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[Drama-induced Shopping] Coffee princess, caffeine queen


Shopping King Louis

By @mindy

I come from a long line of tea drinkers. My mom is a tea drinker. My grandmother is a tea drinker. I’ve been drinking tea for as long as I can remember. This, I believe, resulted in me having a bit of disdain for coffee. I had no good reason for it. I’d never had any before. I had no idea what it tasted like, aside from my experience with coffee-flavored Jelly Bellys. It was a blind prejudice, pure and simple. Looking back, I find my contempt shameful. How could I judge something so completely and so harshly without even trying it first? What a terribly toxic way of thinking.

Luckily, as always, a drama came along to broaden my horizons and open my mind to new possibilities, new ways of thinking. Specifically, a little show called Coffee Prince. The aroma of coffee in that cafe was almost tangible… and strangely, despite my disdain for the beverage itself, the smell of coffee was always something I secretly enjoyed. I soon began to imagine what the taste must be like. I couldn’t believe what I was thinking. Me? Coffee? It felt like some sort of betrayal to the very essence of my being! Nevertheless, after the end of an episode, I suddenly found myself grabbing my purse and running to the local coffee shop to buy a latte.


Coffee Prince

As soon as I came back home, I settled down to watch the next episode, coffee in hand. The first sip was… a bit disappointing. A little bitter. I was confused as I watched the characters on my TV blissfully drinking away, trying to match that with my own experience. I took another sip. Still bitter. What was it? What piece of the magic was missing? Then, I remembered: sugar. Yes, sugar! I put a spoonful in, took a sip, and immediately felt the difference. Yes, this was the sort of light sweetness that I had imagined. With every remaining episode of Coffee Prince, I made it a point to have a cup of coffee at my side as I watched.

My love affair with coffee continued for a couple of years. Tea was never forgotten, but I couldn’t deny the thrill that this new experience gave me. I did, however, find coffee to be quite a bit more cumbersome to make than tea and, being the lazy person that I am, coffee did not become a part of my daily life. That is, until Shopping King Louis aired.


Shopping King Louis

I should preface this by explaining that Seo In-gook could convince me to buy literally anything. The minute I saw Louis slamming his first cups of Maxim Gold coffee, wasting away Bok-shil’s precious, hard-earned cash, my interest was piqued. Unbidden, my fingers were typing “maxim gold coffee” into Amazon, and before I knew it I was buying a gigantic $20 box of instant coffee sticks.

When my box came to my door a couple of days later, I nearly jumped for joy. I’d never tried American instant coffee because I’d never heard good things, but oh, Maxim Gold was different. At this point I could forgo putting sugar in my coffee if I needed to, but I would always include it if given a choice, and Maxim Gold was pure, sweet, sugary goodness. Was it quality coffee? Well, no, but I’m no coffee snob. While I had grown to enjoy the taste of a good cup of coffee, I was mostly in it for the sugar and the caffeine, and Maxim Gold provided both of those in convenient, travel-friendly packaging. It was exactly what I dreamed it would be.


My Ajusshi

What I did not expect my Maxim Gold experience to do was to allow me to connect to characters that I otherwise never would find a common ground with. My heart absolutely broke for little Hye-na in Mother, and I couldn’t imagine being forced to grow up so fast at such a young age, but the minute I discovered her love for Maxim Gold, I understood this part of her on a visceral level. Likewise, I have not experienced hardships anywhere close to equaling Ji-an’s in My Ajusshi, but seeing her stuff sticks of Maxim Gold from work into her pockets and going home to drink it in the dark meant that her character became more accessible to me, in some strange way. Just as a drama opened my heart to coffee, so too did coffee open my heart to drama characters I would otherwise find hard to relate to. What a lovely, cheesy circular thought! We all mock PPL in dramas, and often rightfully so, but perhaps there are moments when seeing something familiar on-screen provides us something to latch on to in an otherwise unrelatable story.

But as sweet as that thought is, perhaps the most important way that this bean water has revolutionized my life is by giving me the jolt needed to both get me through late-night drama-watching sessions and revive me the morning after. I have already witnessed the way dramas can broaden one’s mind, so I no longer feel guilty for forgoing sleep to watch dramas (even though I adore my sleep). Some things are more important and, jokes aside, I do believe that my drama-watching has changed me for the better in many ways. So don’t be frightened when you see my face in the morning and just hand me my coffee! Dark circles are a badge of honor for any drama fan, and I’m no exception. Besides, isn’t that what undereye concealer is for?


