What’s on TV?

How did you get into coffee?

This photo below from Korea reminds me of when I first started to drink coffee. It was a long cold winter there, and I was staying in a place that was over a garage. South Korea in the winter is cold. Super-cold! And this place I was staying never got warm…

In the mornings, I wanted something warm to drink other than tea or hot chocolate. I hated coffee. Super-hated it! So I decided to do an experiment on myself and see if I could take something I hated and turn it into something that I loved. The rational side of my brain knew I was surrounded by perfectly rational people that liked coffee, so the problem must have been with me. Anyway, the experiment worked and now I love coffee.

If you like coffee, how did you get into it?

Daily Photo – What’s on TV

Every Asian megalopolis (like Seoul here) has neo-modern buildings with neo-industrial modern art. They are great subjects for photography, and security never seems to have a problem with tripods. I never see anyone inside taking photos, because these are mostly filled with businessmen. But, if you’re out on the street, you owe it to yourself just to pop into random office buildings to check out the lobbies – you never know what you will find!

What's on TVEvery Asian megalopolis (like Seoul here) has neo-modern buildings with neo-industrial modern art.  They are great subjects for photography, and security never seems to have a problem with tripods.  I never see anyone inside taking photos, because these are mostly filled with businessmen.  But, if you're out on the street, you owe it to yourself just to pop into random office buildings to check out the lobbies - you never know what you will find!- Trey RatcliffRead more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

  • Susan

    What a bright and colorful shot – makes you want to go exploring! When I was young – maybe 5 or so my parents always drank coffee – I aked for some and they gave me some – half milk and half coffee –
    I have loved it ever since – these days they would probably call child protective services on you!

  • Andy Bird

    Haha your beverage story is very similar to mine Susan – my parents gave me tea when I was a year old because I would cry if they gave me anything else to drink. I guess I just saw everyone else drinking it and felt left out. Again I think it was 75% milk and 25% tea so they weren’t entirely cruel. It couldn’t have been that harmful as i’m still here. I love the smell of coffee and love coffee flavoured sweets but still can’t drink the real thing i’m afraid.

    Trey you need a set-up similar to this so that you don’t miss a second of your favourite TV shows that might be overlapping each other!

  • PeterG

    So this is the place where all the CRT television sets ended up when the flat ones conquered the world. The scene makes me think of Terry Gilliams movie Brazil. Great shot! The coffee drinking tradition is strong in our part of the world so I never had to learn, just started when I was about three, with some sugar in it. (The Nordic countries tops the per capita consumption list in the world – it must be the cold.)

  • Josh B.

    Bleah. I have no interest in such a habit.

  • This is great advise, the part about popping into random business buildings. I walk around SF all the time and have never done this for fear of being kicked out, but now that I think of it, who cares. That’s the worst they can really do.

    Coffee? I started around 19 drinking Mochas from Starbucks, because they were as sweet as can be and it was the cool thing to do. Now, ten years later, I’m ordering an Americano, no room. Somewhere along the line I got a glimpse of the amount of sugar in those Mochas, Vanilla Lattes and Caramel Macchiatos and decided I wanted to stay somewhat in shape.

  • Patrick Ahles

    Cool building!I hope those CRT’s are tightly secured…

    My great grandmother gave us coffee when we were about 6-7 years old. She poured some on the saucer, so it cooled of sooner. But I got in the habit of drinking coffee when I was about 15-16 years old. Now I drink all sorts of coffee, cappuchinos, macchiatos, lattes, americanos, espressos. The latter without cream or sugar of course. The darker and stronger the better.

  • Beautiful photo, like you I hated coffee till I got stuck in weather at small town airports during the years I was flying and coffee was the only thing around to drink. so I developed a taste for it.
    It still taste better with Kahlua in it.


