Intimacy of a cup of coffee can be a thrill

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Intimacy of a cup of coffee can be a thrill

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At Bloom and Goute, exotic flowers make having a little joe more memorable.By Ser Myo-ja

“Sometimes life is merely a matter of coffee and whatever intimacy a cup of coffee affords.” This is how Richard Brautigan started his short story, “Coffee.” And my favorite author, Haruki Murakami, confessed in his essay, “A way of Drinking Coffee,” that he liked this line the most among all writings about coffee. And, I do, too.

Bloom and Goute is one of the first cafes that I found intimacy in a cup of coffee. I fell in love with this cafe because it had several tables on the open terrace, allowing me to sit outside facing the street of southern Seoul’s Garosugil. Years ago, such a seating was rare in Korea’s coffeehouses, although it has become such a trend now that almost all new cafes have tables on terraces. What makes this cafe unique is its flower shop. The chic arrangements of exotic flowers effortlessly breathe life into the cafe. As I sit on my favorite terrace table in a late morning of a sunny Sunday, reading newspapers and sipping my espresso dopio (7,000 won), served on a small wooden tray, I always feel like time has stopped at just the right moment.

Maybe this is the intimacy that my cup of coffee affords. Then, a car or a dog-walker passes by on the near empty Garosugil and time starts flowing again. (Yes, the trendy street used to be deserted on Sundays before noon. Otherwise, it’s normally packed with fashionable people window shopping. Parking is a nightmare.) Bloom and Goute transforms at night, just like putting on make-up. It is filled with festivity even on week nights. But I prefer to visit this cafe on Sunday morning because it does not feel awkward to enjoy solitude.

The cafe serves good, straightforward, honest coffee, and my favorite thing to nibble on the terrace is a piece of fig tart (5,000 won or $3.85). It also serves a tray of Japanese style curry rice with coffee or cheese waffle with generous portion of crisp bacon and Rucola (or rocket or arugula, whichever term you prefer to call my favorite edible plant) with coffee. The light meal is priced at 15,000 won. Tea and other drinks, including beer, are available as well as a variety of deserts including strawberry and carrot cakes.

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Fig tart. By Ser Myo-ja

Bloom and Goute

Location: 545-24, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam District, southern Seoul.

Hours: 10:30 a.m. to midnight

Telephone: (02) 541-1530


By Ser Myo-ja Staff Reporter[myoja@joongang.co.kr]
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