Koreans have deep affection towards cafes, judging by the fact that there are about 6 cafes within a 3-minutes walking distance from my small studio in Seoul. In Korea, it is not only about the number of the cafes, but the people who love visiting a cafe. According to a survey done by Starbucks Korea and Food Therapy Association in 2009, 41.8% of a total 19,470 respondents answered that they visit a cafe on a 3 to 4 times a week basis. This is one of the reasons why coffee business is big in Korea. It benefits not only the big, boring coffee chains but also created opportunities for smaller, independent cafes with a touch of personality.
Being an avid coffee drinker, tracking down a solid cuppa is like an everyday routine for me. Coffee Arco is on the list of the better finds I encounter along the trendy streets of Garosugil. A roastery itself, Arco’s in-house roaster is around every day to take care of the beans that go to your cup. Serving aromatic and perhaps, the most interesting speciality coffee, Arco is one of my usual coffee stops when I am at Garosugil.
Coffee Arco serves a variety of coffee, from the single origin to different seasonal house blends. You’ll find standard espresso varieties including Espresso, Latte, Flat White, Americano, etc. on their drinks list. Pretty common, but the surprise comes from the second page of their menu.
They serve drip coffee, coffee cocktails (sweet!) and their speciality coffee from the “Arco Story Coffee” range. Sorry dear readers, although I have been to Arco for at least 5 times, I have never ordered anything else other than Shakerato, and the addictive Orange Latte from their “Arco Story Coffee” range. Another interesting drink I noticed during my latest visit was Lady Latte. A coffee cocktail made of Kahlua, Baileys, Frangelico & Espresso — most excellent coffee combination imaginable! I am going to order this on my next trip.
Orange Latte — An Arco signature drink made with homemade orange syrup and espresso. I have to admit I was quite hesitant during my first encounter. I find the slice of fresh orange was floating on the dense latte form in my cup quite dubious. However, the drink was certainly a cuppa to be remembered: Rich and dense latte form, strong and thick espresso with a nice hint of zesty orange flavour at the background. Certainly a beautiful way to wake up the senses in the morning.
On various occasions, I happened to be at Garosugil in the early morning, and the first thing I would do was to head down to Arco and indulge in their signature latte. I am not a latte fan nor I love any milk infused drink, but I always make sure I don’t miss the good ones, Arco’s Orange Latte is one of them.
Shakerato. [Read: Sha- K – rato] One of the trending espresso-based iced coffee in South Korea. It is an espresso drink infused with syrup and then shaken with ice. A drink perfect for summer. If you are not a fan of Ice Americano, this is what you probably will like. The sweet flavour at the front of the pallet with a slightly dry, dark chocolate aroma was a pure luxury.
Writer’s Note: A cafe at Gangnam that offers various interesting (and good) espresso drinks. If you like coffee cocktails, Arco is a must visit. Just in case you’re interested, their roasted blends are available for sale too.
Coffee Arco 커피 아르꼬
519-17, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-Gu, Seoul.
서울시 강남구 신사동 519-17