We Taste A Cup of Culture! - The UOS Times
The UOS Times
We Taste A Cup of Culture!
Park Jun-kyu Reporter Lee Jae-woon Junior Reporte  |  coreae7@uos.ac.kr damoyer@uos.ac.kr
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[0호] 승인 2007.12.11  
트위터 페이스북 네이버 구글
Scene #1.
In a certain cafe. One couple who look like university students are deep in conversation about something. Each of them holding a paper cup of coffee. They are absorbed in something (maybe their assignment) while searching the Internet with their laptop or reading a book.

Scene #2.
A Cafe, nestled between many tall buildings in Jongno. Now it`s a lunch time, there are so many customers who want coffee. They are many office workers employed in near the cafe. All these people may come to enjoy coffee after lunch. This situation is a big change from the past when people liked instant coffee from vending machines.

Coffee has taken up its position as a new `Culture` in our lives. Wherever you go, you can see major coffee franchises. Also, you can see some people chatting or reading books with a cup of coffee in a cafe. We are used to this lifestyle. Many people walk along the street holding take-out coffee in their hands.

Among university students, trends have also been changed: 1980s-Dabang (an old-fashioned Korean coffee shop) coffee; 90s-instant coffee and; 2000s-European style espresso coffee. This reasonably appears to be the general tendency. At least from two or three years ago, coffee shops started to be located in most of university towns and they are crowded all day. Meetings with friends and conversations happen in these cafes, even students` team meetings are also held there.

Yoo Min-jung, a student of the Dept. of Life Science, told NEWS@ UOS "Every morning, I go to the cafeteria to buy an americano coffee before I go to the class."

Then, what are the factors that have brought about such a trend lately? The biggest reason is that large coffee franchises have been entering Korea. `Starbucks Coffee` is the pioneer who advanced to the Korean coffee market. It opened its first branch in Korea in front of Ewha Womans University and started the boom of espresso coffee.

Influences from Western culture are common. Western, particularly American, dramas have been popular among many twenty-somethigs for the last 2~3 years. So their life style has affected Korean audiences. In effect, the boom in the number of coffee shops, which meets people`s desire to imitate what they see in media, has created this new `Cafe Culture.`

The Present `Cafe Culture` is spreading to every corner of society. There are some people who want to enjoy homemade coffee. So, the demand for goods such as coffee beans, espresso machines, etc. has been increasing.

There are also people who have an interest in learning about coffee itself. Many coffee stores (cafes), large and small, including `Starburks Coffee,` give their customers opportunity to learn about coffee and lead them to find pleasure from the latest coffee culture. Moreover, some open classes and universities have courses relating to coffee or being a barista.

"Coffee and cafes are in favor these days, especially with the younger generation. It is expected that the present cafe chains will extend their businesses with fresh marketing strategies." Lee Sung-ho, a professor of the Dept. Business Administration explained. "However, there are side effects. For instance, some younger women drink coffee in place of their meal."

Needless to say, the recent coffee trend also has its downside. The price of a cup of coffee offered by most coffee chains is more expensive than the normal price of a meal. For that reason, there are voices against the recent `Cafe Culture.` They say that today`s coffee trend cannot be accessible to a common culture for all socio-economic groups.

On the other hand, some people maintain that this trend has the possibility to degenerate into a purely `superficial culture.` Experts point out that we should take more care when accepting the present cultural tendencies which are affected by foreign mass media. It is the point of time that effort to understand essential aspect of `Cafe Culture` is more needed.

It is clear that we need to take more time to understand the essential aspects of `Cafe Culture.`
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