South Korea, the nation of Kimchi has turned in recent years to a nation of coffee shops. In a city with more than 17,000 coffee shops (source: reuters), it’s not surprising that some of them are among the most extraordinary and bizarre themed cafe joints in the world! Korean themed cafes include ring making cafe , cat, dog and even sheep cafe, Hello Kitty themed cafe, Lego Cafe, selfie cafe and a photo studio cafe. Just think of a concept – there’s probably already a cafe in Seoul just like that!
Travelling in Seoul, It’s impossible to avoid the cafe craze. When I was planning my trip, I made sure to include a visit to some of its more unique cafes and we’ve been sharing those experiences here during the last couple of weeks. The first cafe experience I shared was from the Poop Cafe in Insadong, followed by the 3D latte art cafe in Hongdae. Today I’m going to take you to a different neighborhood – Myeong-dong and another great cafe place – O’sulloc.
A morning downpour in Seoul forced us to make a change of plans. We decided to spend a lazy morning at a coffee shop which caught my attention a day before. O’sulloc Tea House, conveniently located right by our hotel, is a themed cafe which specializes in green tea.
Besides traditional green tea they also offer cakes, ice cream, chocolate, latte and bingsu (ice flakes). In addition you can purchase green tea and tea merchandise. It is a complete heaven for green tea lovers!
Osulloc’s green tea comes from Jeju island, a location with optimal conditions for growing tea.
Perhaps it’s because of the rain, but the cafe was very quiet. It made for a great place to just relax and unwind. During our stay there only a few other tables were occupied and some people just stopped by to buy some boxed tea. If you would like even more privacy, climb upstairs to the second floor where warm lighting and dark wooden furniture also contributes to that homey feeling. The music playing was cute and Korean, which kind of sounded like children songs.
Everything on their menu looks so appealing which made it very hard to choose. Luckily all the dishes on the menu, as well as on the posters have English translations.
I really liked the fact that most coffee shops in Seoul use an electronic, wireless buzzers, which you receive upon ordering and take to your seat. The buzzer lights up and, well, buzzes, as soon as the order is ready signaling for you to come and grab it from the counter. It’s a much nicer system than the one we have in Tel Aviv, which involves obnoxious mumbling/yelling your name through a loudspeaker. The buzzer is elegant in that it doesn’t force you to stay alert for fear of missing out someone calling your name.
I got myself the Strawberry Green Tea Latte (6000₩ / $5 / 20₪). The moment I took the lid off the strong scent of strawberry was evident. The cold beverage was a big surprise for me – it was the first time I tried the combination of strawberry and green tea. It was a wonderful blend!
Opher ordered the hot Apple Honey Tea Latte (7000₩ / $6 / 23.5₪). Perfect for a sore throat but quite pricy. It didn’t taste like coffee at all – more like what would happen if you took apple/honey tea and replaced all the bitter tastes with sweet ones. The texture was foamy with little floaty bits in it.
Unfortunately, they ran out of the Strawberry Cheese Tart, so we ordered the Samdayeon Caramel Roll (5000₩ / $4.5 / 17₪). The big slice of cake was soft and fluffy with just the right balance between sponge and cream. Like most coffee places we’ve been to in Seoul, everything was delicate and not overly sweet, which is definitely to our liking.
O’sulloc has a few branches in Seoul. Other than Myeong-dong you can also find them in Insadong, Apgujeong and Daehangno. If you’re a green tea lover and would love to get a taste of the Korean tea culture in a cozy, easy-going place then I would definitely recommend you check them out.