weekly Review)

In the highly, highly saturated Korea coffee shop game, it’s important to have a good product and an interesting concept–unfortunately, brand recognition doesn’t hurt, either–if you want to have any chance of lasting more than six months. There’s just so much.

Fortunately Mint Bloom Flower Cafe (Samgye-dong, Gimhae, 055-339-4919) has at least two of those essentials.

Located in Samgye-dong, Gimhae, the first thing I noticed when walking into this spacious cafe was the scent.

Fresh flowers.


73. – 75. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, T&T’s Party Coffee & Cocktail, Cafe Adam’s

One friend commented on my mission to log “All the Coffee in Korea” as trying to count every grain of sand on the beach. Actually, he said this would be harder.


69. – 72. Hollys Coffee, Caffe One+One, A Twosome Place, 261 Street

All the Coffee in Korea (An Evolving List)

Would you like a little T'aegukki with your coffee?

Would you like a little T’aegukki with your coffee?

How much is “All the Coffee in Korea” anyway? That answer, to anyone who has walked this country’s occasionally wide, but often narrow streets, is about as obvious as a large, hairy, broad-shouldered waygookin is in a sea of small, curious hangookin children.

A lot (just in case the comment above didn’t make a lot of sense).


65. – 68. Dongnae Coffee Shop, Manna Dream, Funny Salon, Happy Coffee (Gimhae)

65. Dongnae Coffee Shop. This place, in the Yeonji Park lightrail station section of Gimhae, is so small and innocuous I didn't even notice it at first. But, they made me a decent cup of 2-shot Americano for a reasonable price.

65. Dongnae Coffee Shop. This place, in the Yeonji Park lightrail station section of Gimhae, is so small and innocuous I didn’t even notice it at first. But, they made me a decent cup of 2-shot Americano for a reasonable price.


60. – 64. Paris Baguette, Tous les Jours, T-World Cafe, Davich Cafe & Caffe, Issac Toast & Coffee (Gimhae)

These are the “not just coffee” entries that, nonetheless, must be mentioned. Why? Well, because they sell coffee, dagnabbit.

I have established some (arbitrary) rules for when a business gets on the list. There is no need to artificially inflate the numbers. As a commenter noted in a recent post: “I have never seen so many coffee shops in my life.”


56. – 59. Cafe Beato, Mins Coffee, Capia, JaJeonGo Poong Gyong (Gimhae)

In Korea, one will often find the same kind of commerce specialties side-by-side-by-side. As if the logic goes that if one business is popular, others selling similar product should set up shop in the same location. This applies to cell phone shops (ad nauseum, it should be noted), restaurants and, absolutely, coffee shops.

Here are four located very, very close to one of the schools I teach at during the week. At least I’ll never be without caffeine on Wednesdays!


55. Cafe Ever (Random Weekly Review)

Am I the only person who thinks this cafe’s logo looks like the place would be a ski lodge in a 1980s movie about the K12?

Cafe Ever, a tribute to skiing the K12.

Cafe Ever. Go that way really fast. If an Americano gets in your way, ask for milk (and possibly get confused looks from the baristas).


51. – 54. Irang, The Venti, Caffe e Cibo, Crema (Busan)

51. IRANG Coffee and Brunch, Gwangan, Busan.

51. IRANG Coffee and Brunch, Gwangan, Busan.

52. The Venti, Jangsan, Busan.

52. The Venti, Jangsan, Busan.


47. – 50. Makimaki Roasters, Grangba, Chung Choon Cafe, Blue Windmill (Gimhae)

47. Makimaki Roasters. This is part of a group of I am assuming independent coffee shops, which include one called Another Coffee Company. I hope that name was given tongue-in-cheek.
47. Makimaki Roasters. My friend, Danielle, loves this place. This is part of a group of I am assuming independent coffee shops, which include one called Another Coffee Company.

43. – 46. BC800, Caffe D’ate, Monorail Coffee, Dahlia Dolci (Gimhae)

What does the BC in BC800 stand for? Before Christ? Before Coffee? 800 years before coffee? I'm so confused. This chain's location was photographed in Samgye, Gimhae.
What does the BC in BC800 stand for? Before Christ? Before Coffee? 800 years before coffee? I’m so confused.

39. – 42. Na-Neun Coffee, Cafe Corea, Best Beans, Cafe Cantata (Busan)

Na-neun Coffee. Or, in English,
Na-neun Coffee. Or, in English, “I am coffee.” Located on the way to Gwanganli Beach, this independent coffee shop has a warm interior, coffee academy classes and a lot of bean varieties.