Dal Ja’s Spring

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Yay @mindy !! Love your essay. Was having a nice warm cup of coffee as I was reading, and to my suprise, your essay is on coffee. Needless to say, I don't need a drama to incite me to increase my caffeine intake, goodness gracious I drink about 2-3 cups of caffeine (any type) a day.

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Thank you!! I’d say I drink about as much as you do!

I drank plenty of caffeine in the form of tea before my coffee drinking days began and thought that I was immune to the effects of caffeine, but too much coffee can make me slightly jittery in a way that tea never has. I have to be careful. 😛

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The only night I ever pulled an all-nighter was in college and I had 3 cups of coffee to thank for that! However, taking 4 tests the next day was hell, because I was shaking so badly, I could barely write anything! The boy I dated at the time pulled all-nighters routinely, and I may have broken up with him partly on acccount of his encouragement to me to drink that many cups. So now, I’m a much more restrained coffee drinker, never more than 6 oz a day, and only when I really need it.

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As an ode to both dramas and coffee, this is lovely. Coffee is my one true love, and though I prefer mine strong and bitter, I have contemplated ordering a box of Maxim Gold. Maybe I'll do it soon, and tip my cup to Ji-an.

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Thank you! I don’t know how much of a coffee snob you are (I will literally drink anything labeled “coffee”), so I can’t say how much you will enjoy the coffee itself, but theoretically you are supposed to be able to control the amount of creamer/sugar that you want out of a packet of Maxim Gold by pinching it, because all the sugar sifts to the bottom of the packet while all the actual coffee sits at the top.

I’ve never tried it, though, as I like sugar way too much. And so, apparently, does Ji-an. That’s good. She needs some sweetness in her life.

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I really like PPL as long as it's believable and doesn't overshadow the scene itself. I treat TV as a cheap trip to countries I probably won't travel to, and the characters using products with names makes the experience more realistic.
Anyway what is this snobbery, bean water vs leaf water? Both great as long as served sugarless and hot. Any other version can go burn in hell.

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My dad always tries to be funny when he sees PPL for American/European companies on K-dramas and says some version of “They have SUBWAY in KOREA?” whenever it pops up on screen. Yes, Dad. Globalization. It’s not 1800.

I’ll take tea in practically any form (preferably without sugar), but I confess I will still drink black coffee with a grimace. I’ll still drink it because coffee, but I don’t particularly enjoy it.

You would hate Maxim Gold.

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I agree, she would abhor it. It’s like drinking milky, surgery water with a hint of coffee flavor.

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Oh, that does not sound like my cup of tea. Milky and sugary is not how I like my coffee.

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I would, I hate instant coffee. I thought that made me a coffee snob but then I discovered actual coffee snobs' forum and I found out that if you're not grinding your own coffee you're pretty much drinking mud and also you should go kill yourself.
Subway is great but my favorite PPL place is Paris Baguette, the name makes me lol every time.

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Coffee snobs can be very very pretentious. I would take a cup of McDonalds coffee over Starbucks any day. Though a true coffee snob would turn their nose up at both.

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Paris Baguette always makes me think of The Best Hit, which had the most godawful PPL I have seen in my entire drama-watching career.

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the first coffee cup I bought in Korea was starbucks oops LOL

my favorite coffee shop chain ended up being Holly's Coffee...they have the best desserts too

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Yep.

I remember watching Shopping King Louis and thinking that Maxim Gold looks disgusting. And that Louis, coming from France, would have not touched it with a ten-foot pole. Ji-An drinking it makes more sense to me because if you can't afford food then something with a shot of sugar would help you get through the evening.

I'm an unashamed coffee snob. I only drink one cup a day so the cup I drink had better be damn good. Plus I live in a country blessed with good coffee so getting that good cup is no problem. Two years in England nearly killed me but not as much as the two weeks I once spent in the US.

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Very nice @mindy You would probably like Buamdong Revenge Club if you haven't seen it.

I am neutral when it comes to tea vs coffee, but Koreans seem to love Americanos, which I despise (sorry, Americano lovers). Hehe, maybe that is why I love Oh Jak Doo so much... he always goes for cappuccino.

