Unemployed college graduate Sunbae is job hunting when she meets, Na Bong Nam, a young man working at the Cafe of Dreams. Sipping her first cup of hope she begins to rethink career plans with the help of the cafe employees. Sunbae’s heart is slowly makings its plans until a beautiful young woman returns to the cafe from abroad. Has Sunbae’s cup of luck gone empty or is this just the beginning to a far bigger journey?
My Review (Part 1)
The teahouses of the East remain a fascinating part of their culture. Reading a manhwa which surrounds one struck the interest of this reviewer. The translators have chosen to refer to the teahouse of this manhwa as a café. Teahouses are usually for the older men in Korea but this one is for meant to be a place for the young people aka the terminology café. Also, this café of dreams serves coffee which is kinda weird for a teahouse but it works best for the story!
Soo Ah Sunbae-College graduate who is downhearted over a lack of job prospects. Her future is changed when a young man invites her to the café of dreams. She is bolstered by the suggestions there but still struggles with self-esteem.
Na Bong Nam– Worker at the café of dreams who makes each unique cup of tea. He is handsome with a charm not lost on Sunbae. Na Bong Nam appears to have a relationship with a former international volunteer.
Soon Bong– Has a stalkerish passion for Sunbae. He is in the same job scenario as his crush. The café of dreams becomes a place for him as well. Soon Bong sometimes speaks faster than he thinks but at the core is a well-meaning young man.
Recently returned from volunteering abroad she has an affection for Na Bong Nam. Sunbae sees her as the perfect girl. She is very pretty and has a lot of passion for the work being done as an overseas volunteer.
Computer techie who connects tea-drinking customers to potential job opportunities. He is the counterpart to Na Bong Nam. He lacks the graceful confidence of his coworker even tripping over himself.
My Review (Part Two)
Sunbae is a college graduate searching for her first job. She spots Na Boom, who invites her to visit the Café of Dreams. His first recommendation is a cup of hope and a meeting with his coworker opens Sunbae to the idea of a job outside of Korea. Internships abroad offer opportunities which add global to returning candidate resumes. Returning to the café of dreams Sunbae is followed by admirer Soon Bong. He’s got a passion for Sunbae. Sunbae is finding more than hope at the café. She’s starting to have feelings for Na Bong Nam. The return of a beautiful young woman to the café opens Sunbae to the choice to volunteer her time overseas. Meanwhile, she struggles to see this lady standing by her crush. Sunbae will need all her courage to find her path to a future career and her heart.
The Café of Dreams tackles a topic college graduates face every year: what happens now? Sunbae has done the academic work, gained a degree, but now remains at a loss about where the future leads. Na Boom Nam’s invitation to a cup of hope in the Café of Dreams has huge potential to opening a manhwa of infinite possibilities. The humor in the computer techie who stumbles over to help Sunbae is there. The definite potential of a romantic relationship impeded by another beautiful woman is there. Every element is there! The difficulty is the author’s ability to weave them into a powerful narrative. Café of Dreams lacks the intricacy of endearing a character to the reader. This is not about length. There are oneshots which master the art of such a thing.
The Café of Dreams ending could be the opening to a beautiful future. Details skimmed over by the author could have created a journey for the reader. One which would have filled the wonderings of many in the position of Sunbae. Even the possibility of a fantasy series where a cup of tea holds magic for the drinker to manipulate their future. Sunbae’s own dreams deserved to be explored. This manhwa should have been explored. Instead it leaves a reader pondering how such a sweet ending could have been so much more. The possibility remains open if the author were to release a sequel or further chapters exploring questions left unanswered.
To the Reader
Those seeking a webtoon tugging at the romantic heart strings would be better off with Orange Marmalade. Slice of life fans would be interested in Sunbae’s realistic struggle on deciding just what to do when life transitions from academics to the real world struggles. Comedy fans might be amused by the antics of hopeful suitor, Soon Bong , in his quest for Sunbae’s affections. Those looking for a quick read will find it as Café of Dreams is a brief eight chapters.
Final Score: 5.2
Name(s): Café of Dreams
Genre: Romance, Comedy, Slice of Life, Webtoon