Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Koreans love coffee. Or at least love coffee places. I probably spend about a third of my budget on coffee.
Coffee at Le brunchie in Seoul during mom's trip here

There are lots of places to get coffee or tea here. Seriously, I can throw a rock from just about anywhere and hit a coffee place. That's saying a lot because I can't throw a rock that far. There are 2 fairly large places just past the grocery store near my house. One is called "Angel in Us" but Korean's pronounce it "Angelina's" and if you say it the way it's spelled they have no idea what you're talking about.

The other is Tom n Toms. Here's their sleeve. 
Refresh your body and soul
The side of the sleeve says "Please enjoy the fresh coffee in the world. It is your privilege from TOMNTOMS COFFEE. Don't forget to try our natural syrup if you still want flavored coffee." Tom n Toms has a really nice inside area and a patio. They also have liquid sugar (the natural syrup) as well as sugar packets. The syrup is actually a good idea for coffee because it mixes in well. The best thing about Toms is the bathroom. As I have posted here before, lots of Korean restaurants have squat toilets. Many bathrooms also have freezing cold water, a bar of soap (sometimes mounted on a stick) and a kitchen towel. So lots of times it's probably more sanitary to not wash your hands. No wonder why I have constant colds. Toms not only has foam soap, hot water and paper towels (along with complementary mouth wash), they also have heated toilet seats. This freaked me out the first time I went because ew, why was the seat hot? But when many bathrooms have open windows and aren't heated (even when it's snowing outside), the heated seat makes you happy. It's the little things. They also give you a free cookie if you get a coffee during weekdays in the afternoon. They also provide blankets for people who want to sit on their patio in winter (it's also the smoking section).

There is another big chain around, but not within walking distace of me. It's called Holly's coffee. Too bad it doesn't also sell ice cream and underwear (or nachos). (And yes, I realize about 4 people understand that last sentence.)
Holly's has pretty good sandwiches and a soup bread bowl, so I go there for lunch with people. They also have a mint hot chocolate with neon green piping over the top, which is fun and scary at the same time. There are half a dozen Holly's in Jinju. This place also saved me lots of time when buying Christmas presents for my sister. She got a mug, a hand grip and a dozen cardboard rings. You're welcome.
And there are a million in Seoul where I took this picture. This one was 3 stories and had an elevator.
The next big chain is Cafe Bene. I only know of 2 in Jinju, although a third is in the works. I have only been to one once and that was because I was waiting for someone and they got delayed and it was cold outside. 

This coffee was not from Cafe Bene. Neither was the photo bomb.
Waining Coffee is another chain. There are 2 huge ones here. The best thing they have is a chai latte. This (and a tiny tea house) is the only place I get chais. I also have a stamp card here and in 3 more, I get a free "couples drink". Cindy also swears by the blueberry yogurt smoothie. They also provide complementary toothbrushes (wrapped) and toothpaste along with their mouthwash. By the way, the mouthwash is in what looks like a soap dispenser with tiny cups next to it. Liezle thought it was a soap dispenser and broke one at a bar, but luckily I fixed it.
Sleeve from Wain-ing
One thing that's nice about the chain coffee places is that they usually don't mind you sitting there for hours. This has literally happened. I sometimes go to a coffee shop to grade papers and I have met up with people to chat. Most of them have really comfortable chairs and wi-fi. A lot of them also have computers set up for you to use while you wait or while you're drinking your coffee. I approve of this.
I also approve of dressing small children as wild animals. This picture was taken at a coffee shop, so it's allowed in this post.
My book club meets at another chain (although I think Jinju only has 1) called Sleepless in Seattle. It has super cute chairs (velvet covered and weird shaped) and they also do coffee art sometimes. They put your flavor syrup (vanilla latte) in a little pour jar so you can add what you want.
Still don't why it's turned!! Smiley face latte. If you look to the right (or bottom) you can see the flavor syrup.
I also have been to Parnell Road (small owned), Cafe tiamo (chain but 1 in the Ju), Gallery (small, cute), Coffee Flower (really cute with a garden out front - place of the infamous banana latte), Tutto (run by a really cute lady who gives us cookies or Korean treats and makes really good coffee but is randomly closed,  and probably 6-10 other places that I can't even think of right now. At that's all in Jinju, which is considered a fairly small town. How Koreans aren't wired all the time blows my mind.
Chocolate latte (aka hot chocolate) at Parnell Rd.
That's also not to mention Tous les Jours and Paris Baguette, 2 chains that cover Korea but aren't really known for coffee - they also do bread, baked goods, cakes and sandwiches. I had a chicken Cesar salad there for lunch today. Paris' cups all have eyes on them and they change up the sleeve with seasonal decorations. 
Santa coffee

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