The reason why I love the Seoul coffee scene is it's very different to the cafe culture I experienced back in London. The cafe acts as a meeting point, a place to gather to share good and bad news, or a place where you zone out from the busy streets of Seoul.
Because of this culture, you’ll find cafes operating until late, and this has changed my views on what a cafe should be and what it should fulfil during a customer's visit. A well roasted and extracted coffee doesn’t translate into a satisfying experience in a cafe. The cafe needs to be comfortable and welcoming. Achieving that is a challenge, but even simple and subtle things like music, colour scheme and lighting can impact experience dramatically.
My time in Seoul has widened my view on what true customer experience is, and what I need to work on as a cafe owner. At first I didn’t understand the Korean coffee scene, and often felt frustrated and wanted to change the culture. But now I look deeper, it has its merits and it has its own unique vibe, rather than changing what it is, making it better was an easier option.