North Korea’s coffee culture grows more mainstream
North Korean coffee has become more affordable and the country’s coffee culture appears to be growing more mainstream, Daily NK sources reported on Friday.
Coffee shops in Pyongyang generally sell one cup of coffee for KPW 5,000. That’s about 60 US cents according to the currency exchange rate in Pyongyang as of September 30 (USD 1 equaled KPW 8,310) and represents a huge decrease in price over the years. Still, the cheaper prices are a financial burden for ordinary North Koreans, who could buy one kilogram of rice for the price of one cup of coffee.
Up until recently, North Korean coffee reportedly cost about USD 2–3. Converted to North Korean currency, that’s around KPW 16,620–24,930. According to a market survey conducted by Daily NK in 2015, coffee cost KPW 12,000 in some provinces of the country.
Meanwhile, coffee is sold at comparatively more expensive prices to foreigners in Pyongyang. Photographs taken by foreign visitors to Pyongyang show that coffee sells for KPW 400. This price seems to be a reflection of the official North Korean exchange rate, where KPW 100 is equivalent to one USD. Based on this exchange rate, coffee costs around USD 4 at coffee shops catering to foreigners in Pyongyang. ......