  • Simon Morris

    What a bizarre looking reception area – quite amazing. I’ve just spotted the ‘Starbucks’ outside the building… they’ll be overtaking McDonald’s soon, yeah!
    First taste of coffee – hmmm, lets think now… I must have been say aged 10 – can’t recall the actual moment however, I do remember it being a ‘milky coffee’… full cream milk with just a quarter teaspoon of coffee for good measure! It’s quite funny really, our wee fella (aged 8) quite enjoys the odd ‘milky coffee’ too… all in moderation I hasten to add πŸ˜‰

  • Simon Morris

    Woah – alarm bells and whistles… what’s happened to the emoticons? Sure I typed in ‘aged 8’ for our wee fella… oh well, onwards and upwards! πŸ™‚

  • Gail in Montana

    LOL, at Simon. 8)Experimenting to see if 8 and ) = that emoticon. I started drinking coffee when I was working at Kresges, a dime store that was alive and well prior to Kmart. I worked in the basemment and they had a place in the corner that had drinks, etc. I still have to have 1/2 and 1/2 and sweetner in mine. Just don’t like it straight. As for the photo, very interesting. Can’t imagine all the wiring they had to do to have those TVs operational!!! Great capture of an interesting sight πŸ˜‰ . Have a wonderful Sunday, everyone πŸ™‚

  • Gail in Montana


  • Gail in Montana

    well, I don’t know how you did that, Simon, lol

  • That’s a nice capture! It’s a lot of fun shooting in Asia. They seem to let people (foreigners especially) take photos of whatever without any hassle. Not like some other places. I tried coffee as a child, and again in college but haven’t had a cup since. Caffeine doesn’t seem to wake me up, so it kind of went out of sight out of mind, but the smell of coffee is nice.

  • Since I hit the ground running when I wake up, it’s just never been necessary. In fact, when I have tried coffee, you have to peel me off the ceiling, I get so geeked up… like when Stewie tried his first soda. My wife, on the other hand, needs coffee, so I have to deal with the smell, which is not bad, it’s just deceiving. Just yesterday morning, we were driving and she had her fresh coffee with her. The smell was so strong, but in trying to find the positives in all situations, I thought to myself,”At least she’s not over there ripping farts.” I then had to explain why I was laughing to myself.

  • Julie

    My dad was a coffee drinker & I enjoyed sitting at the kitchen table drinking a pot with him. I never cared much for it, but since it was a time to spend with Dad, I slowly sipped while he finished most of a pot. I really got into coffee for the enjoyment of coffee when I discovered something other than Folgers. I love to try beans from other countries and compare the nuances in taste. I need a second job to support my photography hobby, and would love to be a barista.

    Cool shot. I am always wondering what kinds of things to photograph for HDR. Springfield is basically boring, but we have some really cool coffee shops & one really cool chocolate shop. Gotta explore the possibilities.

  • Kat

    Frist of all I love your daily photos…never miss it.
    Second, as for how I got into coffee…I was teaching a SWAT school in Brazil. Coffee was served all day and night, with every meal. It was rich and fresh, and served with sugar and some type of whipped egg white stuff…Yummy!

  • I stayed with relatives for a few months in my post teen years, and every morning they would grind some coffee beans before work. The smell was so intoxicating that I eventually had to try a cup. I remember being extremely disappointed by the taste of the coffee itself compared with the aroma, but I was still hooked. Good thing because some of my favorite moments have surrounded a cup of coffee or the pursuit of coffee. In college, some crazy friend told me to “not corrupt the bean” with milk and sugar— that doesn’t make any sense, but its such an odd statement that I still obey it to this day.

  • Ian

    That’s one incredible lobby! I can’t remember not drinking coffee! Starbucks are eveywhere now … whenever we travel somewhere new, my wife and I search out the local Starbucks, pop in for a coffee and take a photo to add to our collection.

  • I used to take a LOT of excedrin for headaches. Excedrin contains a lot of caffeine. So, when I had to go cold turkey off excedrin, I turned to coffee for my caffeine. I had never been a drinker of coffee, but now I wouldn’t want to start my day without it (fresh ground beans, french pressed, than is:)

  • Julie

    Ian, You really should pop into the “local” cofffee establishments in your travels. Starbucks tends to over roast the bean which results in a less than ideal cup of coffee. The local establishments sometimes roast their own beans, sometimes not, but always the coffee is superior, and the atmosphere is truly local. I’m like Sam J. some of my favorite moments have been in the pursuit of coffee. It is a lot of fun, and I have learned a lot about the process of coffee in my pursuit.

  • Phew! That’s some crazy color fringing right there! Apart from that, I really like this shot. Very interesting place.

  • Thanks! Interesting stories… and yes, I think this is where all the old CRTs go to die…. hehe

  • Vicki Wilson

    Love this, you find some of the coolest places!

