The scene of dramatic economic growth, Asia has spawned unique coffee cultures. Rare varieties sell for a premium in China; and streets in South Korean cities are brimming with cafes. Asia also attracts attention from coffee lovers as emerging coffee origins. In Indonesia, China, Taiwan and Thailand, an increasing number of cafes serve locally grown specialty coffee. Here, coffee is as much a drink as it is a new form of entertainment and tourism attraction, contributing to the ever-growing economies.
Cafes have a ubiquitous presence on the streets of South Korean cities. Spending time at a cafe is part of the people’s daily lives. In this fast-developing specialty coffee culture, there are countless sophisticated cafes and roasteries with a gripping appeal. By some estimates, coffee consumption in the country has doubled in the past five years (as of 2021). Many major roasters from the United States and Europe have expanded into the country to get a slice of the burgeoning market. South Koreans are among the most enthusiastic coffee drinkers in Asia.
Drinking tea with close friends is a common practice in Taiwan. Coffee is said to have become part of this everyday pastime when the island was under Japan’s rule. Over time, cafes influenced by Japanese coffee culture began to crop up, and Japan’s government started producing green coffee on the island in the 1930’s. Today, roasteries with world-class roasting and brewing skills are up and running. Dubbed “legendary coffee” for its rarity, specialty coffee grown in Taiwan is highly regarded around the world.