One of the scariest things to face in a new country can be the language barrier. But just because you don’t speak Korean, doesn’t mean you can’t order coffee!

We are super lucky to have modern technology (shout out to Google Translate) but typing and speaking through an app can be…awkward. And time-consuming. And sometimes untrustworthy.

I’ve managed to pick up a few Korean coffee phrases that have definitely come in handy. We are incredibly privileged that a lot of people here speak English, especially around base. But I never want to rely on that or take it for granted.

Obviously you may not become fluent in Korean, but you can learn a few key phrases to help you navigate your coffee adventures.

1. “One coffee please”

Keopi han jenjuseyo

Keep it nice and simple with this order. This will get you a standard house drip coffee, likely served black.

2. Americano


This is another Korean-ized version of an English word. You can also order a cappuccino or a macchiato by using the Korean pronunciation of the English word.

3. Latte


You may notice that a lot of coffee words in Korean are similar to English. This will make things a bit easier for you but still be sure to use the Korean pronunciation.

4. “Hot” or “Iced”

Tteugeoun or Chagaun

Iced coffee hasn’t quite reached the level of popularity in Korea that it has in the States. However, iced lattes are popular and cold brew is becoming more common.

When you order a latte or mocha, the barista will likely ask if you want it hot or cold (iced.) If they don’t ask, they will default to what the weather dictates – hot beverages in the winter and iced in the summer.

5. “Small” or “Large”

Seumol or Lahji

Of course, when you order, you’ll need to specify your size. I typically only see two size options so you can say either small or large.

6. “With espresso”


I mentioned before that not all lattes have espresso in them. If you are ordering a milk-based beverage, use this to ask for added shots.

You can also use this if you are just wanting shots of espresso. This may get you a funny look, though, as that’s not a very common order.

7. “With milk”

Uyu lang

If black coffee isn’t your thing, you can certainly order coffee with milk. If you prefer cream, use the phrase “keulim keopi.”

8. “With sugar”


Use this if you like your coffee on the sweeter side. Most cafes I’ve been to have a liquid sweetened syrup set on the counter. They may direct you to that so you can add to your taste.

9. “Do you have soy milk”

Duyu iss-eoyo

If you’ve read my previous posts, you know that non-dairy milks are hard to come by here. But don’t be afraid to ask! Soy milk is becoming more common and I’m hoping almond milk will follow.

Bonus: To ask for almond milk say “amondeu uyu iss-eoyo.”

Save this to practice or show the barista what you mean!

9 Korean phrases to help you order coffee

About Author

Kiersten is a former barista, current travel writer, and forever coffee addict. Learn more about your coffee shop tour guide here.

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