Unique Café Culture in Korea

Lee Sooyeon

p.c: Wkorea

There are many countries that are famous for coffee cultures – Italy, Brazil, and Ethiopia to name but a few. These countries are well-renowned world-wide not only for their coffee, but also for the culture surrounding it. Who doesn’t have fantasies of sitting under the Italian morning sun and enjoying the atmosphere of a bustling street corner? The thing is that many countries are overlooked in the process. There are many countries and cultures around the world that have formed around coffee and these famous countries account for only a few of them. As with everything, there are also some overshadowed experiences that are barely ever discussed, despite arguably being as great. Korea is one of these overshadowed coffee cultures.

Not as established, not as traditional, and not as famous, but a unique and interesting culture all the same. Specifically, in Seoul, there are so many cafeterias, and we can easily find people having a cup of coffee after their meal. Here are some interesting facts about Korean Café culture:

  • Koreans (on average) drink 12.3 cups of coffee per week
  • Seoul has over 18,000 coffee shops
  • Seoul has more Starbucks than any other city in the world
  • Korea accounts for 6% of the Asia-Pacific coffee market

Obviously, these days Korea is BIG on coffee. However, it’s not necessarily the coffee itself that is so important to Korean culture. More importantly, it’s cafes that have become a big part of the modern Korean culture. People not only enjoy drinking coffee, but also taking pictures and having a chat with those whom they love. You can easily find hot cafes with hashtags such as #카페(#Cafe) , #카페추천(Café recommendations), #카페스타그램(Cafestagram) on Instagram.

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