CONTRIBUTED BY ZOE V.
You can barely walk along a bustling Korean street without spotting at least one cute and quirky coffee shop and Songtan Shopping Ville, just outside Osan Air Base’s main gate, is no exception. Having done my research (any excuse for a coffee), I’ve concluded my two favourites are without a doubt, Cafe CF and Coffee Mall.
First, Coffee Mall. A charming cafe with an even more charming owner who always takes the effort to welcome you and make your drink exactly the way you like. They have a range of drinks but I really only ever come in for one thing and that’s the cappuccino. Strong, smooth and full of foam, this is my favourite place to get my caffeine fix. The only time I’ve strayed from my beloved cappuccino was in the summer heat when I opted for an affogato. Three scoops of vanilla ice cream with a shot of espresso poured over is the perfect summer drink.
Next, Cafe CF. Oh I could write for hours over the joy Cafe CF has given me. While Coffee Mall is a simple, albeit delicious cafe, Cafe CF has a much wider menu and is a better option for those seeking a more indulgent drink or a substantial dessert. They offer milkshakes, bubble tea, coffee, herbal teas, cocktails, and a range of ice creams and desserts.
After a hefty amount of research and countless hours spent in this cafe, I have gone through a fair amount of the menu. My personal favourites are definitely the taro bubble tea (sweet goodness that reminds me of home), fresh peppermint tea (when I’m looking for a health-conscious drink), and the oreo ice-cream milkshake (when I’m definitely not being health-conscious!).
So whilst you can make the trek to city hall for your Starbucks fix or over to jisan-dong for a Tom n Tom’s coffee, don’t neglect the independent cafe scene in Korea. It offers charm, atmosphere and a smattering of delicious drinks and snacks, and has quickly become one of my favourite things about living here.