Siien-gwa Nongbu (시인과 농부) is a handcraft Korean tea cafe in Suwon.
Located down a maze of alleyways, the building itself is not that easy to find. Additionally, for foreigners, if you weren’t looking for the cafe, you could walk past it a hundred times and not give it any thought. Take a hard look at the photo above and commit it to memory.
Stepping past the entrance way, you’ll notice how this cafe is unlike any other. It is similar to a personal art gallery or an antique shop. The owners have collected (or either crafted) numerous pottery dishes and pots. Statues and busts welcome the guests. Everything seems so delicate that I felt like I should keep both hands and arms to my side. An expansive archive of cassettes, classical CDs and records aligns the walls. And, I imagine that the owner knows them all by memory. It is not just for show. This is uncommon from other independent cafes where magazines and books are only aesthetically placed around the shop for appearance. The owner may even ask you if you have any music preference.