A peek at a Starbucks in South Korea (@StarbucksKorea)

Here at StarbucksMelody.com we continue to travel all over the world with Starbucks.  It’s like our own Starbucks adventure.  For this blog post I owe a HUGE thank you to “Jacki,” a Canadian living temporarily in South Korea, and a regular blog reader, and, of course, a Starbucks customer.  She contacted me, wanting to share her unique experiences of Starbucks in South Korea with photos of her local store.  I am proudly showing off her store.  This Starbucks location (found in Gunpo) is a mere subway ride from Seoul.  Jacki reports that the baristas are patient and courteous despite the language barrier.

According to the most recent annual shareholders’ report, Starbucks operates (in a joint venture agreement) 288 Starbucks stores in South Korea.  Starbucks Coffee Korea opened its first store in Ewha Womans University on July 27, 1999.  There is a website for their operations here:

http://www.istarbucks.co.kr/

Also for the twitterers reading the blog, there is an official South Korea Starbucks twitter profile too: @StarbucksKorea

One of the photos below includes a picture of a canned ready-to-drink coffee cup beverage which is only available in a limited number of international markets.  I believe that the Starbucks Discoveries ready-to-drink coffee drink is available in Japan, South Korea and a few other international markets.  The Starbucks Double Shot is widely available in many countries.  Per “Jacki” Iced Coffee beverages are extremely popular in South Korea and the grocery store options are fabulous.  The photos below also show some unique differences in food offerings, and that “Classic” syrup is readily available at the condiment counter for customer use.  Notice that the menuboards seem to show pricing for only two sizes (since I can’t read Korean, I’m not totally sure about that).  Also, notice how you could travel around the world and yet still feel right at home!

This blog has had a number of articles featuring Starbucks stores outside the United States, and to go back and look at blog posts about other international markets, click here.

Enjoy your quick trip to South Korea!

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25 Comments

  1. moda
    Oct 31, 2010 @ 01:16:31

    Yeah.. there are so many places like Starbucks in Korea. (coffee shop)

    But remember, the price of Starbucks coffee in Korea is more expensive than the US.
    (Americano is about 3 USD, some kind of tall-size coffee are higher than 5 USD )

  2. Sebastian
    Oct 31, 2010 @ 04:09:50

    AMAZING!! TOTALLY AMAZING!!!!!!

    Finally a peek at an Asian store…GREAT!
    For me, it’s always so interesting to see how Starbucks develops in those countries. They have countless stores over there, people seem to love it, even with high prices. I know some Korean that always tell me how expensive it is there.

    It is so cool to discover all those little differences in every country. AWESOME that they have syrups at the counters.

    The stores has a mix of European and American Coffee House features…the menu boards are the same like in Europe right now (except for the 2 sizes…that is interesting!!).

    Food again is sometimes like our European offers, but sometimes they have new stuff…I would LOVE to taste the cake with the little siren on the top of it (pic 12). AWWWWW….I am jealous! :D
    Also cool that they seem to offer much more bottled drinks than here (pic 13).

    The Starbucks Discoveries Drinks are also available in European countries…my fridge is full of them. We get it from a Danish manufacturer here.

    THANKS Jacki, THANKS Melody for giving this sneak peek! I would love to read 3 different store reviews all over the globe with every week…:D

    PS: The Korean website is totally awesome…great, warm Coffee House Jazz Music when you enter it. :D

  3. Amazonv
    Oct 31, 2010 @ 05:01:15

    Oh wow!

    It’s interesting some pastries are pre-wrapped. I love the classic syrup on the bar!

    So similar, yet so different

    Thanks Melody and Thanks Jacki

  4. Kaori
    Oct 31, 2010 @ 06:33:10

    Wow, another trip around the world! I really love getting to travel and see starbucks in different countries through your posts, Melody :-)

    To me the interior of the S. Korean store seemed very similar to the ones we have in Japan. But although we have pre-wrapped food, too, the menu is all different. I’d love to try the bagels! That looks really good!

  5. purple1
    Oct 31, 2010 @ 06:49:04

    Melody another great post! Love traveling around the world without the hassle of airports. This SB is as others have said really nice. I still am so amazed at how the design of storesw outside the USA are so different. Thanks.

  6. Steve
    Oct 31, 2010 @ 07:17:14

    Great post Melody, I really enjoyed it and marveled at the pictures and the apparent cleaniness of the store. Good way to wake up. I was surprised to learn that there are 288 Starbucks stores in Korea.

    Kam Sa Ham Neeta Melody. That’s Korean for thank you very much and probably terribly misspelled.

  7. Amy B.
    Oct 31, 2010 @ 08:36:32

    I love the cups :)

  8. denise r
    Oct 31, 2010 @ 09:16:59

    wow! another amazing trip! Probably this will sound way ‘off’, but when I see that Pizza Hut above the Sbux, I’m wondering about the aromas……?

  9. Melody
    Oct 31, 2010 @ 09:49:10

    Hello everyone. Sorry that I’m just doing a group shout out, I’m lacking in time. Steve, I too was surprised to realize that there are 288 Starbucks in Korea!! I had no idea. Denise, I admit I had the same thought about the pizza aroma! hahaha! I really hope “Jacki” comes back and sees her thread. I might never know. She’s a lurker totally. It’s interesting to me when I look at analytics, but like only about 1% to 5% of the traffic to the site really leaves a comment! But I really hope “Jacki” will leave a comment just saying “hello” in her thread.

