The Most Scenic Cafe Around: Hey_Mer, Ulsan (헤이메르)

So, Hey_Mer, a cafe that I had honestly heard nothing about until 3am this morning, is quite spectacular. When I can’t sleep I often spend my time on instagram hunting down beautiful cafes to visit at the weekend. When I saw this I knew it was the one. Being over an hour bus ride from my home, it was quite an investment of time; but for the views this place offers it was 1000% worth it.

Let’s do a quick breakdown:

Coffee blend: clean and mellow with a bitter finish, rich, like very dark chocolate with minimal sweetness, slightly nutty.

Atmosphere: very clean and fresh feeling. Lots of couples and families so fairly busy and bustling- good dynamic.

Menu: amazing selection of cakes and pastries, good selection of classic and speciality coffee and other non-coffee beverages choices. Fairly expensive price tags.

First impressions

So this cafe is clearly one of those “well-kept” secrets that the locals know of but others have no idea about. I say that because the cafe building is quite large and it was busy and I was definitely the only foreigner within a mile radius. When I was riding the bus here all the old Korean passengers kept looking at me like I was lost and clearly had missed my stop and had no idea where I was. Jokes on them because I didn’t miss my stop (I nearly did…but not quite!). The internet told me that the busy period for visitors is around 2pm, and I rocked up at around 5pm, so the busy period was over but I still had to battle-to-the-death (exaggeration) for a table. Can you imagine if I wasn’t joking and that was just a normal part of the routine of visiting a cafe?…what a great idea for a novel…

Anyway. The cafe itself has very clean marble/stone chic-feeling decor. It looks like one of those houses that heroes in films always have (the ones that are on the edge ofa cliff and the walls are all windows and everything is super modern and it almost looks uninhabitable because it’s so clean.

The Hey_Mer cafe is actually part of a pension site (owned by the same company) so all the patrons at the cafe were probably guests from the pensions. So there were a lot of families with young children and a lot of couples. It was actually quite nice as it gave the cafe a nice energy to filled with so many happy people. But this has a downfall as the cafe is not overly easy to get to if you don’t have a car. I sadly was on foot, so you have to hike up this road which basically doesn’t have a pavement. So if you go that way then be prepared and please be careful.

Views halfway up the hill to the cafe

Coffee

For coffee I ordered (surprise surprise) an iced latte. Firstly it was served in the most adorable take-away cup, adorned with a gold sleeve to keep your hands from freezing and dropping off while you hold your coffee and stand outside and get attacked by the cripplingly cold sea breeze. How thoughtful. And how fancy! That seems like the best word overall to describe this cafe. Fresh and fancy. The coffee was very clean tasting. The flavours of the coffee were overall fairly rich with a bitter fresh finish; there was no hint of any sweetness or fruitiness. Honestly I couldn’t detect many flavours from the blend- there was a slight nutiness similar perhaps to almonds or hazelnuts, and there was a richness that tasted a lot like cocoa nibs (like a really high percentage dark chocolate with no sweetness at all). For my coffee I like richness but I prefer it to be accompanied by a slight sweetness or spice. So the coffee was good, but wasn’t really to my taste. Having coffee with milk (a latte) tends to make the coffee overall more sweet due to the sugar from the milk, so having this in latte form made it a bit more pleasant than I imagine an americano would be.

Cake (the best part, of course)

So yeah the coffee was alright, but the real stars of this show were the baked goods. After the hour-long bus ride and the surprise mountain hike I had to do to reach cafe- I felt like I’d earned some cake. I ordered the orange cube cake and, oh my, it was nice. It reminded me of a simple orange-marmalade loaf cake, the kind that your nan would make for a family garden party. The inside was a beautifly moist, not overly sweet orange sponge- coloured a dazzlingly vivid orange hue. The outside was glazed with a sour and sweet honey orange marmalade drizzle and topped with sweet jewelled orange slices. Honestly, my favourite part of going to cafes alone in Korea is that they give you huge portions for desserts. Because in Korea desserts and meals are mostly supposed to be shared- they even gave me two forks with my cake even though I’d only ordered one drink and was clearly alone. So I got a huge chunk of cake all to myself. It was quite pricey at 6000 won for a slice, but it was so goooooooood. It was quite dense so I felt kind of sick after eating it all, but at 6000 won a piece there was no way I wasn’t going to finish it. Calories well spent, in my opinion.

Those pastries 😍😍

Pros: really good menu choices, amazing locations, the vieeeeewwws, nice staff, really pretty decor, the cake (x1000 points)

Cons: very busy, quite pricey, coffee wasn’t incredible, hard to get to without a car

Overall this was a fun adventure! This cafe is situated near Jinha beach and a lot of pretty temples/mountains , so I would really like to come back here when the weather is warmer and enjoy the views in the sunshine and do some exploring (and pay my new best friend, Mr. Orange Cube cake, another visit).

Happy sipping! ~

Laura ☕ 🌸

**This is completely irrelevant to the review but I am so proud of myself as I managed to order my coffee using wholly only Korean- I understood everything they asked me and answered appropriately and I’m just so amazed..it sounds stupid but I normally freeze and panic when I have to speak Korean so please join me in my mini celebration for a second ♡♡♡♡**

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