Thursday, 13 May 2010


I was asked my adult class about those little packets of Instant Coffee Mix and when Koreans started drinking it. You know, the little sachet containing instant coffee, milk and sugar already? Apparently they have been around for about ten years now.

I’m was wondering because I want to take some back to South Africa because I’m pretty sure we don’t have it there. It seems we like to prepare each cup to taste instead of having to drink the same disgusting drink that everyone else drinks…

Sorry, went off a bit. I don’t drink instant coffee at all, see? I can rightfully claim that I am not a snob because I didn’t drink coffee as a child either. We only had instant coffee in the house and I could never stand the taste. I only started drinking coffee after school when I tasted real coffee for the first. Seems I just have naturally good taste. Back to the story.

Our discussion went on it’s own marry way as it normally does and I was told a few interesting things about Korean Coffee Culture that you will not find in the travel guides. The first thing that came out was that when some of the adults were still dating, coffee was used as a way of indicating whether you liked your date or not. At the end of the date you would finish your meal of with a coffee, but here’s the twist. If you liked your date and wanted to see him or her again, then you ordered coffee for yourself. If you did not like your date, then you ordered milk. WOW! I know you are not actually saying anything but that is not exactly subtle. I suppose it does avoid the uneasy verbal question and verbal rejection of a possible next date.

The subject of Dabangs (다방, Coffee Rooms. Ticket Café) also came up. Back in the day they were the place to be. That was where you hung out to look for a boy or a girl. They were the places to pass the time with your friend and they were the places to just relax. You can still find them, but now they are very cheap places for poor old people, mostly men, to hang out.

As far as I understand Dabangs are also where you order your coffee with a side order of pretty girl, and apparently these menu items have been around for a long time. This particular menu item is called a Ticket and will give you the services of a personal pouring girl for about 40 minutes.

A funny/weird/interesting/disgusting titbit that came out was that older people used to crack raw eggs in to their coffee. Don’t think I will try that soon. Also, my research shows is that a dabang will not deliver to a Sauna.

The girls not only have “drivers”, but have people who exploit their mental health.


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