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Friday, 23 February 2007

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in Myeongdong

If you are a fan of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf coffee shops from the US, you will be happy to know that the coffee chain is alive and well in Seoul. There are 76 locations in KOREA alone, more than any other international location. Out of 500+ locations worldwide, the Korean franchises account for roughly 15% of that number.

Koreans love their coffee as there are dozens of coffee shops on every street, whether it's a mom and pop hole in the wall, a sketchy coffee cart, or another corporate chain (like Starbucks--the world's largest location is in Myeongdong at four stories high), you can get your caffeine fix anywhere and at anytime.

Following our lunch at Omuto Tomato, Hoo Kang and I went to The Coffee Bean nearby in Myeongdong. This location was enormous, consisting of two stories with lots of interior space. This location is so busy and large that it requires a full public announcement system to call out your name to get your coffee.

A funny sight that you will see in coffee shops is that they are dominated with Korean couples. What really caught my eye was one girl popping a zit on her boyfriend's face. I guess this is common practice here, but it was quite the sight. While she was busy trying to burst that bubble of puss on his face, I was contemplating taking a picture to post it on the blog. By the time I whipped out my camera, it was too late--she had finished her business! Darn! ;) One of these days, you will see snap shots of zit-popping here, whether you like it or not! Ewwwwwwww!

Here's the outside of the location, tucked away from busy streets:

Korean baristas busy making espressos, lattes, etc...

"A regular chai latte for...err...Gdog? Thanks for giving a proper name, you moron!"

The interior as seen from upstairs; this is only about 3/4 of the view:

As we made our way out of The Coffee Bean, Myeongdong was once busy again, bustling with shoppers. Being six feet tall, my view was a sea of black:


PhoenixStorm said...

Love your site! I'm ecstatic that my coffee fix will be sated in Seoul. Never tried a coffee bean so they may give starbucks a run for my money.

Gdog said...

Don't worry, there's enough caffeine in this city to make you go crazy!! Thanks for visiting the blog!

mark said...

Much difference in the prices between Starbucks and Coffee Bean?

Jon Allen said...

I hadn't know the CB&TL was American, just assumed it was another Korean chain.

We call them the 'No milk coffee shop' after we went in for a latte one day and they had run out of milk!

FFS you only need two things to run a coffee shop, err, coffee and milk and they ran out of one of them!

The useless girls at the counter showed zero initiatve. I was tempted to nip out to the convience shop downstairs and buy some milk and ask them to use it, but we decided to spurn them and go to one of the other 100 coffee shops in Yeouido!

I've seen the "girlfriend squeezing the boyfriend's zits scenario" a couple of times now too. I have to look away, rather than try and capture a shot... You are one dedicated photographer gdog!

Gdog said...

mark: the prices are about the same, averaging $5 per drink! It's expensive at the big coffee shops.

Jon: one of these days, I will snap a shot for you, Jon!

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