Nick Cho has coffee for you. He is the co-founder of Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters and also has a TikTok account called Your Korean Dad.
Nick Cho is a coffee expert, and he has done many things in the industry. He found coffee shops, spoke at conferences and college classes, trained baristas, judged competitions, and started the first podcast about coffee. His wife, Trish Rothgeb, coined the term “third wave” for this type of coffee production. Since 2011, they have run Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters with two locations and a roastery. They work hard, so I started following them on Twitter and TikTok after hearing about them from other people who know speciality coffee.
In 2020, I saw Cho on my phone all the time. He is a person who posts videos of coffee and shoes. When he started TikTok, he became Your Korean Dad with 3 million followers. This persona is not fake and is what Cho does in his daily life.
This is Your Korean Dad. He gives you hair pats and says, “I’m your Korean dad”. Then he shows you everyday things like going to Walgreens or the grocery store or Five Guys. Sometimes he makes you coffee and helps with homework. It’s nice to see him do these everyday things because I spend a lot of time away from my family and it is comforting to remember the times we had together done these same things.
The way that You Korean Dad videos are directed at you, the viewer, is the point. Cho is talking to you and sharing with you. When he goes grocery shopping, he asks which Babybel color you like–black or red. When he visits Costco for a slice of pizza and hot dog, he says only eat as much as you feel like eating. These videos may seem simple, but they represent how food is a powerful act of parental love. Many people who comment on these videos say their parents are gone or far away, so these videos help them feel better about this situation. Dad is a popular outfit for everyone. Cho seems to be the dad of all of us.
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Amid the busy internet, Cho offers support. It is good to feel like people are caring for you even if they are not really there. I talked with him on zoom about his TikTok videos and food. He talked about how coffee shops influenced his parenting approach.
I got on TikTok because I wanted to make people laugh.
I have two teenage daughters. They want me to make videos on TikTok. I first started making videos when I was 14, on VHS tapes and things like that. I made coffee videos on TikTok, and at first, it was boring, but then I became more focused and intentional with what kind of videos to make.
For 20 years, I have run coffee shops.
I have learned about a relationship. People want coffee. I used to think that I needed to give people what they wanted, but then I learned that it is important to know what they want first. Coffee can be different for everyone, and that is okay.
When I found my first coffee shop in 2002, I was really excited.
I remember when I gave my mom a coffee. It was hard for me to make it because I had spent all of my energy on her. But then, after she left, I thought about it and realized that everyone needs love too. So this is why we should always do something nice for someone else – like give them some food and drink even if they don’t really need it – because we care about them and want to show our love for them.
The first video of someone playing with their baby to go viral in Korea was
I am a dad. I am Korean. I have a lot of thoughts about what it means to be a dad. The “your” is important because it means that I offer myself up to you in this video. When you say “I’m so-and-so’s dad,” then you are not the main character of that sentence or story.
The first Korean Dad video to blow up was
I went to Walgreens for snacks. I did not expect it. It was surprising at first, but then I got used to it. Many people cried when they saw my video.
People have relationships with food. They might feel sad when they eat a certain food. Or they might be happy when they eat it.
Especially for parents. When it is about dads, there is one person (or sometimes two or three) per person. If the relationship goes well, it can be bittersweet. But if the relationship fails or when there is pain and trauma mixed in, it can be hard on a person.
I think about what healthy means. What does it mean when you say that someone is healthy?
What I try to do is make sure that my kids are healthy. Sometimes, it can be hard to make sure they eat things like vegetables or drink water. But the most important thing is that they are healthy in their mind and body too. When it comes to food, don’t always want them to finish everything on their plate. It’s not good for them if they do that too often!
I think the most important part of life is how mundane it is.
I made a video of myself going to Walgreens to get tampons. I made the video as a father, and it’s for people who don’t want to go with their dad. I am trying to show what is important and make a statement.
Managing young people who are 20-something in coffee shops.
I think that the parenting class helped me to be a better parent. I am a good dad, but I want to get even better. My kids don’t ever fight with their parents, and they never say they hate them. Sometimes it is too nice and perfect, but I’m glad we’re doing well!
I need to keep my family safe. I also need to make sure they are healthy and happy.
If you break trust, you can’t put it back together. Trust is important to have in a relationship. If you don’t have it, then people won’t want to be with you. Sometimes not trusting someone makes me feel like I’m hiding in my shell, and I will do anything not to make mistakes. But that is not good for the person who trusts me or for me. It’s important that I try to challenge other people even when they are able to be challenged because that’s what fathers should do for their children.