UPDATE : 2017.9.15 금 01:43

[Vol. 76] Unique themed cafes: More than a tea time!

엄해인 기자l승인2016.11.30l수정2017.02.12 20:47

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Drinking tea and shooting the breeze with your friends are the only things you do in a cafe, perhaps. Today, you are moving your steps to cafe Gong-gam or Shim-pyo on campus and doing the usual, gossiping with friends drinking a cup of Americano. Have you ever imagined yourself doing other things in the cafe such as fishing, camping, taking a nap, and playing with animals? Your imagination comes into reality in some cafes! Nowadays, a lot of unique themed cafes are appearing according to various kinds of consumer demands. Probably, you have heard of cat and dog cafes or cartoon cafe at least one time. However, you can experience more things in the cafe in addition to playing with cats and dogs or reading comics.

Dark Cafe

Do you remember Mary and Tim’s first meeting in the dark cafe, where they could not see anything, in the scene from the movie, About Time? “Hi.”, “Hi, I am Mary.” The only things they could feel about each other were their quivering voices and temperatures from unexpected touching. Although we could not see the actors’ appearances, we could see invisible emotions of love crossing the darkness and tickling Mary and Tim. You can experience this kind of blind date in the dark cafe which is one of the emerging unique themed cafes. You can also do a lot of things such as drinking tea, playing a board game, and having some alcohol in that cafe, and these ordinary things turn into awkward things in darkness. Therefore, consumers can completely concentrate on the situation and have an honest talk with their partners. The desolate interaction respectively checking Kakaotalk messages or scanning news feeds on Facebook during conversation disappears. This is the reason of dark cafes getting more and more popular. Some people are also content with the experience of being blind and understanding those who are visually impaired.

Racoon & Lamb Cafe

If you are an animal lover, here are some cafes for you! Animal cafes such as racoon cafe and lamb cafe are sticking their necks out getting a lot of attention from the public. In racoon cafe, you can have uncommon experiences touching and feeding racoons which are quite rare in Korea. They are so energetic that they sometimes steal people’s food or belongings. Ro Wonhee, a sophomore majoring in primary education, has been to a Racoon Cafe and she said, “I really wanted to get close to with racoons, but they were quite chic animals. They are so cute, though. If I can visit racoon cafe again, I would like to get along with them more actively.” If you want more “gentle” animals because you think these racoons would disturb your tea time, how about going to lamb cafe? The idea that you can only find sheep in wide meadows can be broken when you take steps into the lamb cafe. You can touch and feel soft furs of sheep in this cafe with a tea. Lamb cafe has even introduced in the popular TV Program, “We Got Married!” Like racoon and lamb cafes, a lot of unique animal cafes are coming out with the flying squirrels, turtles, hedgehogs or other various animals. 

Nap Cafe

Compared to such cafes mentioned above, nap cafe is a relatively calm one—it is kind of a resting and healthy place. Taking naps are beneficial for your health: they can reduce stress, increase alertness and productivity, and mitigate the damaging effects of sleep deprivation. Here in a nap cafe, you can take all these advantages by falling into a deep sleep with soft music flowing over and tea scents soaking smoothly. The best resting environment is prepared for you along with a massage chair, couch, personal bed, and hammock, sometimes also with sleep pants and blankets! Nap cafe usually provides consumers the package of 50 minutes sleeping time with a tea, and it is 6,000 to 13,000 won per package. It has appeared starting from main marketplaces like Gangnam and Hongdae in Seoul since 2014, and now there are over 50 nap cafes in Seoul. Korea is not the only place nap cafe is getting popularity; it is already life-sticking business in New York, Paris, London, Tokyo and many other cities.

There are over 12,000 cafes in Korea, but there is a statistical survey result that 36 percent among them close within three years, and 10 percent within a year. To survive in this age of limitless competition, unique themed cafes are appealing many people using differentiated strategies that combine people’s unique desires with the place of “cafe.” There are much more extraordinary unique themed cafes like fishing cafe, bicycle cafe, spa cafe, and psychotherapy cafe in Korea! Professor Park Yoon-ju at Seoul National University of Science and Technology said, “Coffee Shops providing only coffee and teas are in the situations of saturation. Market economy is already in the red ocean, which is an economic word meaning overheated competition, so the demand for unique themed cafes that add special experiences to consumers is prospected to increase more and more.” Drinking tea and having extraordinary enjoyable things together has become kind of new cultural thing nowadays.


엄해인 기자  umhaein@naver.com
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