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Korean Cafe Culture: 4 Quirky Lattes You May Only Meet in South Korea (Plus A Bonus Drink!)

What is a Black Glazed Latte you may ask? Good question! That is a fall (or autumn) drink only known to be served in Starbucks, South Korea. Korea has a range of unique drinks in its cafes, the menus are endless and filled with beverages that pique your curiosity. In this article, we take a look at 4 Lattes (plus a bonus drink) that you may not find outside Korea! 시작하자 (Let's start)!

#1 Tiramisu Latte - Mega Coffee

Mega Coffee Tiramisu Latte
Tiramisu Latte / Source: Mega Coffee

Love Tiramisu? So do we! Love lattes? So do we! What about a Tiramisu Latte? If I'm honest, nothing has come quite close to the unique range of beverages and food that I have come upon here in Korea. Friends and family, after visiting Korea would not stop talking about the delicious food and drink they had while on holiday here.

Tiramisu / Source: NYT Cooking
Tiramisu / Source: NYT Cooking

A tiramisu latte is a blended, sweet coffee and cream mixture, the cocoa and cream on the top adds to the effect of eating a velvety and delectable tiramisu.

#2 Dalgona Latte - Paris Baguette

If you lived on social media during the beloved year 2020 (The Covid Episode) you would not have been a stranger to "Dalgona coffee" or as some people know it "Whipped Coffee". I would be lying if I said this coffee didn't get me through a few weeks of lockdown. It did, all thanks to the barista I had at home at the time (aka my sister).

Dalgona (달고나) is a Korean candy, you may know it from the show Squid Game.

Squid Games Still / Source: NYT
Squid Games Still / Source: NYT

Dalgona is a combination of sugar and baking soda and is a type of honeycomb candy. Korean coffees don't shy away from sweetness, that's of course unless you order an Americano or Espresso or even a normal Latte. This latte is sweet and is somewhat different from the whipped dalgona cream coffees we were all drinking throughout COVID-19. In Korea, these coffees have pieces of honeycomb mixed in or at the top of the drink (as pictured above), which is a little different from the home version (pictured below).

Dalgona Coffee / Source: Delish
Dalgona Coffee / Source: Delish

#3 Black Glazed Latte - Starbucks

Are those leaves I see gently falling off their trees? Is there a soothing breeze in the air? Yes, and you know what that means, it's fall in Korea - meaning BLACK GLAZE LATTE SEASON!

In my first year of living in Korea, I worked in a building above a Starbucks so yes I basically lived there, it was nice for the soul but somewhat detrimental for the wallet. In that time I discovered the Black Glaze Latte and also that this latte is unique to Starbucks Korea! How cool!

A Black Glaze Latte is essentially an Einspanner (which some of you may not know like me initially) and a rich cream, with a type of darkened sugar syrup, perhaps similar to the flavor of sweetened molasses. It's a rich, sugary drink and definitely creates a warm welcome for fall!

#4 Strawberry Latte - Various Cafes

In some cafes in Korea, you will find a Strawberry Latte, and even though it says in its name that it is a latte it does not usually contain coffee, making it perfect for those who love strawberries, don't particularly enjoy coffee, or want to take a break from coffee, let's respect the Italian Coffee Rule.

Fun Random Fact:

I know there are variations to this rule but generally, it states that coffee or milk-related beverages should not be consumed after 12 p.m. I believe that this is an unspoken rule, but sometimes in restaurants or cafes in Italy, milk-related beverages will not be served after 12 p.m. This is because they consider milk too heavy to drink after this time and that it won't be good for digestion! Fun fact of the day! Anyway, there are no rules like this in Seoul so do anything you feel like!

Strawberry lattes usually consist of milk or cream with strawberry/strawberry-flavored puree. They really are as vibrant as the picture! This beverage is also very sweet but can also be a little tangy due to the strawberry flavoring which makes it a refreshing and brightening type of drink!


BONUS: Cream Puff Honey Pong Crush - Mega Coffee

Korean Drama GIF / Source: GIFER
Korean Drama GIF / Source: GIFER

WHAT IS THAT? You may ask. Let us show you!

Back home in New Zealand, one of my favorite cereals is called Honey Puffs. I didn't expect to see it here in Korea, but I did! In the form of a snack and cereal called Jolly Pong!

Jolly Pong Snack / Source: New York Magazine
Jolly Pong Snack / Source: New York Magazine

What does this have to do with the drink you may ask? I'm getting to it! Korea's innovation with beverages is unmatched! Let me introduce to you the Cream Puff Honey Pong Crush!

Honey Pong Crush / Source: Mega Coffee
Honey Pong Crush / Source: Mega Coffee

This beverage has a blended, grainy texture with a sweet honey taste and as you can see is topped with Jolly Pong! There are different flavor variations, for example, banana! If you love Jolly Pong or honey-flavored snacks/cereals this may be worth a try!

If you want to visualize this Korean coffee/cafe feeling, my barista and very talented sister recommends you watch this YouTube channel for the full experience (it's honestly quite relaxing):

Latte Papa YouTube Channel / [Cafe Vlog] While making it, a 30-minute cafe Vlog! | Closed D-10 |

Here in Seoul, we love our beverages and now you can see why! Should we make part 2 of other unique beverages in Seoul? Comment below and let us know!


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