Vegan's Chronicles + [Vegan]

Hopped up on caffeine at the Cafe Show

I know the authors of the vegan health book 'Skinny Bitch' wouldn't approve, but I drink coffee. Not a lot, but about 1-2 cup a day, usually after lunch or mid-afternoon. I used to hate coffee and never drank it until I came to Korea a few years ago and started exploring all the cute coffee shops. I still can't drink straight black coffee- I absolutely have to add some soy milk and sweetener to enjoy it. One of my friends whose name I won't mention (Chris) is a coffee enthusiast and likes to give me a hard time for contaminating the coffee with all the additives. Maybe someday I'll get to that point, but for now, I like my coffee milky & sweet!

Cafe Show 2010

I'm no expert on coffee and all the different flavors, origins, blends, etc... , but I appreciate the culture around it and just the way I feel sippin' on my afternoon cuppa joe while blogging or reading. And ofcourse, I love unique coffee shops, and eyeing the breads, desserts, snacks, and chocolate confections~~ So when I heard about last week's Cafe Show at COEX, I was there. And I dragged two of my besties Chris & Abigail with me. Actually, it wasn't hard to convince either of them to come. :)

Cafe Show 2010
Cafe Show 2010

We got there soon after it opened for the day, but it was already way crowded! Koreans are definitely into this whole coffee thing.

Cafe Show 2010

There were booths for coffee suppliers from all over the world, from Rwanda, Ethiopia, Costa Rica, Guatemala... .. the list goes on and on. Even Ghana had a booth! Yay Ghana~~

Cafe Show 2010
Cafe Show 2010

Beans beans and more beans~

Cafe Show 2010

Each booth had an entourage of baristas handing out free coffee samples! Even though the samples were tiny (2-3 sips in each cup), after countless tastings, I was definitely feeling the caffeine jitters.

Cafe Show 2010

Most of the booths gave samples of black coffee, which was just too bitter for me. So Abigail and I went to the convenience store and bought a glass of soy milk to pour into the samples we got. :) I felt like I was some kind of alcoholic, whipping out a flask from my coat pocket and pouring whiskey soy milk into my cup without getting caught by coffee purists.

Cafe Show 2010

A gigantic roaster... or time machine?

Cafe Show 2010

In one corner of the convention center, the Korea Barista Championship was taking place. We watched for a little bit as one of the contestants made two different fancy shmancy, spiked coffee drinks in 8 minutes. Lucky judges who got to taste them!

Cafe Show 2010

There were also plenty of demonstrations of bizarre coffee-making techniques that looked more like science lab experiments than anything else. Imagine bringing this contraption to the office to replace those Korean instant-coffee packets!

Cafe Show 2010

Hottie barista from Japan. ;)

Cafe Show 2010

This 'Sleepless in Seattle' cafe is a Korean company located in Daegu and they said they're planning on coming up to Seoul next year. Even though the cafe's name is a complete rip-off from the movie and doesn't really make sense for a Korean company, I think it's kinda cool~ :)

Cafe Show 2010
Cafe Show 2010

A coffee-drinker's heaven.

Cafe Show 2010

For those non-coffee drinkers, there were also several tea companies trying to compete with the coffee booths, each proudly displaying all the different tea flavors and handing out samples.

Cafe Show 2010

Coffee or tea? What do you drink?

Cafe Show 2010
Cafe Show 2010

The Cafe Show wasn't only about beverages either. There were also plenty of food booths, like cupcakes...

Cafe Show 2010
Cafe Show 2010

... baked donuts...

Cafe Show 2010

... gelato...

Cafe Show 2010

... and chocolate!

It seemed like every other booth was giving out free snack bites for people to enjoy while sippin' on their coffee samples, but most of them weren't vegan. However, we found two vegan offerings:

Cafe Show 2010

bagels...

Cafe Show 2010

... and these organic Dutch Waffle snacks.

Cafe Show 2010

Abigail bought some of them for us to share. They were really sweet and a bit sticky/chewy in the middle, but they were nice paired with coffee.

Cafe Show 2010

Entries in a fondant cake decorating contest.

Cafe Show 2010

And no expo is complete without a little celebrity...

Cafe Show 2010

I had no idea who this guy was, but his lifesize cardboard cut-out told me he was the 2010 World Barista Champ.

Cafe Show 2010

There was a line of people waiting to get his autograph and picture. Ah, those coffee nerds~

Cafe Show 2010

So that just about concludes my caffeine-filled adventure at the Cafe Show. We were at the expo for about 2 hours and still didn't see every booth. There was just too much going on and after a while, the place got too crowded to navigate. But before leaving, I made sure to buy a small package of freshly ground Ethiopian beans from 'Dart,' which I plan on enjoying with my parents in Cheonan (I don't have a coffee machine at home). Along with my purchase, I got a free single-serving packet of ground beans which I can't wait to try.

Btw, it's the last day of Vegan MoFo!! Wow, this month has gone by waaaay too fast. Only one more month til the new year! Which also means you'll soon be needing a new 2011 Calendar! hehehe (shameless plug, I know~) Anyway, even though I didn't do as many MoFo posts as I wanted to, I am glad that I was a part of it. And I've found so many other cool vegan bloggers out there who are doing awesome things. Well done, and blog-on!

Tootleloo~

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