35. – 38. Green Bean, Cafe Byul, Nidor Coffee, Coffee # (Gimhae)

Green Bean. Green exterior. Appropriate.
Green Bean. Green exterior. Appropriate.
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30. – 34. NY Hotdog & Coffee, Waffle & Caffe, Cupcake & Coffee, Cafe DOU, Ruban Coffeebible (Busan, Gimhae)

Sometimes, coffee is just not enough.

Some prospective business owners recognize this and decide to add something else to the mix, in hopes of attracting a wider audience, whether that’s hot dogs, cupcakes, or the Lord above.


25. – 29. Caffe Pascucci, Hands Coffee, Coffeesmith, Cafe Nada, Babeans (Gwangan, Busan)

Once upon a time, expat revelry (not to be confused with L’revelry) revolved mostly around Haeundae Beach and the famously-wealthy district surrounding it. Today, it remains a popular destination for foreigners, offering many varieties of food and drink, both Korean and western-owned-and-designed (as well as a dizzying multitude of coffee shops. Soon, soon). Not to mention Burger King.


24. L’Revelry (Random Weekly Review)

There are real people behind the many, many, many coffee shops that line the streets of South Korea.

Recently, I noticed the closure of a cafe owned by a friend and former associate of Wart’s here in Gimhae. I had planned to get a photo of it and even do one of these “RWR’s” for it because of its personal connection, as well as its Konglish-y name, (which I won’t mention here. Why kick the coffee cup when it’s empty?). Now, in place of yet another coffee shop, will be yet another barbecue restaurant (it seems). Hopefully, Wart’s friend did not lose a lot of money from the business venture. But, I have to imagine at least something was lost.

I thought about this when I popped into L’Revelry after work today.


20. – 23. Cafe Sweet Coax, Cafe Tirol, The Caffe, Yellow Coffee (Gimhae)

Here are a few of the coffee shops I can walk to. Some, like Cafe Sweet Coax, are close enough that I could walk to all the time if I was in love with their coffee. Others, like Yellow Coffee, may be a bit too far for a last second decision, but are still close enough if I cannot resist having a little color with my caffeine.


16. – 19. Caffe Bene, Caffe Yam, Cafe Aslan, Nudge 5 (Jangsan, Busan)

This weekend I took a trip out to see my lovely and talented girlfriend, Wart, in Jangsan. Located at the very last stop on Line 2 of the Busan subway, in chi-chi Haeundae, there are plenty of places one can whet their whistles with a cuppa or three, including…


12. – 15. Angel-in-us, Tom N Toms, Ediya, Dunkin’ Donuts (Gimhae)

Here are four of the most visible coffee shop chains you will find in South Korea. All of these locations were photographed in Gimhae.


7. – 11. Cafe Do, Cafe Friends, Imperial Coffee, Coffee Tree, Let it be (Gimhae)

These were the coffee shops that surrounded my first apartment in Gimhae I lived in for two months at the beginning of 2014. I took a ride back to that area Friday morning to see what remained and what had gone to the caffeinated clouds in the sky.


7. – 11. Cafe Do, Cafe Friends, Imperial Coffee, Coffee Tree, Let it be

These were the coffee shops that surrounded my first apartment in Gimhae I lived in for two months at the beginning of 2014. I took a ride back to that area Friday morning to see what remained and what had gone to the caffeinated clouds in the sky.


4. – 6. Gentle Coffee, Starbucks Coffee, Black Keys

At first, I hoped this was a play on a type of coffee that has low acidity, like the Aeropress. Sadly, it does not appear to be (it's also not very good).
At first, I hoped this was a play on a type of coffee that has low acidity, like the Aeropress.

3. Audrey Hepburn Cafe (Random Review Weekly)

This one is right across the street from my apartment.
This one is right across the street from my apartment.

The Audrey Hepburn Estate knows about this … right?

Recently opened across the street from my humble apartment building in Gimhae is Audrey Hepburn Cafe, which, if paired with a few songs at a Kenny Rogers Noraebang, could make for a wonderful night of possible copyright infringement.


2. Bergamo, Gimhae, Gyeongsangnamdo

As far as I know, this is an independent coffee shop. But, it seems most businesses in Korea are chains.
As far as I know, this is an independent coffee shop. But, it seems most businesses in Korea are chains.

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