Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly Review – Stay Awhile and Listen

Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly Review
The OMG Review
Our review format is not your usual fare and we’ve broken it down into 3 very simple ratings!

“Buy it!” means that the game deserves a place in your collection. Be it day 1 or a slightly delayed purchase, it’s hard to go wrong with this title. In numbers, this is around an 8/10 and above.

“Wait for it…” means that while the game is good, it probably isn’t worth it at its day 1 price point. We suggest you wait for a sale before jumping in. In numbers, this is around a 5 – 7/10.

“Ignore it!” means that the game is not something we’d recommend playing, whether it be now or in the near future. Maybe ever. Let’s not even go to the numbers for this one.

Sneak Peek
  • Release Date: April 20, 2023
  • Platforms: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Switch, PC
  • Genre: Indie Talking Simulation
  • Similar Games: Coffee Talk 1
  • Price: starts at $59.99

Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly is the follow-up to the surprise indie hit from 2020, Coffee Talk. It is as the title says, and players will be treated to a “talking simulator” that serves up some laid-back vibes while offering a cuppa Joe to bond over. Coffee and talking are both inherently cohesive themes that work really well together, making this game pretty much the perfect brew.

It has to be said that Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly, or Coffee Talk Episode 2 as we’ll refer to it throughout this review, requires a lot of reading. It’s essentially a visual novel, and if you’re uncomfortable with that, this game probably won’t change your mind. Instead, if you’re hankering for something that’s extremely chill and relatable, Coffee Talk Episode 2 could be up your alley.

Can I Take Your Order?

Coffee Talk Episode 2 is set in an alternate Seattle where humans live alongside mythical beings such as Sirens, Satyrs, and more. It’s 2023, and you are the Barista of a coffee shop that conducts its business late at night, offering a relaxing beverage to weary citizens that offer more than just another order.

The premise of the game is pretty simple – you lend an ear to customers all while serving them a beverage based on what they want. Drinks are composed of 3 basic components – Base, Primary, and Secondary – and depending on the orders, you’ll whip up a combination of ingredients that’s the closest match to their order.

Did someone order a Cafe Latte? Grab the coffee and two portions of milk! Espresso? Go all out on the coffee. There are times when the customer will request you to do your own thing or surprise them, so you can choose to be creative but at the same time, figure out what you think they would like by actually listening to them.

You’ll even get to try your hand at creating latte art in Coffee Talk Episode 2, and while its gameplay implications are minimal, it really does complete the experience of creating and serving the drink to customers. It turns out, I’m a horrible latte artist, and my non-existent drawing skills have even made their way to the game as well.

coffee talk episode 2 screenshot 1

Coffee Talk Episode 2 doesn’t require coffee know-how, and thanks to your phone which has a helpful Brewpad app, learning the basic coffee mixes won’t cause you too much trouble. There are a lot of drinks that can be discovered throughout your playthrough, and it’s great that this aspect of the game encourages you to actually be creative in trying out new mixes.

Speaking of your phone, it comes pre-installed with apps that allow you to glean more information from your customers, giving you insight as to what drinks they would like. There’s a social media app called Tomodachill that lets you view posts and stories, a music app called Shuffld that lets you switch up tracks from its awesome collection of beats, and a short story subscription app called The Evening Whisperss.

While none of these are really integral to the core loop of the game, it does further immerse you in the everyday life of a barista. When not talking to customers, these can provide short bursts that can distract you for a while before you get back to mixing up drinks.

coffee talk episode 2 screenshot 2

Coffee Talk Episode 2 also has an item drawer, and for those times that customers actually forget things lying on your counter, you can keep these to give to them the next time around. Some will even leave items for another person, offering another layer of interaction with the customers apart from just the brews.

I’ve Got a Story to Tell

Coffee Talk Episode 2 shines the brightest with its conversations and writing. While each customer may have their own quirks and own stories to tell, they are all very relatable personalities with equally relatable stories that are easy to understand and empathize with. There’s a good mix of old and new characters here, each with their own vibe and quirks that you’ll have to contend with.

There’s Officer Jorji, who’s dealing with family problems and a conflict with his daughter because of his traditional upbringing style. There’s also Riona, an aspiring Banshee singer that has had her hopes shot down thanks to mean comments on her audition video. It’s really rooted in real-life scenarios that are specific to these characters, and with that being the case, may not be as relatable as general topics. They’re not really deep or heavy stories, and while some are better than others, you shouldn’t expect something too profound.

It’s very easy to find oneself among the cast members of Coffee Talk Episode 2, and more often than not, players will find themselves attracted to a certain character because of familiar stories that hit close to home. The cast is diverse, and the developers have done a great job of covering a wide range of experiences through the many stories in the game. Your choice of cups can even lead these people to certain choices, making repeat playthroughs something you may want to do to see everything.

coffee talk episode 2 screenshot 3

All of this is paired with a fantastic soundtrack (it’s on YouTube!) that’s hard to put down. Its lo-fi vibe exudes a chill atmosphere, perfect for a late-night coffee shop that serves more than just coffee, and is the perfect background music for sparking up conversations with the regulars.

As you finish the relatively short campaign, there are a couple of endless modes to try out – Free Brew and Challenge. As the name suggests, free brew gives you control of what to create, serving them up as you wish without any restrictions or fear of penalty. Challenge mode is a bit different, as it puts your brewing skills to the test with a running timer that keeps track of how many customers you please or disappoint.

Overall, Coffee Talk Episode 2 is not the most complex nor challenging game out there, but it overcomes that by providing some relatable stories and personalities that players can connect with. Although there isn’t much in the form of innovation, the charm lies in the customers and how they interact with you and fellow patrons, and while they are mostly fictional in nature, the stories they provide are as real as they can get.

coffee talk episode 2 screenshot 4

What we liked:

  • Charming cast of characters each with fantastic storylines
  • Wonderfully chill soundtrack

What we didn’t like:

  • Short story mode
  • Niche product that won’t be for everyone
  • Nothing remarkably new

Verdict: Buy it!


Coffee Talk Episode 2 is the perfect game for those times when you just want to kick back and relax. The combination of its excellent soundtrack and the charming cast makes for an experience that’s as comforting and laid-back as you can get.

The game is certainly not for everyone, and players who aren’t fond of visual novel-type games will not change their minds, even though Coffee Talk Episode 2 offers a more engaging gameplay loop compared to others. While the sequel offers nothing remarkably new and is more of the same as the first game, trying it out may be a surprise.

Toge Productions have been making a name for themselves in the Southeast Asian scene, and with titles like this, they’ve definitely proven themselves worthy of our attention and time.

*Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly was reviewed on a PC with a review code provided by the publisher.

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