Seoul Coffee Expo 2014

Hmm, coffee. Sweet, delicious coffee. I have to admit… Seoul’s coffee culture is strong and I willingly succumbed to the expensive habit of picking up a coffee. Meeting friends? Hit up the coffee shop. Tired in the morning? Hit up the coffee shop. See a new cafe in the neighborhood? I guess I’ll have to try it! When I heard that Seoul would have a coffee expo at COEX this month I was kind of psyched. I had went to the Salon du Chocolat festival at COEX in April and the free samples were totally worth it. I couldn’t pass up a coffee expo!

Seoul Coffee Expo: Single Coffee Packs
Seoul Coffee Expo: Lemon Cider
Seoul Coffee Expo: Coffee Art
By the way, a little tip. If you pre-register for an event at COEX via their webpage it is always free… if you wait too long you’ll end up paying between 10-15,000 won to enter which is a bummer if you are going just for fun. Pre-register and save your money! If an event ends up being a bust at least you didn’t pay anything.

Seoul Coffee Expo: Loose Leaf Teas
My expectations were pretty low because there weren’t as many free samples at the last event that I went to at COEX. Boy was I happy when I got here! Even though it was technically a coffee expo, I thought it was more like a coffee shop expo. There were a lot of other beverages available there like tea, ades and smoothies. There were even a few booths selling pastries and sweets. The samples, oh the samples! They were overflowing. They were very generous too! At the chocolate festival that I went to I thought they were a little stingy but here they kept telling everyone to take more.

Seoul Coffee Expo: Dutch Coffee
Seoul Coffee Expo: Assorted Tea Bags
Seoul Coffee Expo: Old Coffee Grinders
It was nice that there were different things available because drinking so much coffee within a few hours can’t be good, haha. There were jellies, sweet dips and even sorbet available for tasting! I ended up getting a few things at some of the booths too because the prices were very reasonable. Some of the items were heavily discounted, up to 50%. I’ll definitely post a mini-haul later! I scored a few freebies too.

Seoul Coffee Expo: African Coffee Beans
Seoul Coffee Expo: Matcha Green Tea Powder
Seoul Coffee Expo: Golden Cups
I went around noon and it closed at 5. I thought for sure that that would be plenty of time but I stayed the entire five hours and I felt like I was rushing around to see everything. They even were holding a barista competition but I couldn’t see much of it because I wanted to check out all of the booths. From what I saw, the baristas were really skilled! They were whipping out lattes and creating beautiful designs on the top so quickly and effortlessly! Now I feel like I want to try it myself! I’m sure it’s not that easy…

Seoul Coffee Expo: Roasting House Display
Seoul Coffee Expo: Cacao Bowls
Seoul Coffee Expo: Coffee Chocolate
Seoul Coffee Expo was totally worth it! If you are in Seoul next year around this time, you should definitely register and check it out.

Q: Would you go to a coffee expo?

Ben’s Cookies

I don’t know about you, but I’m all about reviews online. Before I make most purchases, I have to go online and read as many opinions as I can before I decide on what I want. I’m a quality over quantity kind of girl, and I hate wasting my money on something that won’t work or perform like I want it to!

Ben's Cookies Packaging

When it comes to eating out, I’m the same way. When I see a great review online for a restaurant, bakery or cafe it helps me a lot to find great places on a whim. I’m so lucky because there are quite a few expats in Korea blogging about their experiences here so I get to go to places I never would have thought to go to because there are so many great reviews online.

Ben's Cookies Use By Sticker

That being said… isn’t it horrible when you purchase something and it isn’t worth the hype? Worst feeling ever. When there is so much hype around something it is almost always a let down. When I heard about a cookie place in Hongdae that would satisfy every cookie craving I could ever have I was skeptical. This is Korea after all! Desserts leave so much to be desired.

Ben's Cookies In the Box

Oh, how wrong I was. Ben’s Cookies is a tiny store but don’t let that fool you. It is full of intoxicating smells and freshly baked cookies that will, in fact, blow your mind. They will blow your pocketbook too because they are sold by weight and average around $4 a cookie! I think it fulfills every definition for a guilty pleasure. D:

Ben's Cookies Close Up

I decided to throw away the guilt and just bought a bunch of the cookies to try. There are around 10 choices but I ended up settling on the cranberry, white chocolate, chocolate chip and triple chocolate cookie. And boy… were they delicious. Consume within four days… I didn’t have any trouble with that!!

Ben's Cookies Inside of Cookie

I won’t question someone’s excitement over Ben’s Cookies here in Korea again. Worth the hype. Every time! To get here, go to Itaewon Station Exit 2 and walk straight for about 5 minutes. You can’t miss the bright red storefront on your left. If you are closer to Hongdae, you can visit that location by going to Hongdae Station and hanging a left outside of exit 9.

Q: What’s the best cookie you’ve ever had?

Weekly Wishes #7

Whew, long time no see! These past few weeks have been extremely busy as the new year started here in South Korean schools. Adjusting to my new schedule has been pretty hard for me actually. Unfortunately my school made some changes which resulted in me teaching a lot more than I used to. Since I’m not used to it, I’m so tired at the end of the day. I used to be able to go to the gym every day but now I rarely have the energy to go more than three times a week. :(

Anywho, I haven’t forgotten about my weekly wishes! I’m hoping I can be more active on my blog this upcoming month now that I’ve settled down a little with my job.

weekly wishes 7
So what are my wishes this week?

This Week’s Wishes

1. Make up my mind about LASIK/LASEK. This surgery is much cheaper here in Korea so I’m considering getting it done since it’s so cheap. I’m terrified of getting an operation on my eyes though so I’m hesitating to get it done. I also heard that LASEK was the safer option but it has a longer recovery time. I will get it done the first week of May if I decide to go ahead with it and I will only have four days to recover. Decisions, decisions.

2. Stop buying coffee every day! OMG. The coffee culture here in Seoul is so strong, and I got sucked right in. I’ve been drinking way too much and it’s really a drain on money at around $5 a cup. I have to stop buying from the coffee shops!

The Nectar Collective

If you need some encouragement each week, link up to the Weekly Wishes link up over at The Nectar Collective. Let’s support each other with our goals while having fun!

Q: What are your goals for the week?

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