Recently Matt and Daesong took Jennifer and I to his new favorite coffee shop, “Noriter.” We were greeted in the elevator by an image of a 1940s-esque flight attendant advertising the coffee shop. Daesong explained that “noriter” is Korean for playground which led to general wondering about the flight attendant logo.
We stepped into the coffee shop to be greeted by an amazing playground. The space has been left open with lofts creating a faux second floor. In lovely Korean-Western fusion fashion the loft spaces are floor seating so shoes must come off. As I climbed up the ladder, I realized being barefoot only made me feel more like a kid.
The owners have decorated the shop in a colorful and fanciful way. It looks a bit like my childhood bedroom might have if it had been taken over by a grown up. A few of my favorite touches are the family travel photographs showing where the owners have been in the world, a Texas license plate and huge windows looking over downtown Chungju. Nearly every nook and cranny is stuffed with a surprisingly playful treat. The owners are happy to supply Wi-Fi, board games, books and blankets, not to mention, the usual coffee and desserts.
Oh my! What desserts! I immediately ordered the honey butter bread envisioning something like a scone, but knowing it would be completely different. I was pleasantly pleased to be presented with a plate of cinnamon bread topped with whipped cream, caramel and almonds.
Of the Western-influenced food I’ve eaten in Korea, Noriter’s honey butter bread is by far the most delicious. The bread is toasted just right–crispy on the outside, soft and melty on the inside. The caramel, almonds and whipped cream were all fresh. It’s one dish I’m looking forward to recreating when I’m back in the States.
The peppermint hot chocolate is delicious. I’m not a huge hot chocolate fan so I was surprised to throughouly enjoy this drink. My cup was so full of cream and chocolate I ended up with cream on the end of my nose in a failed effort to keep the cup from overflowing. It was indeed delicious drink anyone.
As for the coffee, it was a little less than awesome. Admittedly I’ve only tried the mocha coffee, so maybe the other drinks will fare better. However my “hot” coffee was served lukewarm. The mocha and coffee seemed to be overwhelmed by water. It was bitter, flat and flavorless. I won’t be ordering it again.
Despite the failed coffee mocha I am looking forward to another visit. The staff is sweet and helpful. The atmosphere is relaxed and fun. And that honey butter bread, I just can’t eat enough of it.
Besides I still need to photograph the cuteness.