Coffee, anyone? Coffee, everyone!

I love coffee.  When I moved to Spain in college, there were little mom and pop cafés in every plaza.  It was in those little havens where I discovered cafe con leche, and my life was forever altered.  A little espresso, a lot of milk and sugar… ¡qué rico!

Uh, I’ve got news for you Spain.  You got nuthin’ on Daegu. 

There are coffee shops on every corner here.  Multiple coffee shops on every corner.  Coffee shops next to, behind, and above other coffee shops.  Coffee shops in the underground malls, in hotels, in subway stations, on the bottom floors of apartment buildings.  Coffee shops that also serve beer.  (Those don’t open until 9:30 am.  What self-respecting coffee shop doesn’t open until 9:30???)  I’m sure I’m missing some fine and funny categories, but you get the general idea.

The people of Daegu LOVE their coffee.

To be more accurate, what they love is caffeinated liquid ice cream.  The coffee here is SWEEEEEET, almost too sweet for me.  Yes, I know.  To those who know me that seems nearly impossible.  But it’s true!  A couple Sundays ago, at the Starbucks on post (the only Starbucks I’ve seen, incidentally) I got an iced chai latte that puckered my lips.  I had to request more milk to make it palatable.

There are all the usual styles of espresso (mocha, latte, americano, etc) along with plain old coffee. You can get them iced or hot.  With whip or without.  You cannot, however, get them decaffeinated.  No, sir.  There is virtually no decaf coffee or espresso to be found in all of Daegu.  Even the children here drink caffeinated liquid ice cream… er, coffee.  Not my kids, of course, but many others do.

My personal favorite is something called the Iced Black Rice Latte.  As far as I can tell, it does not contain rice of any color.  But it does contain a whole lot of chocolate and crushed ice. Yum.

The funniest thing to me are the names of the coffee shops.  There are franchises, to be sure, but most are not ones you’ve ever heard of.  In fact, there are coffee shops for every type of person.

For the Eastern Seaboarders:
Dunkin Donuts (That’s right, WC!  I finally live in a city with Dunkin!)

For the artists:
DaVinci Coffee

For the spiritual and religious:
Angel-In-Us Coffee
Bless U Coffee

For the West Coasters, or Grunge contingency:
Sleepless in Seattle

For the actually sleepless:
Gloria Marie’s (open 24 hours)

For those who can’t decide what to drink:
In D. Coffee and Beer

This is only a fraction of the different coffee shops here.  I can’t seem to recall the names of other places.  Oh yeah.  Maybe because I haven’t had my morning coffee yet.