In late summer and autumn, Korea enters one of its most beautiful periods. The humidity from summer starts to disappear, and the temperatures are very comfortable before winter arrives. There is also lots of coastline to explore with a wide variety of places to go and things to see. And, perhaps most importantly for me, lots of cafes and coffee shops where you can enjoy a relaxing #coffee or snack.
Taking a drive down the coast of the East Sea, I saw one of the biggest cafes I have ever seen in Korea. A four-floor monolith to coffee and desserts, Nine U appeared as I rounded a corner on the twisty road.
I was instantly drawn to Nine U, and fortunately it was open. After deciding which of the two parking lots to park in, I entered the lower floor, which is the ordering area as well as by far the smallest of the floors.
Upon entering the front door, I was created by the smell of both coffee and freshly baked bread. It turns out that Nine U serves several baked treats including Croissants, Milk Bread, and a wide variety of cakes including rainbow layer cake.
After checking out the coffee menu, I decided to try the Hazelnut Latte and the Café Latte. While waiting for my order to be finished, I looked around the first floor and saw both the little table outside the serving area, as well as some of the items that they have for sale.
As the buzzer rang, I went to pick up the two coffees. The latte art was nice, with two different sizes of hearts. The next thing I had to choose was where to sit. Nine U has a HUGE amount of seating. There are multiple inside and outside seating areas. After finally choosing a place to sit down, I decided to try the two lattes.
The hazelnut latte was sweet and smooth, but not overpowering. I often find black hazelnut coffee to be too strong and overpowering in its flavor. The adding of milk to this hazelnut espresso shot makes for a diluted, and therefore, for me, better taste. I enjoyed this drink quite a bit.
Next was the café latte. This was slightly bitter and was probably made more so by tasting it after the hazelnut latte. After a few sips, my taste buds adjusted to it and was a nice comfortable drink as well.
The real star of the café is the view and the wide range of seating that they have. While some people might find the many different types of seating to be kitschy, I really appreciated it. It also helped that there were no other customers in the café as it was only 10 a.m.
With the sun shining and the view from the fourth floor of the oceans and the rolling forested hills, Nine U is a really nice place to sit and enjoy a cup of tasty coffee. I think the next time I will go back and try a dessert or baked good as well.