Caffeinated Gems

Janet had nearly convinced me to give up on coffee until we returned to Seoul. The five dollar cappucinos made from water and powder were less than satisfying and a waste of our funds. The Lonely Planet Guide, usually refered to as “The Book”, recommended a coffee shop in Gyeongju called Clara & Schumann. Although it stated the place was for coffee lovers, we weren’t even sure it served espresso.

We arrived sweaty after a long walk in the heat. My macchiato was on par with the Blue Bottle Company in San Francisco, the best I’d ever had. However, the whole experience was outstanding. The owners seemed to know more about coffee than anyone I’ve ever met. They didn’t speak much English, but they went to extremes to ensure we they had the best coffee and everything complimented the coffee. It didn’t hurt that they gave us a lot of free stuff to enhance our experience.

IMG_3851.JPGOn the first day we polished our first cups off too quickly, so we were brought cups of a mild coffee almost like tea. It was thin and weaker than I’m used to, which I would normally accocciate with bad coffee, but these people are very deliberate. Besides the usual cappuccinos and lattes, one can select from dozens of beans which are ground specifically for the order. However, prices are different depending on the coffee and how strong you want it. Rather than using a machine, water is poured by hand over the grounds and the water tempurature is closely monitored. The Wedgwood cups were nice too. I’m glad I didn’t break one.

IMG_3907.JPGOn the second day, my macchiatto was not the best compliment for the cheesecake we ordered so I was brought an espresso. Later, we were given Double Toast, two inch thick toast with butter and jam. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed butter. On the third day we were brought complimentary cappuccinos for no particular reason.

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