Does a Starbucks or a Caffe Bene seem to spring up every time you leave your home? Get used to it: coffee chains will continue to multiply, according to industry sources.
According to the JoongAng Daily, at least. As if to fit the action to the word, a coffeehouse opened to replace the Pujimi restaurant that closed in my building called Damjang Coffee & Honey Bread.
I don't know about you, but the first thing I want in the middle of sweltering heat and hundred-plus percent humidity of Seoul in August is some honey bread (whatever that might be) to go with my coffee. Or vice versa. Still, it is the only coffeehouse in the building, so maybe they're onto something.
Indeed, according to the JoongAng Daily story, coffeehouses are spreading through Seoul like bubonic plague through 1300s London, and even beginning to infect the countryside. More:
Coffeehouses operated by 12 branded chains now exceed 2,000 locations recently [sic], with 500 added since the end of last year. Starbucks opened 27 new locations from January to August to reach a total of 318 locations. Angel-in-Us Coffee follows closely with 311 branches, of which 103 opened in 2009 and 80 more this year. Most chains have goals to add 30 to 50 more locations by the end of 2010, and ambitious newcomer Caffe Bene - which has opened 270 locations since its launch in April 2008 - plans to open 100 more by the end of the year.
Korea coins a word: According to the article, a new word is coming into being to describe the way some customers see their local/favorite coffee shop, "a place to be rather than just a cup of coffee":
Coffee + Office = Coffice
This is something you will never hear me say, except derisively. Not because I have anything against neologisms, Konglish or otherwise, but because I already have this:
Beer + Drinking place = Beer drinking place + More beer = Beer drunking place + More beer = Find new drunking place when they kick us out + More beer = Eating something strange in a pojangmacha + more beer = I don't remember what's next
Who needs a "coffice" when you have one of those?