For the past few months, cafes plastered posters of beaches and sunlight on their walls to advertise their cool summer season drinks. But with the nearing fall season, cafes are beginning to move away from bright colored posters to ones with darker shades signifying the approach of the fall season and Halloween. Additionally, cool drinks such as slushies and lemonades have been traded out for lattes and teas.
The seasonal changes are the busiest times for Korean cafes. They compete against each other to attract customers through advertisements of their new drinks and desserts. These cafes have also adapted to the increasingly digital dynamic market by using social media for advertisement. Like fast fashion retailers, cafes are in the race to both publicize and innovate, not to mention reshape and share their newest menu items to follow the trends of fast-changing seasons.
Known for their pumpkin spice lattes in America, Starbucks recently released a similar drink in Korea this year with three variations: the hot latte, iced latte, and frappuccino. Users on social media have been excitedly sharing the drink’s iconic “five layers” that include pumpkin puree, pumpkin spice milk, espresso shots, pumpkin spice whipping, and a pumpkin spice drizzle on top. To accompany its new fall drink, Starbucks also launched an apple cinnamon crumble drink that is a mixture of apple, raisins, and cinnamon.
“I had always been curious about the hype over the pumpkin spice lattes when viewing the Instagram models and social media influencers,” said Clara Yim (11), a lover of Starbucks. “But finally without having to travel thousands of miles to America, the drink is also available in Korea. I can’t wait to try it and see if the taste differs from the one in America.”
Apart from Starbucks, another eminent cafe in Korea called Gong Cha has also released its seasonal menu with a fall season fruit: mango. The cafe combined its most popular drink, black milk tea, with mangos to create the “real mango milk tea.” The franchise also created the “real mango yogurt crush,” a drink that balances the fragrant scent of jasmine green tea with the sweet and sour flavor of yogurt and mango purees in between. The drink is then served after being topped with small pieces of fresh mango.
“I love fall because I can finally enjoy mangoes,” said Amy Kim (12). “But after finding out that my favorite café and fruit has collaborated to create a drink, I rushed to try it out. The drink fully met my expectations and I visit Gongcha almost every day now.”