I don’t have a list of perfectly crafted places for you, just moments I remember having, the ones that stayed with me, the ones that stuck around after months & months. And now, 2017 is nearly over and I spent a good amount of time either at a coffee shop, looking for a coffee shop or writing about a coffee shop. A lot of my life revolves around coffee as you may well have known and it’s the thing I look forward to most in day, where am I going to get my coffee today? And with all that, there have been so many fond memories at these coffee shops that I hope will never leave me. So let’s begin at the start.
In February I travelled back to Cape Town. For those of you who don’t know, I am South African, and I usually have my go-to coffee shops back in CT but this year, there’s one coffee shop in particular, that stood out.
Native Espresso Bar at the V&A Waterfront has been my Cape Town pick for the year. Not that this post was aimed to be a travel&coffee piece but as we all know, travelling creates memorie and those are the things we cherish most. I first went to Native with a small group of friends and family and I was delighted at how good there coffee was. Service was something to be desired but it didn’t stop me from getting another dose. In August I went back to Native as I just wanted a place to relax and watch the sunset. I’m by no means a beach bum as Cape Town has an array of beautiful beaches perfect for sunset chasers, I preferred something a bit more me. I love being at a harbour and I’m not quite sure when this need to be at the water developed within me but there’s something about the harbour that gives me peace. I don’t like going on boats either but I do have many memories of harbour hopping around the globe. The V&A Waterfront hosts a beautiful harbour, part of which can be viewed from Native Espresso Bar. It doesn’t only offer you an amazing flat white, but you also get a beautiful view of Table Mountain whilst you sit and watch the sunset over the water. It’s some kind of perfect.
In August, I also experienced a bit of Hong Kong for a day and loved every minute of it. Its charm, its movement and its coffee calls me back every single day. Travelling to find a coffee shop was really special and surreal. It was something I’ve always wanted to do, it was something for me and only for me. I was there to seek out the ever hyped %Arabica Coffee franchise and mahn was the trip worth it. Because suddenly it’s more than just a coffee, it’s you and your dreams and the life you wanted to live all there just for you, and it’s these moments that make us travel back within ourselves and reflect. I hope I get to visit more of the %Arabica coffee shops in the future. Being here was one of my favourite memories of 2017.
And then we’re back in Seoul, where the coffee houses are numerous and nothing short of amazing. Almost every single coffee shop I’ve visited had something unique about it that made it worth the visit. Seoul’s ever growing coffee industry took me by surprise as Korea is so well known for their cafe culture, which is far from a coffee shop. But this city has something to offer the world. The baristas here mean business and you shouldn’t be drinking terrible cups of coffee as the amount of award winning baristas are impressive. It’s hard to believe the amount of baristas who flock to Seoul to compete in competitions. It’s so inspiring to all of the coffee lovers out there! I would definitely suggest a coffee trip to Seoul. You won’t be disappointed.
It’s hard to choose a favourite coffee shop as there are so many here in Seoul. And seeing that my favourite drink is a flat white, it’s even harder to choose my favourite one as the blends are so different place to place. But when it comes down to memories, and the most time I’ve spent at a coffee shop, I have to give credit to 5 Extracts in Itaewon.
It’s hard to just have one cup here. But choosing this place is not choosing their coffee over another, sometimes we just connect places to feelings and I’ve had some amazing memories here. So here’s a big thank you to all of you who’ve made this year so special for me, who have sat with me at all of these amazing places for hours on end chatting non stop about absolutely everything! And to those of you who I’m yet to meet, who continuously support this blog and read my posts no matter what topic I’m writing about, I thank you sincerely and I’m forever grateful for how much you’ve boosted my confidence by following me on my journey.
Here’s to an amazing year ahead! ❤
Photography by Jeff Simone