COFFEE DREAM

Iced latte and cookies at Coffee Dream in Ochang, South Korea.

In case you haven't figured it out, drinking coffee is a big part of my lifestyle. It's really the only part I'm not willing to adjust any time soon.

Koreans drink mostly instant stuff. And as if it were some sort of societal duty, I purchased a 175-gram container of Maxim's Arabica 100. However, freeze-dried just doesn't do it for me. At least I tried.

Thankfully, South Korea has many coffee shops. I look forward to exploring all my options in Ochang.

Tonight I stumbled into Coffee Dream. Owned by Lee Jae Chan, this intimate café specializes in Dutch and drip coffee. Lee Jae Chan even roasts his own beans. Best part is it's located right across the street from where I live.

I was the only customer Lee Jae Chan had all evening, and likely all day. He had me sit down the moment I stepped inside. I watched as he meticulously made my drink, being sure to taste-test the espresso before pouring it in.

Lee Jae Chan was eager to serve my iced latte with double the espresso. He brought two cookies on a little tray to go with it, and awkwardly stood and watched me for a long time. I didn't know what to do, so I kept saying it was good, everything was good. Finally, he sat next to me.

Wall Decorations inside Coffee Dream in Ochang, South Korea.
Inside Coffee Dream, Ochang, South Korea. August, 2011.
Although our conversation consisted of one or two words per sentence, Lee Jae Chan and I chatted for nearly and hour. I'm going to help him practice English, and he's going to teach me some Korean.

Lee Jae Chan is the first person I've had a conversation with (besides my co-teachers) since moving to Ochang. I'd even say he's the first Korean friend I've made. He just doesn't know it yet.

I look forward to frequenting Coffee Dream. I'll probably be Lee Jae Chan's only regular customer. Hopefully the place doesn't close any time soon. I need my caffeine fix with a shot of Korean.

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