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Studying / Working in Cafes
« on: August 06, 2021, 06:12:33 pm »
I'm not a coffee drinker so I don't go to those cafes like Starbucks, Yoger, Holly's, Ediya, you name it.
I was just wondering if there are "time limits" to how long a customer can stay in the store?

I was thinking about starting to go out to these cafes not because I want to drink coffee, but mainly because
I want to do some work on my laptop / devices and just be out while doing it.  It gets kinda boring and stale
doing it at home alone and sometimes you just need that change of scenery and get out to some place like
a library or a cafe to do your work.  I know for some, it actually motivates them to study or work better because
they are out in public looking busy and feeling like they are being productive (maybe in a pretentious way but still
it counts right?).

So is it totally normal to just buy a $2 or $3 item / drink and then take a seat and use it for 1.5 hours studying or
working on my laptop?  It seems like it's pretty common thing.  I know you can't do that in restaurants because they
want you to eat and get out, but it seems like cafes welcome people to come and just lounge around on a couple bucks
drink for an hour or two.



  • Mr C
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Re: Studying / Working in Cafes
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2021, 10:20:27 pm »
Well, first of all, good luck finding a $2 item in a coffee shop, at least in Seoul.  $5-6 seems more likely.

But yeah, 1 1/2 hours is not an outrageous amount of time to sit in a coffee shop.  You may get some kind of easement if you're a regular.

As far as time limits, I've never experienced this, but if they come to you and say it's time to move on, then I guess you've found the magic number.   HTH.


  • KimDuHan
  • Hero of Waygookistan

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Re: Studying / Working in Cafes
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2021, 02:55:13 am »
People used to order one coffee and literally study/relax in the cafe all day.

I never got kicked out of a cafe on Korea for staying too long. Even if I just bought the smallest americano possible for 1500won.

Canada however is a different story. There seems to be a 1 hour max limit at most places even if you buy an insane amount of stuff.


  • L I
  • Waygook Lord

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Re: Studying / Working in Cafes
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2021, 06:26:31 am »
That happens in Canada? It’s because coffee shops are crowed there with not enough seats? Less coffee shops per capita / less coffee shop space? Maybe it’s because of a price difference? Because a coffee is $5-6 in Korea, they’ll let you stay longer?


  • VanIslander
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Re: Studying / Working in Cafes
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2021, 09:41:05 am »
Ah. The century-old romantic notion of reading a novel in a cafe in Paris.


Re: Studying / Working in Cafes
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2021, 10:51:48 am »
I think the general rule is 1 drink/hr. At busy/full places and 1 drink/2~3 hrs. at slow/empty places.


  • chimp
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Re: Studying / Working in Cafes
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2021, 04:56:25 pm »
To answer your question... there's a zillion half-empty cafes in this country, just find one that tolerates you endlessly hanging around without buying much. Trial and error is the way to find these places.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2021, 11:23:50 am by Kyndo »
oo oo ahh ahh


  • Mr C
  • The Legend

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Re: Studying / Working in Cafes
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2021, 08:56:36 pm »
This is so sad and pretentious.

Your inability to read, you mean?

OP was clear:  "...I want to do some work on my laptop / devices and just be out while doing it.  It gets kinda boring and stale doing it at home alone and sometimes you just need that change of scenery and get out to some place like a library or a cafe to do your work. "


  • KimDuHan
  • Hero of Waygookistan

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    • January 15, 2015, 11:48:59 am
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Re: Studying / Working in Cafes
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2021, 02:53:59 am »
This is so sad and pretentious. Is what you do so worthless that the only way you can give it meaning is to perform it for others in a cafe?

To answer your question though... there's a zillion half-empty cafes in this country, just find one that tolerates you endlessly hanging around without buying much. Trial and error is the way to find these places.

The half empty cafes with two or three levels are gems! On a hot July/August day just sit and study/watch YouTube all day! Beats the heat and the hustle and bustle of Korea.


  • VanIslander
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Re: Studying / Working in Cafes
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2021, 02:57:00 am »
Why not go to a library?


  • JNM
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Re: Studying / Working in Cafes
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2021, 03:34:17 pm »
The only problem I have ever had is when I get voice chat requests. If your work doesn’t involve that, it shouldn’t be an issue.


Re: Studying / Working in Cafes
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2021, 10:52:55 am »
Yeah, I have a hard time focusing on work while at home, too, so I usually choose a cafe somewhere and plunk my butt down there for around 4-5 hours. And I typically order a drink once every 2 hours or so. Some people just order the one drink and stay there all day, but 1) I personally like to have hot drinks to sip on while I work, and 2) I feel like I'm taking advantage of an establishment if I don't buy a certain number of drinks while I'm there, especially if it's not a chain/franchise.

But one drink for 1-2 hours? That's reasonable for me.

Also, cafes here typically serve non-coffee/caffeinated drinks, too. Chocolate lattes are basically just hot chocolate, lol.


  • VanIslander
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Re: Studying / Working in Cafes
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2021, 10:41:34 pm »
Go to a LIBRARY.

They will let you study there ALL DAY.

Seriously. For free. And you can even leave to get a cup of coffee and come back and continue.

Yet the pretentious (or at least glamorous) sitting-in-a-cafe reading posture is widespread.

In Korea, bakeries often are used as such by clear posers.


Re: Studying / Working in Cafes
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2021, 10:47:59 pm »
Yes for the library....
When I study there everything is quiet. I know what I came there for and depending on the library I can bring drinks in.
I can not concentrate in the local cafes near me at all.


  • JNM
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Re: Studying / Working in Cafes
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2021, 04:17:22 am »
Go to a LIBRARY.


There is a certain, for lack of a better word, pretentiousness to the accusation of pretentiousness.



  • VanIslander
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Re: Studying / Working in Cafes
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2021, 04:37:21 am »
Yes for the library....
When I study there everything is quiet. I know what I came there for and depending on the library I can bring drinks in.
I can not concentrate in the local cafes near me at all.
Korean libraries are more lax than back home. I can even eat a snack there without reprimand.


Re: Studying / Working in Cafes
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2021, 08:59:11 am »
Thanks for all the replies.  I definitely understand the only way to really know is to try it and see what the "magic number" is because it's probably different for every place, even depending on the the manager.  I could imagine it's not a big issue in a big city where lots of people do it all the time, but since I'm in a small town, they probably don't get as much people who sit there longer than 1.5 hours on 1 drink and anything longer than that they'll probably start looking at me.   Anyways, good to know that sounds like for the most part they don't kick you out for staying too long (unless of course it's really busy and I'm holding up a table).