  • Believe it or not it was my pediatrician who got me hooked on coffee, at least that’s how my mother tells the story. He recommended that she add a little bit of coffee to my bottle and I’ve been hooked ever since!

    I love this shot Trey and it is a wonderful suggestion. Now if I could just get up the guts to actually do something like that!

  • Interesting shot Trey. I didn’t start drinking coffee until around 20 but I always liked coffee ice cream as a kid. When I started drinking coffee I would put cream and sugar into into, then about 10 years ago dropped the sugar and last year dropped the cream. Now I get all the intense coffee flavor without it being diluted or sweetened. My favorite is our of a French press. Mmmmm! πŸ™‚

  • Wow, that really is an interesting building. It’s kinda funny how CRTs seem so old now, they must seem like ancient primitive technology to kids growing up now. I bought the first TV I had ever purchased for myself back in 2005, a 27″ CRT and was so excited to have a new “nice” TV…I think it was about a year or maybe two later that the flat screen craze really took off and the prices on them came way down and suddenly my fairly new TV seemed so outdated.

  • My first memory of coffee is from an Italian soda that is called Manhattan Special. It is a strong espresso soda that my father used to drink. Of course, being children, my brother and I desperately wanted sugar and this soda seemed to be our salvation. We used to drink it with milk in it and I remember it as such a treat. Now it is hard to find. I do not drink caffeine any longer as it amplifies my energy too intensely. But since I love the flavor I have an iced decaf espresso every morning made by my french press with a little bit of whole cream.

  • Trey,
    I started drinking coffee the winter I spent in Great Falls Montana (another rather cold place in the winter). I was a senior in high school and had moved to Montana to help my brother run a record store. It was a busy winter. I went to school in the mornings, then would open the store after lunch. Around five, my brother would relieve me and I would grab a meal and head to bed in the back of the store where I had made myself an apartment. Around eleven I would get up and head to the radio station ‘K E I N’ where I was the DJ from midnight till six am. When I got off I would head to school and start it all over again. Across from both the record store and the radio station there was a Sambo’s restaurant (similar to Denny’s) where I could buy a cup of coffee for a dime and the refills were free. Their coffee kept me warm and awake many cold winter days and nights. I still enjoy a cup of good black coffee or a cappuccino and my memories of my winter in Montana.

  • Tom

    Started with Vietnamise coffee in college – my computer lab manager introduced me to their famous Iced Caffe! THen quickly to Espresso in an architecture trip to Italy with my professor!

  • I don’t remember expressly when I started drinking coffee for enjoyment, but I know that I initially drank it because it was a low-calorie way to take in caffine. I wanted something to help kill my outrageous appetite while I was working on slimming down via diet, so tea and coffee were beverages of choice. I’ve worked a night shift for too many years now, and that factored in as well.

    I never liked what I got out of drip machines, but what I got from trying to french press my coffee was so good that I drink it frequently now. I still drink tea as well, but less often.

  • Grad school. Didn’t grow up drinking coffee, and most of my coffee drinking friends always gave it to me practically black to try cause that’s how they liked it. Between going to school full time and trying to stay employed enough to keep a roof over my head, seems like I was always tired. Don’t remember exactly when I became motivated to try coffee again, but that time I mixed it. Got in the habit of grabbing a coffee on the way to class every morning and the rest is history.

  • Dan

    Same Andy! I love the smell of coffee, and sweets/cake etc but can’t bring myself to drinking it lol.

    Ah well, I don’t drink much hot beverages apart from the odd hot chocolate :P.

    Nice photo Trey, Very ‘geeky’ looking… I like :).

    I’ve added a few of my recent photo’s on my blog if anyone wants to have a look feel free :)! Thanks!


  • This is one of the things that I really like about Korea is the fact that they never really mind about shooting or tripods. Seoul is great for the neo-modern buildings and Busan is catching up quite a bit. Especially around the Haeundae and Centum areas.

    As for the coffee, my family were huge coffee drinkers and I drank a lot of horrible coffee growing up (sorry Mom!) However when I can to Korea, it was really hard to find “good” coffee in my area, so I started to experiment (french press, pour-over, mocha-pot, etc.). A few years later when I went back home that passion lead to me running a high-end cafe. Now back in Korea, I juggle my free time with photography and coffee… they “blend” together nicely. Thankfully, now the coffee trend is in fully swing here and you can find roasting shops and trendy cafes everywhere.

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