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There was a joke in City Hunter (or was it Rooftop Prince?) why they always ordered Americano. :D

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Thank you, and I haven’t! It’s on my (very long) list of shows to watch. I’ve literally only heard good things!

I’ll take a cappuccino over any other type of drink!

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As a fellow coffee lover I welcome you.

As a person that has a hard time going a Day without.....I kind of feel bad you took that first sip.

What does the Maxim Gold taste like? It lookex like Ji An put a few into her cup/iced tea glass.
I'm not a coffee snob either. My favorite will always be a medium/dark roast with half & half. Yet, I love flavored coffee creamers and coffee shop concoctions. With warmer weather coming I've been thinking of Starbucks salted caramel fraps, with the actual salt.
CP was my second drama. Gong Yoo!
Need to check out Shopping King Louis after seeing him in Reply 1997.

I really want to try the mixed rice or kimchi....but I don't do well with spicy. But those big metal bowls of rice look so good.

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Thanks for the welcome!

Maxim Gold is very sweet coffee. I don’t know how else to describe it! Haha. If you like your coffee light, you’ll probably enjoy it.

I use two sticks in a standard mug and three in my travel mug/thermos. One stick should really only be used for those teeny tiny paper coffee cups!

SKL is a delightful little drama and I totally recommend it when you want something light and fluffy and fun. SIG is love! ❤️

I love it when characters have those big bowls of bibimbop. They seem to eat it like American TV characters would eat huge tubs of ice cream. I love bibimbop and it’s super easy to make, you literally just throw everything into a bowl and mix it up. You can probably find some more mild gochujang and kimchi if you can’t handle spicy very well!

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Ah I bought a box of Maxim coffee sticks the other day at HMart but I don't think i got the gold ones...I'm not sure.

Anyway I poured one stick into a standard coffee shop and didn't like it. I'll make sure to double up and give it another chance haha

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@ohhaeyoung,

I've noticed that in the US, the size of coffee cups (and yogurt containers!) has shrunken 25% to 6 ozs. instead of 8 ozs., at least as far as instructions for making instant coffee, etc. are concerned. So while the instructions say to use one packet / teaspoon of granules, etc., per 6 ozs. of boiling water, everyone now uses extra-large mugs. You really do have to increase the amount of coffee (triple it, say) otherwise it will taste like dishwater. Yuck!

It surprises me how small paper coffee cups are in Korea. They appear to be about 2-3 ozs. -- what my grandpa would have called a "thimble." ;-)

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Ha! I'm drinking a maxim gold right now. I started buying it because of Shopping King Louis too :)

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I was definitely drinking a mug of it while writing this! Nice to meet another Maxim Gold fan! SIG just made it look so dang appealing and delicious.

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@mindy, I love this so much! And this coming from a gal who. still really does not like the taste of coffee, no matter how many times I make it and try it. 😂

😂 Your essay was so fun and relatable, and definitely had me nodding any smiling anyhow. *goes to drink tea*

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Awwwww thank you so much! I’m glad you could relate. If you’re ever in the mood to try again, try Maxim Gold. It’s more sugar than coffee! 😂

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😂😂 ok, sounds like my kind of coffee! *darts my coffee snob aunties* Leave me be!

Funny thing is, I love coffee-flavored things. Ice cream, candies, and I use it to flavor my baked goods. But pure coffee? 😳

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Thanks @mindy-- I really enjoyed your post and your writing! LOL @ "Unbidden, my fingers were typing “maxim gold coffee” into Amazon and "What a lovely, cheesy circular thought!".

I've seen the Maxim Gold sticks in quite a few dramas now, but they always remind me of our adorable Shopping King. That was some cleverly integrated PPL.

I'm really trying to cut back on late-night drama-watching. We have a lot of Alzheimer's disease in my family and there's some evidence that insufficient sleep contributes to the buildup of amyloid plaques (Alzheimer's-related proteins) in the brain. It isn't easy though!

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Hehe, thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed reading!

I think about our dear Louis every time I make a mug! Which of course means I’m always smiling when making it!

And sleep is very important. I do have a pretty regular sleep schedule, but on the days I decide my dramas are more important, I’m happy to have coffee to help me out! I didn’t know that about Alzheimer’s, but it does not surprise me. Sleep is essential and should definitely be a priority when considering your health!

