Relaxing at Caffe Bene
I was excited to try out Caffe Beneâ€“a Korean cafe that specializes in coffee, desserts and sandwiches. Originating in Korea, this chain has since expanded to the United States. Although this unique cafe did satisfy my sweet tooth, it unfortunately did not meet all my expectations.
Located in the City of Industry, I was pleasantly surprised upon entering. The interior was modern and trendy, with stylish fixtures such as a long bookshelf filled with books and a giant clock covering an entire wall. With bright lighting and compact, wooden desks placed throughout the cafe, the place was also good for studying while eating. The supervisor, Ilyanna Camacho, even described the cafe as a â€śKorean Starbucks,â€ť explaining how the aim of the cafe was to have students be able to come order a coffee, eat and study.
Inspecting the menu, I noticed the wide array of choices from coffee and waffles to honey breads to sandwiches. I eventually ordered the Banana and Walnut Honey Bread, Gelato Waffle and Green Tea Frappe. The menu was a bit pricey, though, as the size small frappe alone was already five dollars.
I first tried the Gelato Waffle and I have to say it was delicious. I had chosen mango as my gelato flavor and upon taking the first bite of the waffle, it was simply savory sweetness. The richly flavored gelato melted perfectly in my mouth and balanced well with the contrasting crunchiness of the waffle. If I had one complaint, though, it would be that the waffle was too sweet. The gelato itself already was strong in flavor, so with the syrup also added to the waffle, the taste was slightly overwhelming.
The Green Tea Frappe, however, left me with the opposite impression. When taking a sip, I was immediately met with the unappetizing flavor of the overly watered-down drink. I could barely taste the flavor of the green tea and when I did, it was distastefully bitter.
Overall, though, I have to say I enjoyed the cool and comfortable atmosphere of the cafe. Caffe Bene is not only suitable for coming with friends, but also for just sitting down and studying by yourself in the well-lit environment. Although the menu was a bit pricey and the taste was sometimes lacking, if you enjoy relaxing with coffee and sweets, Caffe Bene is definitely the place for you.
By Chantel Chan, News editor