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By Bob Fish

When Michelle and I were coming back from Nepal and our visit to that country’s first organic tea farm in the foothills of the Himalayas, our transition point for travel was Seoul, South Korea. Michelle and I have a goal of getting to 150 countries in our lifetime, and so when we are on a BIGG adventure on behalf of BIGGBY, we like to throw an additional country or two into the mix if we can. We never count being at the airport of a country as having been there, so we decided to add 36 hours on to our stay and take the hour plus drive from Incheon Airport into Seoul.

We were exhausted from our whirlwind tour through Nepal and India and were just off a seven-hour flight from Kathmandu. Our next stop was Detroit, another 15-hour flight. So breaking up the flights with a little city exploration was really appealing. We had arrived at 7:00 am before the city was moving so we checked into our hotel by the East Gate, took a hot shower, a quick nap (our body clocks were pretty messed up with all the time changes), and then grabbed a little breakfast as the sun was coming up. There we planned our day with our mission being two-fold: 1. Take in as much culture as possible; 2. Go to as many coffee cafes as we could.

Coffee culture in South Korea is as strong and vibrant as anywhere in the world. We mapped out our walk to include visiting the Gate, walking along the wall, and getting to as many of the street markets as we could. Along the way we would stop in any cafe on our route. In the end, we sampled the offerings at 10 different cafes. Now, the key here is not to order what you know, but to order what you don’t know, right? We ordered all kinds of things we have never tried before including a purple Potato Latte, Lemon Tea, Ginger Tea (neither of which were really tea, but closer to a tisane), and then walked into a shop that had a Sweet Potato Latte. Neither of us were sure that sounded good, but in the spirit of adventure we ordered one to split.

Michelle took the first sip. Her eyes lit up, and she smiled. Then I took a sip. It was totally yummy and hit all the notes on ‘Comfort.’ By the end we were fighting over who was going to have the last drop. The Sweet Potato Latte was a home run, and we knew there was something in this for the folks at BIGGBY back home.

Having a vegetable or a gourd in your coffee might sound weird, but we are all ok with idea of pumpkin (or at least pumpkin spice) in our coffee, so why not? Could you drink a Broccoli Latte? (probably not yet – smile), but we know that many people are happy to put an avocado into a smoothie, and folks in Indonesia really love a drink called Avocado Coffee. Things are changing. For example, nut and oat milks have become hyper popular and a very normal alternative to dairy milk. The idea of having a spice like turmeric in your coffee for health has already been done by BIGGBY and others, and I think you will be able to expect much more on all these fronts going forward. We are committed to bringing you a boost to your day, and whether that’s through a smile, or a little caffeine, or a little sugar, or a little protein, or through some other super healthy way that we don’t know yet, then so be it!!

“If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. The extent to which you can walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food, it’s a plus for everybody.
Open your mind…”

Anthony Bourdain

Epilogue: Michelle and I are smiling ear to ear, because from the time we went to South Korea in April of 2019 to this Fall Seasonal lineup in November of 2019, BIGGBY COFFEE launched the Sweet Potato Pie Latte. It has been an amazing success and people have been tracking us down to tell us how much they love this new beverage, that nobody else has ? Stay open and eat other peoples food !!

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