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@mindy Your essay was fun to read! I also have always liked the smell of coffee but I haven't gotten to the point of wanting to drink it.

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Thank you! 💖 I actually loved going into coffee shops before I started drinking coffee, although I would always order tea. I love that smell!

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What an awesome post @mindy!Coffee converts me into human when I most need it. I can't drink coffee on a daily basis because the caffeine in it actually keeps me up for good 18-24 hours (Funnily enough, the caffeine in tea is just fine with my body) . So unless I've had a no sleep the night before or have a particularly hard day coming up, I don't get to treat myself with coffee. But, when I do, that first sip is pure bliss

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Thank you!

I’m the exact same way with the caffeine in coffee vs. tea. I thought caffeine had no effect on me before I began drinking coffee. Then I made the mistake of having a cappuccino at night and found myself in bed staring at my ceiling until 3am. I learned my lesson.

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I'm sorry you learned that the hard way T_T

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Thank you, @mindy. I'm not a coffee drinker but you've evoked the warmth and comfort that comes with viscerally relating to drama characters through their drinks.

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Aw, thank you so much! 💖 I’m happy to know that that came across in my writing.

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@mindy I relate with Coffee Prince making you want to try it! I bought 3 or 4 coffee drinks (I wasn't brave enough for 'real' coffee, I bought really sweet frozen coffees, I think a Tiramisu, as well) even though I've always hated it! I'm from a coffee-country (since we produce it, it's cheap and available virtually everywhere...like, even small children have coffee for breakfast) I didn't stick with it, though. The flavour is just not my thing...but I have to admit Maxim Gold makes me super curious since everytime someone drinks it in a drama they act like they're drinking ambrosia lol Now you've made me curious as well!

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Maxim Gold is the perfect coffee for people who hate coffee but like sugar. Give it a go if you get the chance! It may not be the healthiest thing in the world, but... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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@mindy that was such a fun read! Thank you. I love coffee and Shopping King Luis really made me want to buy Maxim Gold coffee sticks as well. But I keep hesitating because it's such a huge box. What if I don't like it. I wish the would sell a smaller box. So I could try it first. Oh well.

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Thank you for reading! I felt the same way when I bought that huge box for the first time. I almost canceled the order when my brain caught up to what I just did! Luckily I enjoyed it.

If you buy the box and don’t like it, feel free to ship it on over to me 😜

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Oooh! What a fun post @mindy; and thought-provoking. I'm NOT AT ALL an expert in any way on South Korean culture, but I recall reading an article somewhere that coffee is seen as a bit of a status/style symbol in Seoul because coffee was/can be expensive. Dunno how true it is but it certainly adds a different dimension to all the coffee I see being dunked in dramas. :)

Like you once were, I'm more of a tea person myself. However, I've discovered that our office canteen has amazing coffee and these days, my coffee intake has shot up substantially.

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Oooh, that’s very interesting. I wonder if some deep meaning can be gleaned from Louis’ love for Maxim Gold despite his (unbeknownst to him) chaebol status.

I need to do some research on this. SKL may have just gotten a whole lot deeper.

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HAHAHAHA not necessarily the Maxim Gold, but in stuff like stopping at a Starbucks every morning for coffee (ref: While you were sleeping). There's also a short drama about archery where the female lead in ep 1, despite not having any money, scraps together a little to buy a Starbucks coffee so she'll look cool, elegant and rich around some youngsters.

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what drama is this?

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I googled it! ^^ Matching! Boys Archery.
Basically its a light BL-ish manga in webdrama format. The female lead is a BL mangaka who joins as a coach of an archery team in order to *draw* inspiration.

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I can't speak for the prices in Korea, but Coffee Shop coffee is very expensive, especially if you consume it daily. That could start from about USD1,700.00 a year. That's one coffee @ 340 days. Instant coffee, while still expensive in the long run, is significantly cheaper and more accessible.

There can be a lot of snobbery when it comes to instant coffee. I was and to be honest still am. I love my coffee unadulterated. I think the Maxim Gold thing in SKL was kinda like he wouldn't have ever consumed that when he could get good espresso or pour over coffee on the daily. He was born into wealth after all.

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Coffee is more expensive here as well. We can get (amazing) tea by a roadside thela (stall) for Rs. 5/- or (as a convertor tells me 7.5 cents); but for coffee you normally have to go to a shop/store/cafe. A roadside shop may have (terrible) coffee but it'll be the kind of shop that has seating and it'll cost about Rs. 40 at least (or 0.6 USD) haha.