  10. LatteRose
    Oct 31, 2010 @ 09:59:11

    Really neat to see this! Thanks, Jacki! And Melody!
    (That blue wall looks uncharacteristically blank – it needs some artwork!)

  11. Melody
    Oct 31, 2010 @ 10:06:10

    @LatteRose – You put your finger on it! I looked at the lobby picture and thought something seemed off, and now I realize it IS the lack of art on the wall that seems weird! You are right!!

  12. Steve
    Oct 31, 2010 @ 10:06:35

    I didn’t really notice that Pizza Hut over Starbucks until you mentioned it and I went back for a second look. What a terrible combination but I guess you gotta take what’s available.

  13. Coolwatyr
    Oct 31, 2010 @ 11:14:30

    Hello Starbucks Village!

    I love the trips to other places. The cultural differeces are always interesting! A job wandering the Starbucks universe… *dream*

    The comfort of the commonalites combined with the interesting differences – magic! The global community is – to me – reflected in the fact that Starbucks is in so many others countries – and it also respects the cultures of the country it is in.

    I love this opportunity to explore the world!

  14. Donna
    Oct 31, 2010 @ 11:29:28

    Wow How interesting, and timely for me. I just showed this to my 80 year old dad who is visiting me and being interviewed by my son regarding his experiences in Korea during the Korean Conflict for a Veterans Day project for school. My Dad was really appreciative of a look at Korea today as he’s never had the opportunity to travel back there.
    I find it interesting that they don’t appear to have the milk out on the counter there or at least I don’t see it in the photos.

  15. Melody
    Oct 31, 2010 @ 15:57:05

    @Donna – Thank you for posting that comment. You made my day. Very sweet. Hope you and your dad are having a nice Halloween together.

  16. Melody
    Oct 31, 2010 @ 16:00:43

    @Kaori – You have one of my very favorite Starbucks blogs. I do check your blog now and then. You do great posts with lots of pics too. I’d be flattered if you ever wanted to put together a guest blog post featuring your local Starbucks in Japan. Maybe pick a Starbucks in Tokyo and feature it with a few photos inside and out. Your blog is a fabulous trip to Starbucks Japan:

    http://buckedbythestar.blogspot.com/

    Hope my readers will visit your site too.

  17. Darkkatpouncing
    Oct 31, 2010 @ 22:24:21

    I’ve been enjoying these “remote” posts on Starbucks in other countries :) It’s a fun contribution that you’ve added to your blog and I’m glad you’re including these stories. Your blog brings warm smiles – for seriously :D

  18. Kaori
    Oct 31, 2010 @ 23:38:58

    Melody, actually all I have ARE pictures. lol. But I’m having fun with the blog. Thank you for dropping by. I would absolutely LOVE it if I could do something with you! That would be so exciting :-D

  19. Sebastian
    Nov 01, 2010 @ 02:06:37

    @Steve
    Yes, it is terrible…:/
    But especially in “small” countries like S. Korea and Japan the rents are veeeeery high and space is not always available. That’s why I think…in the U.S. I would be more scared to see such a combination. :D

  20. Hyun-sun
    Nov 01, 2010 @ 03:25:59

    Your thought is right. There are only two sizes prices on the menuboards, but additional price per sizes is written below the menu boards. It is not uncomfortable for people to see that, but some people don’t know there is smaller size than tall size. because price written on the menuboards is about tall & grande size only. People who don’t like coffee but go starbucks because of business or promise with friends have no choice but drink tall size coffee. I think that’s what starbucks in S.Korea have to improve.

  21. BaristaAQU
    Nov 05, 2010 @ 06:58:39

    Thanks for Mention to me :)
    I had been Tokyo for 5 days for holiday. In Japan, Christmas season is NOW!!
    I get a lot of tumblers & VIA. SO, How about the blog about MDs of each country! It will be funny to everyone!

  22. Emily
    Aug 04, 2011 @ 23:43:00

    I know this posting is from a while back, so I’m not even sure if anyone will read this! I wanted to comment on the 2-size pricing on the Korean menus. As mentioned above, Starbucks Korea has drink prices for tall- and grande- sized drinks. At the bottom of the menu, however, it says to take off 500KRW (about 55 cents) from the tall price for a short-sized drink and to add 500KRW to the grande price for a venti-sized drink.
    Hope this helps!

  23. First Starbucks in Korea « iddpenin126
    Jan 08, 2012 @ 06:37:27

  24. Danny
    Feb 27, 2012 @ 15:01:22

    Good morning from Seoul,

    Not sure if someone already mentioned this but you might be mistaken about the prices. It isn’t two sizes. The price differences are based on hot or iced. The price shown is the price for a tall size. Prices for other sizes are elsewhere. Make sense?

  25. Coffee Lover
    Feb 27, 2012 @ 17:01:33

    Danny- Actually the prices on the Korean Starbucks’ menus are tall and grande size prices, and not hot or iced. Make sense?

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