Tag: Korea

Korea: The Coffee Republic


Everyone, I suppose, knows the song “Gangnam style” the K-pop single by the South Korean rapper Psy that on December 2012 became the first YouTube video to reach one billion views. Well, this song satirized “a classy girl who know how to enjoy the freedom of a cup of coffee”. In these words, all what is going on in South Korea: Coffee has become a powerful indicator of class status symbol. Moreover, coffee is the number one beverage in the country (53% of the total drink market) and has even surpassed the demand for “kimchi”, South Korea’s national dish (according to a study by the International Business Times).

On average, the study showed, South Koreans drink coffee 12.2 times per week; they eat “kimchi”, a mix of fermented vegetables that has been a part of the Korean diet since the 1500s, 11.9 times per week and white rice only 6.9 times per week. To drink a fresh bean coffee is not always cheap. In Seoul, a “cup of Joe (COJ)” is more expensive than in the U.S. (about $3.80 against $2.25 on average).[Sign in to continue]

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The Korean Chain Caffebene To Face Some Troubles

The Korean Chain Caffebene

According to the annual report filed in May, to the South Korea’s Financial Supervisory Service, Caffebene generated $97million revenue in 2015. That’s a loss by far margin when compared to the revenue figure Caffebene generated a year earlier $122.5 million. Even in 2014 the company faced loss of $7.1million. According to the latest quarterly report ending Mar 31, Caffebene generated $15.6 million in sales, down from $23.7 million that the company generated in the same period a year ago [Sign in to continue]

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Discovering Coffee Roasters In Korea

Coffee Libre is a self-reliant roaster. It started from selling 100 pounds of coffee beans each month and eventually spread its connections to over six countries and 14 different farms. It is owned by the first Korean Q-grader Philhoon Suh.

At a distance of three hours drive from Seoul and other big cities of Korea, is located Terarosa Coffee Roaster, in Gangneung which despite being far off can be seen packed with people. They are known as the name that paved the way for direct trade of specialty coffee beans.

The growing interest in coffee is pretty obvious in Busan, the second largest city of Korea, too. A small number of specialty coffee shops have gathered form an association that goes by the acronym BUS (also the recognition code for Busan Seaport). The joint force work towards offering discounts over large purchases, promotional schemes, and own shared green bean storage.

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Specialty Coffee in South Korea

Specialty Coffee in South Korea

More and more Koreans love having their cup of coffee in the late hours in a café. Coffee shops do not close before 10 pm and start their business the next day in the noon, and in the morning the cup of coffee is mostly purchased while in the afternoon instant coffee is preferred. At the end of day, cafes are the hang-outs that are seen populated after dinner.

According to the USDA report, the specialty coffee big chains markedly increased their growth as compared to the independent shops offering specialty coffee. In a comparison between the number of independent specialty coffee shops and chains no more than 5% variation is observed since 2009 for independents [Sign in to continue]

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