In my city that is. In another part of my country, (amazing) coffee would be equally cheap. So perhaps that point goes nowhere.

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South Korea is definitely obsessed with coffee...we're talking multiple coffee shops on every main street corner. Well at least in Seoul but I also saw lots of coffee shops at Seogwipo in Jeju Island.

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@ohaeyoung,

I cannot imagine how people could work the hours depicted in Kdramas without a legal stimulant such as coffee. For me, tea is too wimpy. The downside is trying to sleep after caffeinating all day long. Or maybe that's yet another reason why everyone gets blitzed on soju after work.

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good points, along with the immense amount of coffee shops, I definitely saw the heavy drinking of soju happening outside the convenience stores every night...one night we were in the Itaewon neighborhood and were on our way to catch the last train on the subway back to our hotel area and we saw this man stumbling hardcore in his business suit down to the trains, I was scared he was gonna fall down the stairs but he'd get to the stairs and manage to go down like a pro so then i realized he probably does this every night lol

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@ohhaeyoung,

It sounds as if you had quite an adventure in Seoul. Thanks for corroborating the impression I've gotten from so many Kdramas re: soju ingestion. ;-)

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Coffee shops on every street corner. My version of heaven right there!

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I like the smell of coffee too! It tastes... interesting. The bitterness turns an otherwise cloying meal/dessert into something yummy~ But maybe that's a bad thing because it makes you eat 3 servings instead of 1.

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As I’ve grown up and found my sweet toothe slowly fading away, I also love how coffee offsets the overpowering sweetness of some desserts! I can’t eat birthday cake anymore because I usually find it sickeningly sweet, but maybe I should try it with some coffee.

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@mindy, there's a reason why coffee and doughnuts go together. Or apple pie and coffee. ;-)

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What a fun read, @mindy! I had my first cup of coffee at 5 years of age, from my aunt, a self-confessed coffee-addict. Also at five, when my coffee carrying doctor who met me after my surgery asked what I wanted to drink, my post-intubated dry throat longed for that coffee he was sipping, but why would a 5-year-old squeak out the word “coffee” as her first words after surgery? He must not have understood me, because I never got it and I’m still bitter! I love the smell of coffee even now, but only drink it when I need a pick me up, usually about 3 pm. Although I’m a self-confessed drama PPL-addict, I have yet to buy any Maxim coffee on my own, but I do have a friend who supplies it! I like my coffee sweet and dark, with very little cream or milk. I was in heaven in Italy where their coffee is really a shot if expresso with about a gallon of sugar. So Maxim isn’t my go-to with all that creamer they must have in it. And Coffee Prince was and is a gem; how could you not drink coffee while watching that? Enjoy your Maxim, mindy!

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Oh goodness, you’d relate to little Hye-na in Mother! Well, perhaps not. Her reason for liking coffee is quite a bit darker.

I felt the same way in Spain, where much of the coffee is the same. I was surprised by how much I liked espresso!

And yes, maybe skip on the Maxim. You can theoretically separate the coffee from the creamer and sugar (a la Lt. Paeng in Smart Prison Living) but separating the creamer from the sugar would be an impossible task!

Thank you and enjoy your 3pm coffee, Ally!

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You sound like my youngest. We joked that I should send her to kindergarten with a thermos of coffee instead of a juicebox in her lunch. She was sneaking snips of coffee as soon as she could hold her own cup.

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The espresso in Italy sounds a lot like a Cafe Cubano. I need to go there now.

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Wow this really struck me "What I did not expect my Maxim Gold experience to do was to allow me to connect to characters that I otherwise never would find a common ground with. ".

Those moments when PPL isn't glaringly in your face and instead rather than disconnecting the audience, it transports you into their shoes so that you can at least in part, physically experience their side of the story, are amazing. The examples of Mother and My Ahjussi are spot on! As a fellow tea drinker (yet to converted into a coffee lover) I loved reading how Maxim shook your beverage world @mindy!

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Thank you for your kind words! While I’ll always groan a bit at Important Conversations taking place in Subway or Papa John’s or whatever the hip new PPL chain is, I have learned to appreciate it when it’s integrate creatively and/or subtly! It’s a true art!

