Coffee for Aviators

If you want to be at your most alert when flying out of Pyongyang's Sunan Airport, one of the city's newest cafes is there to help.  We're not sure of the name, we think it might just be "Coffee". It is near the international boarding gates.

In classical - or, rather, typical - contemporary DPRK style, the design of the cafe features....wait for beans. Our team that focuses on urban planning and design noted last year that abstractions are not a strength in DPRK design. (We're running our second workshop in conjunction with London's Architectural Association next month.) If you ask a Pyongyang architect to design something that evokes a flower, the design will probably have actual petals and stalks and things.

A similar issue has also come up when we've brought Koreans abroad and included tours of museums that have abstract art. "But what does it mean!?" the more curious ask, leading to thoroughly enjoyable discussions about art, interpretive meaning and the relationship between artist and audience. 

Abstraction in design may not be part of DPRK tradition, but neither is coffee. Now, this airport cafe and the one on the 2nd level before security add to the growing list of places in Pyongyang that serve decent espresso drinks.

"Put some massive coffee beans on the walls." "OK."

"Put some massive coffee beans on the walls." "OK."

The cafe also features a range of alcoholic beverages so if you're nervous for, um, whatever reason and need the calming influence of alcohol before a flight, they can help out also. Prices for coffee drinks aren't cheap, though. They're slightly more expensive than most airport coffeeshops around Asia.

If you'd like to compare prices and tasting notes, consider joining us for a workshop!