Saturday, April 25, 2015

Caffe Moon (calligraphy latte art), Edae

Hear ye, hear ye! Uncle Yenny has finally installed Instagram on her phone! I know, I know. I'm only about five years late jumping on this bandwagon but it was something I kept on resisting for the longest time because I have the mental capacity of 90-year old when it comes to tech-related stuff. Call me ridiculous, but I was pretty sure that my granny-like brain would implode while trying to make sense of all that hashtag and @ sign wizardry. I'm so glad I finally took the plunge though, because Instagram has been life-changing. No longer do I lie awake at night, staring blankly at the ceiling while suffering from insomnia. Instead, I allow myself to be aroused by various forms of food pornography before eventually drifting off into a satisfied slumber. It is magical.

One night, while doing my usual 2am trawling for food porn, I chanced upon a very aesthetically titillating group of pictures under the hashtag 'latteart'. One that particularly stood out, though, was this stunning piece with Chinese characters drawn onto the foam; the work of a calligraphy artist who runs his own cafe in Edae. I knew I simply I had to get myself there to see it in person, so off I set the very next day to find this place called "Caffe Moon".

Located on a back street close to the university, Caffe Moon turned out to be nothing short of delightful. Don't be fooled by the grey, somewhat bland exterior and ambiguous description on the sign. The words 'roastery', 'culture', and 'handicraft' don't really do much to convey the exact level of awesomeness that is awaiting you on the inside.

Push open the sturdy door, step through the entrance, and you'll find that the place is filled with all kinds of wonderful. From the sprawling mural across the wall...

to the pretty succulents on the porch...

to the gorgeous trinkets and fragrant soy candles that line the shelves (and also happen to be for sale!)...

right down to the smell of coffee beans that are roasted in house...

This is exactly the kind of cafe that I would love to call my own some day: a personalised place that is artistic, cosy, and has a homely, welcoming atmosphere.

The cafe owner, a very lovely man who also speaks English well, took my order for a "calligraphy latte" and asked if I had any requests. This came as a surprise because I'd assumed he would just write something generic or whatever random words he was feeling at the time, and off the top of my head I couldn't really think of anything. After watching me stutter and glob like a goldfish, trying to come up with something appropriate, he finally suggested doing my name in Chinese and had me write the characters down on a notepad. Now it was my turn to feel sorry for him, as my Chinese name is somewhat complex and even I still struggle with it. Hah!

Cafe owner concentrating hard on my latte.. XD

Several minutes later, he approached my table with a sheepish smile. "Sorry. Your name is difficult," he said, and then proceeded to place on the table only  the most beautiful latte I have ever laid eyes upon.

Calligraphy latte, 5,000 won

How's that for pleasurable viewing?? It felt like a crime to be slurping down the drink and ruining his beautiful afterwork, but by strategically sipping from various points around the rim of the cup, I made it to the end without destroying it... Kind of.

Satisfaction in a cup.

Apart from coffee, you can also satiate your sweet tooth with servings of cake, gourmet chocolates, and gorgeous little mini-macarons handmade by the cafe owner himself.

Tiramisu, strawberry tart, earl grey mousse

Chocolates for yoooou, chocolates for meeee

Happy face mini-macarons, 1000 won each

Drinks range from 3,600 won to 6,800 won, with some interesting specialties such as the "macaron caffe latte" and "yuja cacao" (yuja being a type of citrus fruit):

At the risk of sounding like a gushing fangirl, there's one more thing I simply have to mention. Along with the amazing coffee, charming atmosphere, and lovely decorations, I think I also fell in love with the bathroom. As the kind of person who likes to inspect people's fridges and bathroom cabinets (don't invite me over to your house unless you're prepared to have your place raided), one pastime I quite enjoy is looking at bathrooms in different restaurants and cafes. (Is that weird? Meh. I am weird!) This one was beautifully decorated with a cream-coloured theme and I absolutely loved that the owner had thoughtfully provided hand sanitiser and hand lotion (which smelled divine!) in such a pretty setting. Little touches make a big impact!

With all the wonderful things going on in such a small, cosy space, Caffe Moon is fast nearing the top of my list of favourite places. I most definitely will be back the next time I'm in Edae!

Caffe Moon, Edae
Hours: 8am - 9pm
Address: 서울시 서대문구 대현동 53-29
Directions: From Edae Station exit 3, take the first right, then the first left. Continue down this street for a few metres and look out for Caffe Moon on your right.

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