With more than 100,000 coffees and a weekly consumption of 12.3 coffees per capita, South Korea has become one of the fastest growing countries in this market. Indeed, Koreans now drink more coffee than they eat kimchi!
During the 2000s, a number of major coffee chains opened their doors and made a splash with South Koreans, so you will not be surprised to find some on every street corner, wherever you are. The Coffee Bean, Holly's, Tom N Toms and the ubiquitous Starbucks, which is also called "Bakwi Bene", nickname referring to Bakwi Boelle (바퀴벌레), the Korean term for cockroach, are part of the chains that you can find there.
For some time, however, interest has shifted to a richer coffee experience and independent coffee shops have grown in popularity. Seoul alone is home to a multitude of places with unique decor, great atmosphere and wide selection of high-quality coffee. Anthracite Coffee Roasters, Coffee Free and Fritz Coffee Company are just some of the best addresses of the capital.
With the fast pace of life of this city that never sleeps, it goes without saying that coffee is an integral part of the culture: it helps support the busy schedules, offers a certain rest and allows to enjoy a beverage very rich in flavour.
During my stay in the South Korean capital, I got to know each neighborhood better by the coffee I was visiting. Nevertheless, it would have taken me forever to try them all! I have found there a real comfort and inspiring places where the Seoulite life was taking a slightly different turn and where the residents were gathering all together.
In short, South Korea is one of the most interesting coffee culture that I have found: synonymous of pleasure, coffee is not just an energy drink, it is a way of life.