Coffee with Youtube Stars
The You Are Here Café in Hongdae
No matter if you’re interested in Korean culture, a Kpop fan or just curious about some unusual products the country has to offer, YouTube is the place to look for that information. And if you do you won’t be able to avoid certain channels that have established themselves throughout sometime, while regularly offering new and entertaining videos. One of those channels is called “Eat Your Kimchi” (EYK) operated by the Canadian couple Simon and Martina Stawski. Originally they came to Korea as English teachers about six years ago and started making videos for their families back home. Their channel became so famous that they could quit teaching and turn their hobby into a business, a very successful one at that.
A second channel worth mentioning is “Talk To Me In Korean” were native Korean speakers explain the language, give free online lessons and explain traditions, rules and manners that might be helpful for foreigners while staying in Korea.
These two channels decided to collaborate and open a coffee shop together to be able to meet with their fans more often, give direct lessons and offer their guests a quiet place to meet friends, study, or enjoy some quiet time. The café was opened on August 9th this year and I actually went there to take a first look and maybe meet the famous owners. How popular the Youtube channel really is became clear to me when I arrived there shortly after 10 in the morning. The shop was supposed to open at 10, but in front of the café was such a long line of people that it seemed impossible to me to even set a foot in the building on the same day. Just out of fun I started counting the people, at 200 I gave up…
I came back with friends in the evening, but because there were so many people during the day the café had gone out of milk and I couldn’t even try the milkshake I wanted. Instead I had something called “Elder Flower Ade” which I had never seen on the menu of any other coffee shop before and was positively surprised by its taste. Also, I had the chance to meet Simon and Martina in person and take some pictures with them.
Because my milkshake craving couldn’t be satisfied on the opening day I went to the café again with friends about two weeks later. This time I tried the mango milkshake and got some “Talk To Me In Korean” stickers along with my order. Next to drinks and some snacks,the shop also sells EYK merchandise like heads, bags, cups, buttons and shirts for fans that want to take a piece of their stars home.
The pricesare average compared to other coffee shops in this area, but the taste is above that. Simon and Martina are coffee lovers and really spent a lot of time finding the right ingredients for their drinks and testing everything that’s on the menu (there’s a video about that as well) and you can taste that. Sometimes the café offers self-made brownies or cookies baked by Martina who’s talented in making people’s taste buds celebrate. So, even if you have no idea who those people are I’m constantly talking about, for a nice coffee, a tasty milkshake, or a fresh aide I would recommend this place to anyone. The coffee shop is rather hidden somewhere in Hongdae and people who don’t know its location will probably not be able to find or stumble across it by accident. But since there are enough fans who know and spread the word about this place, there’s no need to worry about customers. Simon and Martina uploaded a video on their channel showing how to get to the You Are Here Café which I would recommend to watch.