Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus and Butterfly spills the tea on your favorite characters in the charming sequel to everyone’s favorite late-night coffee shop.
Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus and Butterfly is finally here! Your favorite late-night coffee shop just re-opened on Nintendo Switch, Xbox Game Pass, PC, and Playstation 4/5.
Welcome back to Coffee Talk.
Toge Productions’ highly anticipated sequel to their cozy 2020 game is inviting both long-time and new fans to experience the virtual atmosphere of a late-night coffee shop.
The original Coffee Talk was the beginning of my love affair with visual novels.
To be completely honest, I couldn’t resist giving it a play because as a former barista, it brought back fond memories.
When I heard that you were able to create your own latte-art masterpiece in-game I was sold. Blend in the ambient sounds of thunderstorms and jazzy lo-fi music and you have yourself one chilled-out cozy gamer.
DISCLAIMER I was gifted a copy of Coffee Talk Episode 2 on Nintendo Switch to review but I would have played it anyway! I can’t wait to get my hands on the physical copies.
WHAT IS COFFEE TALK EPISODE 2 ABOUT?
Episode 2 picks up right where the first game left off.
A heart-to-heart talking simulator that prioritizes story over gameplay.
You play as the owner of Coffee Talk, the only late-night coffee shop serving new drinks to the interesting characters of alternate present-day Seattle.
If you haven’t yet played the original game I recommend picking a copy up and playing it at least once before touching the second episode of this much-loved coffee brewing game. Coffee Talk Episode 2 is very much a continuation of the first game.
Most of the original characters return with a couple of new customers which helps keep the game fresh and adds some intrigue, especially around the wannabe opera singer Riona.
WHAT’S NEW IN COFFEE TALK 2?
New stories and new drinks.
You will get to meet two new characters, Lucas the satyr who considers himself a social media connoisseur, and Riona the mysterious banshee who dreams of being a soprano. The original regulars like your friendly neighborhood police officer Jorji and lifelong best friends Hyde and Gala are back.
Hyde has some tea to spill let me tell you! I’ve really become quite attached to him.
A couple of new ingredients have made their way to your shelf – hibiscus and butterfly pea.
Hibiscus tea has a dark red color and a tart flavor.
Butterfly pea tea is a vibrant blue tea and a mild, sweet flavor similar to chamomile.
A nice little touch, which is new to Episode 2 – after you’ve created your latte art you can see the whole cup on display on a tray complete with your design.
It might make you want to up your game in the design stacks to show off your art on social media. Though I don’t think mine is worthy of Instagram just yet.
There is also a new interactive element besides just mixing drink ingredients and pouring latte art.
Now you have your very own lost and found!
When I was working as a barista, heck, working in any environment with the general public, people always left their belongings laying around. I adore this new addition because it adds extra dialogue avenues to discover and rewards to unlock.
It gives the game more replayability.
Every item is collected in a draw under your station and you can choose who to give them back to. Will you be a good host?
- Brew warm drinks – Mix a combination of ingredients, such as tea, ginger, mint, chocolate, coffee, and many more. Experiment and uncover secret recipes, and change people’s lives by serving drinks that will warm their hearts.
- Create Latte-Art Masterpieces – Show your creativity! Draw your own latte-art masterpiece with our in-game fluid simulation to decorate your drinks.
- Chill Lo-fi Atmosphere – Immerse yourself in the relaxing coffee shop atmosphere. It’s raining outside, brew yourself a warm drink, play that lo-fi chill hop beats, and listen to the coffee talk.
- Urban Fantasy Cappuccinopunk – Set in an alternate present-day Seattle where humans, orcs, elves, and other races have been coexisting since the beginning of time. Explore the world through the stories told by your customers one cup at a time.
- Hangout with a Diverse Cast – Meet quirky and interesting characters, such as; Baileys the elf freelance graphic designer, Lua, the succubus biz-dev executive, Myrtle the orc game developer, and more. Listen to their stories and influence them with a warm drink or two!
The dialogue comes thick and fast, and if there’s one grip I have is that the overall game felt less emotive than the original.
In some chapters, I couldn’t help but rush through portions of the dialogue because my brain would just power down as Lucas or Hyde stood on their soap boxes. It was on these days that the in-games social media app, called Tomodachill, gave a brief respite from their Ted Talks.
I would call it the Twitter of Coffee Talk because the snapshots into the characters’ lives outside of the cafe were short, and actually irrelevant to the storyline.
You’re not missing out by never opening your phone and checking your notifications, but it is a nice distraction.
I deeply missed Freya though.
Freya was warm, funny and actually, thinking about it, the glue that held the other customers together.
I can’t say for certain if Jorji was meant to replace her in this way but it didn’t sit right with me.
Personally, I felt like Hyde, if anyone, would have been a better fit for this part. He has a bigger storyline than the first game for sure, without sharing too many details, but the game could have opened with him rather than Jorji.
5 Things I Wish We Knew Before Starting Coffee Talk Episode 2
1. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT IN ENDLESS MODE
Don’t wait until the end of the game to learn every drink order. Dive into Free Brew under Endless Mode to hone your craft.
Here there is no punishment for mixing ingredients, just practice making drinks to find the correct recipe, which will then be saved into your Brewpad for when you continue your campaign game.
The customers don’t tend to know exactly what their drinks are called until you discover a new recipe for them and instead say they are in the mood for something cool and tart, or sweet and bold.
e.g. Cool = Mint, Sweet = Honey, Bold = Ginger & Tart = Lemon
2. SORRY, DID YOU SAY SOMETHING?
It can be easy to miss important bits of dialogue, especially drink orders. Fortunately, you can now see a transcript of what was previously spoken! Take the guesswork out by reading back over everything that was previously mentioned.
You can find the transcript in the bottom right of the screen represented by 3 dots in a speech bubble.
3. CREATE YOUR COZY AMBIENCE
The biggest draw of Coffee Talk is its inviting atmosphere.
Did you know that you can choose how to experience Coffee Talk through the various sound options? Turn up or down the SFX, music and ambience from the options. Change the speed of the text and skip dialogue.
I’m a fan of the rain and storms myself but if you’d rather just hear the chill music then you can turn off the rain completely.
4. MORE REWARDING
Coffee Talk had just 24 achievements to unlock but Coffee Talk Episode 2 has an astounding 52! The gallery also has 21 pages of artwork to browse through.
With more ways to enjoy this heart-to-heart indie game, you’ll find this second episode will take you much longer to complete.
5. CHOOSE YOUR CHARACTER
In Free Brew you find Freya patiently waiting for you to make her a drink, but did you know that you can choose between all 14 customers?
Just click on the square box with the 2 heads in the bottom left of your screen to be taken to the character selection screen and pick your favorite customer.
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