Saturday, May 26, 2012

Care For Some Coffee?

I do not care much for coffee. I have a coffee jelly frappuccino maybe once a year (or once in two years, I can't really remember the last time), but that's not coffee coffee, is it? So why was I in two different coffee shops (Cafe Nescafe and Cica Cafe) in a span of three days? I haven't seen some friends (GaEun, MinJun, and SangCheol) for two years and we had a lot of catching up to do; dinner just wasn't enough. (I met them in February 2010 when they were studying English in Cebu and we all spent many a weekend gallivanting around the province. No, I didn't teach English; I met them thru a friend whose friend was their teacher. About three degrees of separation.)

GaEun, MinJun, and SangCheol. Cebu brought them together.

On a very cold spring night, with a temperature of around 6 degrees Celcius, a cup of something warm was in order. We headed off to find a cafe that wasn't crowded and provided a bit of quiet. After walking the streets in Hongdae (short for Hongik Daehakgyo or Hongik University) for half an hour and freezing our fingers and noses, we settled at Cafe Nescafe.

Photos by Bee Chavez

Cafe Nescafe offers many drink options and the pastries look so good, too, but I had to shut my eyes to those since we have just had dinner. So something warm...something warm. I go over the menu and then see the poster for cold strawberry drinks, and "something warm" flies out the window. Just couldn't resist strawberries. Strawberry frappe is it. Made from fresh strawberries. Not too sweet. Perfect.

Strawberry frappe

If I had more space in my stomach, I would have loved to try their wild blackberry frappe, green apple frappe, sweet potato latte, and those drool worthy pastries. If you happen to try any of these, let me know your drool rating.

Two nights later, another hunt for a cafe. This time for one that offers tarot reading. Apparently, getting a tarot reading is popular among Koreans. All of my friends have had theirs read but they say they do it for fun and don't really believe it.

At Cica Cafe, they bugged me to try it, and after a bit of prodding, I finally acquiesced and left it to them what aspect of my life they want read. (You can choose to know about your career, family life, relationship, etc.) No surprise, they chose love. Since the tarot reader couldn't speak English, they all took turns being my translator. It was actually a unique and interesting experience and we were all laughing afterwards...of all the things the tarot reader said, not one bit was true.
 What do the cards say about my love life, Mr Tarot Reader?

And before I forget, I had a green tea latte. I do not really like green tea tea but love green tea ice cream. So how was my drink? Remember I do not like green tea tea nor coffee much, so combine the two, you'd probably think I'd turn green after a sip. But, no, green tea latte was actually really good.

 Green tea latte

I am sorry, I didn't take note of the address of these cafes, but I am sure you'll spot Cafe Nescafe in Seoul as they have many branches scattered over the metro. Cica Cafe is another story, googling it didn't bear any fruit, all I remember was that it was in Jung-gu area. If you want a tarot reading, there are many cafes that offer this, just keep your eyes peeled. You might even find fortune telling tents on the streets.

One last question that's probably at the tip of your tongue: How will hanging around coffee shops in Seoul bust your budget? Drinks at cafes cost about 2500 to 6000 won (Php 100 to Php 240). And 5000 won (Php 200) for a tarot reading.

South Korea Series:


  1. It took me awhile to start to like SB's Green Tea Latte. Maybe because I keep on imagining that I'm sipping flavored phlegm. I somehow managed to get pass the drink's gooey texture, and then focus on the flavor instead.

    Off topic: Should I try Couchsurfing na Khon?

    1. Flavored phlegm! You have one wild imagination! Re CS: it's up to you. If you like meeting new people, then go for it :-)