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These ASMR-Esque Korean "Home Cafe" Videos Relax My Entire Being

These videos have everything: clinking ice sounds, over-the-top drinks, and squishy, slime-like foam.

by Bettina Makalintal
Feb 28 2019, 5:15pm

Screenshot of post by user @y.na__ provided by Instagram

The middle of the week is hard, especially if you just had a three-day weekend and those visions of your lazy Monday are still so fresh. As the week drudges on, with Friday seeming still just far enough from reach, here’s something that will pair just right with the sheet mask and wine you might be sinking into this evening: the "home cafe" video.

Home cafe is a genre of chill Instagram videos in which disembodied hands assemble aesthetically-appealing drinks. The drinks not only look good, but, like ASMR and slime videos, they're made up of things that sound nice, like frozen orbs plinking into a glass, bubbly water fizzing into colorful syrup, or a glass straw stirring a mixture of ice and citrus.

Consider a few of my favorites.

There are hundreds of thousands if you search using #homecafe, but the trick is to search in Korean, with #홈카페, which translates to the same but has over a million posts. (The videos appear to be made mostly by Korean Instagrammers.)

Home cafe videos have a lot of analogues. Think of them like ASMR, but without the lingering creepiness of women whispering as they massage you through a screen. They're like slime videos, but for people who feel squicked out by fingers rooting around in sticky mixtures of glue. The decked-out drinks of the home cafe resemble Instagram's favorite over-the-top milkshakes. And, short and to the point, the clips are kinda like Tasty, but after a serious chill pill. Which is to say, home cafe plays to many niches.

As someone who's never quite gotten the "tingles" that ASMR fans claim, the noises of home cafe are still pleasing—like I'm the only person in a quiet coffee shop, with a chance to relax with a book instead of eavesdropping on a bad first date. Listen:

And in the same way that the color-blocked arrays of Things Organized Neatly or pottery timelapses can make your brain feel a sense of relief, the home cafe video can be immensely satisfying—like these balls of ice cream being released from the scoop in perfect slow motion. Watch:

Maybe my favorite thing about the home cafe video is that the drinks don't really seem like you're actually supposed to make them. They don’t have a lot of explanation; it’s not clear why this fizzy lemon drink is a vibrant shade of indigo and what that might taste like, apart from lemons, or what the thick, gloppy liquids are in this tower of teal. There aren't any ingredients, just a lot of nice colors, shapes, textures, and sounds. Look:

Cooking videos can be stressful, loaded with expectations of what you could make and how you could mess up. Forget that, and scroll through the home cafe video instead. As the milky, pastel mixtures pour into a glass loaded with ice and finished with candies, feel your worries lift off, even if just for a single Instagram minute.