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Gyeongeun: 안녕하세요. 최경은입니다.
Hyunwoo: 안녕하세요. 선현우입니다. Hello, everyone. And welcome to KoreanClass101.com’s Korean Culture Class, Lesson #27. And today, we’re talking about… What are we going to be talking about, 경은씨?
Gyeongeun: We’re going to talk about coffee shops.
Hyunwoo: Coffee shops. I go to coffee shops quite often. Maybe, too often.
Gyeongeun: You do? Me too. Whenever I meet my friends and if we don’t drink, we always end up going to a coffee shop.
Hyunwoo: Yes. So let’s talk about that. So 경은씨, do you know when was the first time that coffee was consumed in Korea?
Gyeongeun: I know. It was 고종황제, right?
Hyunwoo: Yes, you’re right. How did you know? 고종황제, the King 고종, was the first person to drink coffee in Korea.
Gyeongeun: And when was that?
Hyunwoo: It was about a hundred years ago.
Gyeongeun: Wow. 100년 전이군요?.
Hyunwoo: 네.
Gyeongeun: So the history of coffee in Korea it’s not very long.
Hyunwoo: 맞아요. But now it’s quite popular in Korea, too, right?
Gyeongeun: Very, very, very popular.
Hyunwoo: Like in many other parts of the world.
Gyeongeun: 네.
Hyunwoo: But what kind of coffee do you drink? I mean, how do you like to have your coffee made?
Gyeongeun: I like café mocha, but most often I drink an Americano.
Hyunwoo: Right, me too. I rarely drink a latte or mocha. I almost always drink Café Americano.
Gyeongeun: I think a lot of people do the same as you, too.
Hyunwoo: But the thing is, when I was younger, I thought coffee always meant boiling water, instant coffee powder and a lot of cream, and a lot of sugar.
Gyeongeun: Yes. Very sweet and thick coffee, right?
Hyunwoo: Yes. And the old fashioned coffee shops in Korea were called 다방. So that kind of very sweet and thick coffee was always called 다방 커피.
Gyeongeun: Right. I used to drink a lot of 다방 커피 before too.
Hyunwoo: You mean you went to a 다방 often or you just drank a lot of sweet coffee?
Gyeongeun: No, I’ve never been to a 다방.
Hyunwoo: I guess so. So what this basically means is that a lot of people drank coffee for its sweet taste.
Gyeongeun: 네, 맞아요. But it’s changing a lot these days.
Hyunwoo: Right. And it’s only very recently that people started enjoying more various types of coffees, and also at various costs.
Gyeongeun: 네. I think now, the kind of coffee that is sold out most in coffee shops is probably Americano.
Hyunwoo: Yes, partly, because it’s the cheapest, too.
Gyeongeun: 네.
Hyunwoo: So a lot more people are enjoying coffee than before, But I don’t think this explains why they’re so many coffee shops around, in Korea and especially in Seoul.
Gyeongeun: Right. Now, it’s very easy to find coffee shops, no matter where you go in a city, in Korea.
Hyunwoo: Yes, and this is more because coffee shops are popular meet up places for those who are not going to eat together, watch a movie together or just walk together. Then, it is because more people want coffee.
Gyeongeun: Yes. When I meet my friends, there’s not many place to go.
Hyunwoo: Yes. And other than a restaurant and a coffee shop, right?
Gyeongeun: Right. Maybe, I’m not very creative in choosing a place to meet my friends at.
Hyunwoo: Well, it is a known fact among Korean people that there is a lack of places for people to go to in order to meet people other than coffee shops in Seoul also business models like 토즈 do you know 토즈?
Gyeongeun: Yes, of course. I go there quite often.
Hyunwoo: Yes. What kind of place is it?
Gyeongeun: It’s a service that rents professional seminar places for various sizes of groups.
Hyunwoo: Yes. So if you’re tired of going to coffee shops to meet up with other people and discuss things or study together, places like 토즈 are good choices. So they’re becoming very, very successful, too.
Gyeongeun: 네, 맞아요. 근데 그래도 커피숍은 인기가 많아요.
Hyunwoo: Right. Coffee shops are still the most popular places for young people to hang out at so there’re more and more coffee shops around, these days, in major cities of Korea.
Gyeongeun: Right. And what’s interesting is, before, most people used to put more stress on the price of the coffee and the atmosphere of the place, then the quality or the taste of the coffee itself. Now, it has become much more common to see people choosing a particular coffee shop for its good coffee.
Hyunwoo: But you know what? Now, there’s so many different brands of coffee shops that most people, including myself, don’t choose a coffee shop only based on how good their coffee tastes.
Gyeongeun: 네. There’s a new trend these days.
Hyunwoo: I think I know what you mean, which is since most of young people have now a laptop computer of their own, the standard by which people choose what coffee shop to go to, unless they’re meeting someone to just talk, is either the coffee shop has a good Wifi signal, and if there are many electric power outlets available to use near the table in the coffee shop, right?
Gyeongeun: Yes, right.
Hyunwoo: 경은씨도 그런 이유 때문에 커피숍을 고른 적이 있어요? Have you ever chosen a coffee shop because of those reasons?
Gyeongeun: 네, 요즘에는요.
Hyunwoo: 요즘에는요? Do you always carry your laptop around?
Gyeongeun: Not always, sometimes.
Hyunwoo: Sometimes?
Gyeongeun: Because it’s very heavy.
Hyunwoo: Yes. But a lot of people use their laptops in the coffee shops so they look for coffee shops where they have good Wifi signals and good wall outlets near the tables.
Gyeongeun: Yes.
Hyunwoo: So 경은씨 we’ve talked about coffee shops in Korea.
Gyeongeun: 네.
Hyunwoo: So 경은씨 can we see, do you think you’ll be spending more money or less money on going to coffee shops?
Gyeongeun: I hope not.
Hyunwoo: You hope not, right? So that you can spend that money on drinking, instead.
Gyeongeun: No way. I don’t like drinking.
Hyunwoo: You don’t like drinking.
Gyeongeun: Yes.


Hyunwoo: I believe you. So if you have questions about the coffee drinking culture in Korea or the coffee shop culture in Korea, or if you have experiences in your own country that you would like to share with us, please come to KoreanClass101.com and leave us comments.
Gyeongeun: 여러분, 여러분 나라에서는 커피숍이 어떤지 커피를 좋아하시는지 코멘트 남겨 주세요.
Hyunwoo: Okay. And if you’re ever in Korea, we can meet up for some coffee, right?
Gyeongeun: Yes.
Hyunwoo: Give me an email.
Gyeongeun: 네, 이메일 주세요.
Hyunwoo: 네, 안녕히 계세요.
Gyeongeun: 안녕히 계세요.
Hyunwoo: 네.