Maze Coffee is an Ulsan-based landmark cafe that is pretty much the go-to place for anyone that wants to fill their instagram with the most beautiful photographs of their edgy decor and their *to-die-for* drink selection. Well Maze coffee recently branched out and opened a new cafe in the Ulsan university area- dubbed the Maze Backyard as it sports a more open “summer – friendly” outside layout than the original Maze. To celebrate this grand opening I wanted to focus on Maze Coffee’s most popular beverage for my review today.
While Maze is famous for it’s aesthetic and it’s endless photoshoot opportunities: it is equally famous for one particular drink- their sensational 핵초코라떼. A.K.A. the “nuclear” hot chocolate. If you follow me on instagram (@cremajournal) then you’ll have seen a sneak peak of this drink already (if you don’t follow me then please check it out! Why not, right?).
So generally this name may seem slightly hyperbolic for a simple hot chocolate, but when you actually order it and see what you receive it becomes very clear where the inspiration for the name came from. For this is far far from a “simple hot chocolate”. It’s much more magical.
Here’s the breakdown:
Taste: chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. It’s essentially just hot milk with some chocolate flavour topped with heaps of freshly shaved chocolate. They shave the chocolate to order from these huge blocks, and you can see them do it (it’s so satisfying and fills the room with heavenly scents~). They use a mix of white, milk and dark chocolate so overall the taste isn’t too sweet, but it is very rich so prepare to indulge a tonne. The chocolate tastes so creamy and amazing so it’s clearly good quality- it doesn’t taste cheap at all.
Coffee: you can order this beverage with or without coffee. And honestly, because there’s so much chocolate, they both taste very similar (the chocolate masks all of the coffee flavour) but naturally the coffee addition does make the drink a bit more “rich” tasting. I have tried the typical coffee blend from Maze (my boyfriend can’t drink milk so always gets the americano and sits there all sad while I enjoy the chocolatey masterpiece) and it’s not bad but not really my taste (a little too bitter/crisp for my palette).
Experience: This drink is definitely an experience that should be handled with great care and precision. The chocolate literally goes everywhere. I spend half my time carefully cleaning the porcelain cup and saucer with my spoon, so not to waste any precious chocolate. Just be careful and don’t wear any light colours, okay? Good.
They do offer the drink hot or cold, but I always get the hot one (if the chocolate doesn’t melt and go everywhere, then what’s the point? *joking*) I’m sure the cold version is equally delicious.
If you look at the photos with #mazecafe (#메이즈카페)on instagram pretty much all you will see is pictures and boomerangs of this drink. It’s true beautiful and damn delicious. You can never go wrong with ordering this (unless you’re lactose intolerant- no dairy-free version, I’m afraid). Truly. Order it. Go and get it now.
But let’s do a more detailed breakdown of the cafe itself:
1. The original MVP “Maze Coffee” in Ulsan, 달동 (address at the end of the post), quite small and hidden with a little front patio everywhere- vibe is vintage but edgy with a modern twist, makes me think of of a classy, “grungy” cocktail bar I would find back home.
2. Called “Maze Backyard“, and is the new addition to the Maze family. Located in the 무거동 university area of Ulsan. Much larger space with inside seating that features the same signature Maze “vintage edgy” vibe, but has a really cute large outside courtyard space that is beautiful in the Korean sunshine.
I personally prefer the small and cozy feel of the original Maze but both are amazing. The Courtyard has a bit larger of a menu as they have the space for a kitchen, so they provide more food options! I had the pancakes and they were pretty amazing.
Maze is a cafe that I have visited many times- it’s become a favourite spot for my boyfriend and I when we want an indulgent treat. With regards to the products I have sampled so far I’ve tried the famous hot choc, the signature Maze latte (a very elegant drink! A review for another day), and also their chocolate tiramisu and maple syrup pancakes.
That’s it! If you’re based in Ulsan or nearby or are visiting soon- please visit Maze. You will NOT be disappointed.
Laura ☕ 🌸
19-6, sinjeong-ro 30beon-gil, Namgu, Ulsan 44725
5-8, Daehak-ro 84beon-gil, Namgu, Ulsan 44611