106. The Liter (Seomyeon, Busan). Here is one of the recent entries into the “coffee bigger than your head” phenomenon that has swept through Korea (in the same vein as The Venti, perhaps the granddaddy of the trend). Never mind that the same amount of actual coffee is used and the rest is just sugar, milk and/or ice. I am always reminded of the first time I was in Korea, in 2005, and how the largest cup of coffee available at the time was the size of a Starbucks short (about 8 ounces). And now, this. I went to this specific location during rehearsals for a play I was in earlier this year. The coffee was as one would expect cheap, massive-sized coffee would be. Not terrible, not great. But, who the hell needs a Super Big Gulp-sized coffee, regardless of how much actual bean is being used? Also note: in familiar copycat corporate culture, this has the identical color scheme and design as another of these massive coffee size shops: 1LiterCoffee. I will add a link once I have taken its photo, for comparison.
107. Tops bean (Busan Citizens Park, Seomyeon, Busan) A surprisingly decent latte was acquired recently at this take out coffee shop, located in a snack rest stop building in Busan’s lovely central park. 3,500 won.
108. Sprout Coffee (Jeonpo-dong, Busan) I live pretty close to the Jeonpo Cafe Street area, which once mostly consisted of small industrial shops. Today it’s full of small boutiques, restaurants and an endlessly-rotating complement of coffee shops. This one features macarons (not to be confused with macaroons), which have been all the rage in the country these days.
109. dessert 39 Bakery & Coffee (Jeonpo-dong, Busan) Located just two shops down from Sprout is this bakery and coffee shop. I do enjoy the purple awning.
110. 고유커피 (Goyoo Coffee) (Jeonpo-dong, Busan) Turn right after the aforementioned bakery & coffee shop and you will see Goyoo Coffee. Goyoo, a Korean acquaintance pointed out, means something like “the original,” so this means something like the original or true coffee, or something like that.
111. Man from Coffee (Jeonpo-dong, Busan) Located very close to the others already mentioned is the curiously-named “Man from Coffee.” Seriously, I have to wonder if the owner saw the movie “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” when it came to Korea and fell in love with how that sounded. This one is a very recent addition to Jeonpo Cafe Street that I plan on exploring further in the future.
112. FM Coffee House (Jeonpo-dong, Busan) About a three-minute walk from the aforementioned, this is a rather popular coffee spot in this area. Despite being across the street from a Starbucks, FM Coffee House always has steady business. It’s definitely higher-quality coffee than some of the others, but the air around it always smells like burnt coffee, which isn’t the most pleasurable scent in the world, at least not for this coffee drinker.
113. ESpacio Self Nail Care Detox & Coffee (Jeonpo-dong, Busan) Well, OK, then…
JPDdoesROK is a former news editor/writer in New Jersey, USA, who served a one-year tour of duty in Dadaepo/Jangnim, Saha-gu, Busan from February 2013 to February 2014. He is now a teacher in Gimhae.