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It was great reading your post and to learn how you got into coffee. I've never tried Maxim Gold, but I wouldn't mind trying a coffee stick provided it was not sweetened. This Beanie likes cream in the coffee but not sugar. Thanks for sharing your coffee experience!

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You can ask Lt Paeng to make you a sugar-free instant coffee!

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A cup of coffee a day keeps the headache away! Well, at least for me it does! 😂

Thanks for the fun read!

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Love your coffee journey despite being an anti-fan of coffee XD
The "coffee" essence(fragrance? smell?) of coffee is what turns me away all the time :-P
But I find coffee & all its variants to be very classy & sophisticated lol. Even the names like latte & cappuccino sound so stylish to me.

So I've settled for the fact that I lack the 'elegant' palate that the coffee lovers have, haha. Thus I admire it from a distance ;-)

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What a great essay! Thank you for sharing, Mindy!
I am totally a tea drinker. I love the smell of coffee, but hate the taste. Unfortunately, even sugar or cream don't help. I live in a place where people mainly drink coffee. In cafés and restaurants, tea is more expensive... *sigh* So as a tea drinker, I've taken to buying my tea from importers. Green tea is so refreshing!
I raise a cup to you, may we all enjoy our cuppa!!

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I used to down this stuff when I was in korea! Fell in love with the sugary goodness the moment I tried it - satisfies my sweet tooth very nicely!

Pity it’s so hard to get hold of here in the UK, though! Coz by now, I’d have already made it as part of my morning routine.

Thank you for the write up, @mindy - twas’ fun to read. 👍🏼

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Now if only there was a follow-up post on how a drama converted someone into a concealer user.

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I totally thought someone would write a post about make-up. Though I will say, no amount of PPL will prompt my make-up illiterate self to go out and buy some. I'll just admire all the pretty from far

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I'm sure there's a club for makeup-illiterate people like us out there haha.

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Well written essay @mindy. I can completely empathize with trying something because you saw it in a K-drama. I've done it many times over. I really need to order some Maxim Gold though. Have yet to try that--and red ginseng. I think I can appreciate something different in the coffee world and I do have a bit of a sweet tooth. Having said that, I take my coffee black. It really is an acquired taste, but once you get used to it, you can appreciate the natural flavours. I still remember when I finally tasted the fruity notes that the coffee description claimed was there!

P.S. 1] My moka pot is my best friend. 2] You might like Cafe Cubano.

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Hi Mindy, loves your essay! Even before I took drama as a serious part of my life, I used to be a heavy coffee drinker. I used to drink at least 3 cups a day - dark and bitter. Living in Indonesia made it possible for me to drink good coffee; they'er just around your corner! But then I got a serious insomnia when I swore to myself to stop drinking coffee! Then, I drank tea instead! This made me a tea lover who would explore and make hard effort to get some great teas.

But I started drinking coffee again since end of last year. I could not resist of its temptation. The good smells. The bitter taste. Ah, I started drinking it again. But not too much; and not everyday. Coffee is something I would save for a special occasion, like when I want to reward myself, or when I'm with good friends, or when I'm traveling and finding a really good cafe I can't miss. But daily, I drink tea, A LOT! :)

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@lemoncello,

I enjoyed the strong Balinese coffee when I visited the island nearly 30 years ago. I guess it's a bit like Turkish coffee, because it's served in small cups, IIRC. It was mixed with sweetened condensed milk that was incredibly thick.

I also like the kopi jahe / ginger coffee. That was unusual, and quite tasty. ;-)

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How two of my life addictions sewn in childhood and how I shamelessly blame them equally on my mom:
1) Drama -because she didn't let me watch TV
2) Coffee -because she would put a spoonful into milk to get me drink it

Thanks Mom!

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@kimbapnoona,

My dear grandmother introduced me to the joys of "coffee milk" (mostly milk with a little coffee in it) when I was a squirt. I got myself addicted to Kdrama all by myself. ;-)

Food Trivia: Coffee ice cream is a popular flavor in New England. In Rhode Island, one of the local delicacies is sweetened coffee syrup, similar to chocolate syrup, that is stirred into milk to make -- what else? Coffee Milk. ;-)

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Coffee syrup sounds awesome! Next time I am in New England I will look out for those, @pakalanapikake!

