There’s something about winter that evokes gratitude. A steaming hot meal or drink, a warm smile or embrace, a gently lit shelter away from chill.. these simple things can soften our hearts and stir comfort that contrastingly would be gazed right over or unwanted in summer.
I suppose the arctic winter months while I was in South Korea ironically made a lot of my memories glow. Especially as I was finally reunited with two very special people who have a familiar and fond place in my heart. Two people who started out as complete strangers, in a place that was completely unfamiliar, who became friends and well-wishers in a place that became another home of mine.
Bean Tie Café would surely have been a new favourite place/escape had I had more time to get to “know it” and put away my bias for 10 Gram Café.. Just as you’d need to let go of one person who’s left your life and stop comparing them to a new person who’s just entered it, regardless of whether they’re irreplaceable or not.
The café is located in the Gaeksa part of town in Jeonju, in the once bustling cinema street that hosts the Jeonju International Film Festival. A hole in the wall doorway next to an abandoned theatre leads you into a small courtyard, where the café and another small outdoor room that houses the coffee roasting machine and the separate toilet are. They’d actually converted a ‘hanok’/Korean traditional house into a café, a trend that’s been taking over the very famous and beautiful hanok village in Jeonju (which is walking distance from here and a place I definitely would recommend to travelers to visit!).
So meet Mr. Bean Tie! His name comes from the idea of a humble coffee bean being transformed and presented wonderfully as a cup of coffee, which the very cute bow-tie represents. The café is quite spacious and there are nooks to sit in for more intimate conversations, half-hidden and mysterious. The characteristic high pointed roof of the house is flowing with drapes matched with rustic wooden furniture and hues of vintage beige, brown and green and set a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere. But most of all, I’m glad the people were the same, and that they made the same cup of hot, utter perfection – their sweet potato latte! We reminisced together, smiling at past memories, sharing personal changes, musing at how strange and wonderful it was to meet again, and to have met and become close in the first place.
Such a heart-warming winter’s day.