As the American Labor day approaches, we decided to share with you how it is like in Korea and its brief history. Different from the US, Koreans celebrate Labor Day on the first day of May and is known as “NoDongJeol”. This day honors the hard work and contributions of workers all across the country.
The ‘90s in Korea was a pivotal period of significant labor movements and financial struggles. It was a chaotic time of turmoil. Korea underwent the IMF crisis and workers were fighting for better working conditions and fair wages. As they formed labor unions which gained recognition in 1987, it led to massive strikes and protests throughout the early ‘90s that finally improved labor laws and workers’ rights.
Interestingly, this time was when South Korea’s love for coffee started as well. When Koreans first tasted coffee, it was too strong and bitter for them. So it became a norm for Koreans to mix coffee, vegan creamer, and sugar in the ratio of 2:2:2 to suit their tastebuds. This was the beginning of what we call an instant coffee mix. It was popular due to its convenience and affordability–the qualities that resonated with busy Korean workers during this time of rapid industrialization. In stark contrast to traditional tea-drinking habits, coffee started making waves as an urban symbol of modernity. Coffee became an essential part of the office culture in Korea.
Decades have passed and let’s fast forward to today. Our brand, KimlyParc acts a nod from the past to the future, paying homage to the ‘90s Korean coffee history. We have reimagined and reinvented the traditional flavors with modern convenience plus have brought trendiness (cuteness overload) and additional premium qualities on the plate. We really do hope our coffee can give all the boost and energy as they did back in the ‘90s. Wish you all a fully relaxing and happy labor day!