I love everything coffee....coffee ice cream, coffee candy, or coffee milk in reverse: a cup of strong dark coffee with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

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@kimbapnoona,

FYI, a coffee milk taste test:

https://www.seriouseats.com/2010/04/coffee-milk-rhode-island-state-drink-autocrat-eclipse-morning-glory-the-best-brand.html#comments-250584

I think I found the Eclipse brand in New Jersey about 5 years ago.

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Cute your article. 😄😄😄
I am a total Latin Girl. In my family, 99% drinks coffee. Basically, all of them. I belong to the 0,01% who doesn't?
Why? I don't know.
I remember being a child I heard in the radio that coffee has caffeine and caffeine is a drug, so basically I decided that I day I would never take any drugs.
Nowadays I know it is not exactly like that. And in the meantime I have tasted coffee, I have tried many times for different reasons, once curiosity, then courtesy (since it was offered to me and I couldn't say no). One time a friend of mine wanted to celebrate I was accepted for the master in Germany and invited me to have a cup of cappuccino, and another day a Turkish neighbor wanted to be polite and offered me coffee with milk...
In the meantime I have worked in restaurants and I have prepared coffee myself for the clients.

But however it is: I don't like coffee. Have never liked it and possible I will never do it. Why again? I don't know.

But I am happy for you, that you have your maxime gold. 😄😅😄

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@javinne,

You were right the first time. Caffeine is indeed a drug, a stimulant. It is chemically different from the stimulant in tea. It is possible to become addicted to caffeine. I've quit the habit numerous times. Withdrawal entails headaches, general wretchedness, and crankiness. Going cold turkey is the pits. It's much kinder to taper oneself off.

Perhaps your body's wisdom has saved you from addiction to coffee. It's certainly saved you the expense. ;-)

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LOL!!!😂😂😂😂
True. At least the coffey money I could saved all these years.
But one is never free from probably "not so healthy" habits: I used to be addicted to books and I bought many of them. Spent also sleeping hours reading. And now I am addicted to kdramas and I have indeed spent sleeping hours awake watching something!!!😳
But, lately I control it very good, and I go to bed early. If you don't sleep enough, your nervous system ist stressed out and altered worse than if you drink your coffee all the time. So, we all beanies should moderate our intake of kpop culture, or at least the hours in which we do it 😅😅😅

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@javinne, pleased to meet a fellow book junkie. I was an inveterate reader for most of my life, although now I read a lot of subtitles. ;-)

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LOL! It feels like me! 😂😂😂😂
But i am starting to read again. Happy about it too.
When my three shows now end, I will take a drama break.
🤓🤓🤓🤓 coming back to my books 😀

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I can only imagine your face while drinking your unsweetened latte. 😁

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I think the screencap of Yoon Eun-hye does a good job at representing that first sip! 😂

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Yup, perfect pic! :D
It’s a fun post btw! ^^

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Thank you! 💖

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I'm literally having my morning coffee while reading this! I do find it adorable how little Hye-Na from Mother loves coffee lattes. I'm currently watching this drama so I haven't gotten to the part where she likes Maxim Gold coffee sticks yet.

Anyway I actually visited Korea last spring and the amount of coffee shops per main street is insane. Koreans sure do love coffee and I had so much good coffee while I was there visiting :D

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Haha! Those Maxim Gold coffee sticks are in my Amazon wish list just waiting for me to hit "buy"...all bc of SIG in SKL! LOL!

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Okay, now I just had to order some! If it ends up being a bit too weak, i can always add my packets to some coffee instead of water!

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ah, Maxim Gold. I never got tempted to buy it to drink, but I was curious whether I could catch robbers and serial killers. But I don´t have a lightsaber to kick the cup over with, so I guess that´s off.

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Thanks for your caffeinated essay, @mindy.

* toasts Mindy with a large mug of "Consciousness in a Cup" *

I started drinking coffee in high school, and was an avid guzzler of the stuff up until a few years ago. My main reason was to get my eyes open in the morning, and keep them open later in the day and evening, especially while studying or working.

One of my cousins worked for a big commercial coffee company in Honolulu that supplied hotels, restaurants, and other large institutional customers. I nearly keeled over once when I visited him and he whomped up a great cup of joe for me from a another vendor, a small local specialty firm that had the best macadamia- and hazelnut-flavored coffee I ever drank. At one time they even offered passion fruit flavor, which was wild. I was aghast that he wasn't drinking his own company's product. But he was the plant manager and liked the other outfit's roast better! LOL! A true coffee freak.

