All the Coffee in Korea

There is a lot of coffee in South Korea. My memory is a little fuzzy from the brief amount of time I spent in Busan in 2010, and Jinju in 2005, but I don’t remember there being this many options. I am pretty sure I am right, as most articles found on a quick Google search about there being too much coffee tend to be from the last year or so.

I don’t even remember there being a Starbucks in Jinju eight years ago. I remember Holly’s Coffee and that’s really it. And now, you can hardly find any of those. But, don’t worry, there are plenty of other options.

So, I thought a fun series would be to chronicle every (or, as many as I can and can afford) coffee shop (chain or otherwise) here in South Korea. Plus, I can give a mini-review of sorts for them.

But, really, this is mostly for posterity. An Americano is going to taste about the same in one chain as it will in another. Likewise, an Americano may be good at one Caffe Bene and suck hard at another. Or, it may suck the next time at the same location. You would hope there would be some control on the amount of water added but, no one’s perfect.

So, without further delay, my first in the ongoing series: ALL THE COFFEE IN KOREA

BC800 Coffee and Tea


I have seen a couple BC 800 Coffee and Tea locations around Busan. Recently, a small location opened on the main road in Jangnim, near Home plus. This is a big deal since, when I arrived in February, there were just an Angel-in-us, Paris Baguette and (from what I gather) an independent coffee shop called Cafe Blue, which is in front of that sketchy Love Motel I stayed at when I arrived. Add BC plus Caffe Bene, which is opening in the newly constructed building near Top Mart? Jangnim is stepping up.

Frankly, though, this Americano was pretty unremarkable. Again, as mentioned above, the amount of water is going to affect the brew, and one may suck more than the other in the same place. This one was definitely watery. But, like Ediya (which does have a location near Jangnim Market), theirs is some of the cheapest brew around, at 2,500 won a cup. They also have wifi in this particular cafe and beer, for the exorbitant price of 5,000 won per bottle of Cass, Budweiser or this Hite-Jinro bottled light beer I tried the other night that tasted a half step away from seltzer. At least they are trying to diversify.

Also, what exactly does BC 800 mean? Did they just look at a couple Roman alphabet letters, say “fuck it” and call it a day? It appears not, and that this name is derived from some coffee making machine. If you have a better idea, I would love to hear it.

Next time, I will make sure to post photos of the cafes themselves.


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