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High prices don't dampen coffee craze in Korea Updated: 2014-08-27 16:36:17 KST

"Look around and you won't have any trouble finding a place to grab a cup of coffee. But none have quite the presence that Starbucks has. Just across the street from where I'm standing, there's another Starbucks just as busy as this one."

There are 284 Starbucks coffee shops located in Seoul.
That's more than you'll find in New York City, Shanghai, London or Seattle, where the company was founded.

Koreans are also paying more for a cup of joe at Starbucks stores in Korea: an average of 4 dollars and 85 cents.
That's nearly twice as much as customers in the United States pay.
For an americano, the data shows that Korea ranks SIXTH on the list, behind countries like Poland and Greece.

Why are customers in Korea paying so much?
Starbucks Korea says different operating costs and cultural factors are the reasons, and adds that using numbers may not be the best way to draw comparisons.

When compared with other domestic coffee chains in the country, Starbucks' prices are right on average with those found at domestic coffee chains.
Regardless of price, the international coffee chain has a loyal set of customers.

"There are many items on the menu and a lot of Starbucks stores. They are easy to find, so that's why I continue coming."

"I like their brand image and the stores are clean compared to other coffee shops."

It appears that Koreans, generally speaking, are willing to shell out a little extra for a cup of coffee, no matter where it comes from.
Connie Kim, Arirang News.
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