An interesting thing I learned from my cousin: The lighter the roast, the higher the caffeine content. That's because the roasting process burns the caffeine. I detest dark roasts because the beans taste burnt to me -- and they contain less of the caffeine which was my whole reason for drinking the stuff in the first place. I've since read that lower-quality beans are often roasted darker -- and used for instant.

The best varieties of coffee are arabica trees, from what I've read. Robusta varieties are not as delicately flavored, and are mainly turned into instant coffee, at least in the US. No one expects it to taste exquisite, but it is serviceable. It's convenient (if you have no time, patience, or place for coffee grinders, drip makers, filters, etc., etc.), and it does the job, especially as it can be doctored with milk, sugar, flavored creamer, etc.

A few tips for those new to the ebony brew: coffee is a very heavily sprayed crop. Twenty years ago my kid sis the biochemist noticed she didn't get the shakes any longer after switching to biodynamically-grown coffee from Mexico. By definition it is organic and cannot be sprayed with pesticides, fungicides, etc. I made the switch myself, and noticed I didn't twitch (unless I drank too much). A good light roast yielded a smooth, satisfying libation that got my neurons firing, but without the eyelid spasms.

Part 1 of 2 - continued -

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- continued - Part 2 of 2

If caffeine gives you palpitations or upsets your stomach, you can try “unleaded” (decaffeinated). Swiss water process and carbon-dioxide are two solvent-free decaffeination methods to look for, especially if you're drinking organic coffee. There are also coffee substitutes made from roasted grains and/or dandelion root or chicory root that taste pretty close to the real thing. Bitter roasted chicory root is added to French coffee in New Orleans.

I've never developed a taste for espresso or cappuccino (I hate dark roasts, and they're too strong for me). Forget those ridiculously expensive lattes. I'd rather buy my own high-quality organic beans and grind them right before dripping a cup. I can make it as strong as I like, too.

I can be expedient, and have resorted to instant on many occasions, and not necessarily the organic kind. I'm not a total snob nowadays the way I've been in the past. On the other hand, there's a ring of truth to the old saw "Life is too short to drink cheap wine," which I paraphrase as "Life is too short to drink crappy coffee." ;-)

For me, brewing a cup or a pot of drip coffee has a ritual of its own that is not unlike a tea ceremony. It's simple enough to do while still not 100% awake, and it helps focus the senses. I used to enjoy starting my day that way, especially once the fragrance perfumed the air. As good as hot coffee smells to me, however, wet grinds are not as enticing.

One last tip: coffee beans contain oils that leach out when you pour hot water over the grinds. A layer of brownish oil can build up on the inside of coffee makers, filter cones, pots, cups, etc. Regularly cleaning all the surfaces it accumulates on will make for a much tastier cup of joe. One advantage of using paper filters as opposed to a reusable gold mesh filter is their absorption of the bitter oils.

Dang, I wrote a treatise. This is what happens to my mind without the focusing power of coffee. ;-)

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@pakalanapikake As always, your vast knowledge never ceases to amaze me. I have heard that the lighter the roast the higher the caffeine content. But light roast has always tasted like water, at least to me. I've always been a dark roast person. On the weekends, I have my personal barista (my husband) making me coffee using the aeropress. Indeed, "Life is too short to drink crappy coffee".

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@jenmole,

I was a dyed-in-the-wool coffee freak for many years, and found the subject fascinating. It seemed as if quite a few Beanies were new to drinking coffee, so I thought I'd share a little of the lore. Like Mu-han in SHOULD WE KISS FIRST, I am full of trivia.

I have to make my own coffee as I normally drink more coffee in one sitting (a couple of cups) than my hubby has drunk in his entire life. He likes the smell of it, just not the drinking of it. But he makes a mean cup of tea. ;-)

I make my light-roast coffee strong so it doesn't taste or feel watery. I guess it all depends on what you like or are used to. Cheers! ;-)

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Reading this made me want to have another cup of coffee and I just down a Caramel Macchiatto with 4 shots. I'm an diehard coffee drinker and have been drinking it all my life- my dad would give me his leftover coffee, though it's really like sugar and cream with a little bit of coffee. I've tried to be a tea drinker, but there's only been 2 or 3 that I've actually liked.

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