With more than 1,860 locations around the world, Caffebene, a South Korean coffeehouse chain, has it sights set on U.S. expansion with dozens of new shops in the works for cities across the country. Today, San Diego's first Caffebene opens on Convoy; a limited menu will be offered during this soft opening period, with the full menu launching on Friday for its grand opening.
Medium roast beans are used for the cafe's coffee drinks, made on a La Marzocco machine; other beverages include smoothies and a Korean drink called misugaru, a slightly sweet blend of black and brown rice, black sesame, barley and black beans that can be ordered as a latte or frozen frappe. There are a few savory sandwiches, but most of Caffebene's food options are in the dessert realm— from cakes, gelato and bingsu (shaved ice parfaits) to Belgian liege waffles and honey bread with sweet toppings.
The spacious 2,700-square-foot shop has a modern design and plenty of room for lounging and working, thanks to free wifi. For the month of August, its hours will be noon to midnight daily, but they may eventually open as early as 8 a.m. and operate until 2 a.m. on weekends. Expect to see more Caffebenes in San Diego, from the UCSD area to downtown.