Think back to 2020 and one of the finest games to release was Coffee Talk. In fact, it’s a game that made our GOTY list for that year. So it was obvious that the arrival of Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly would be of interest.
We reached out to the team at Toge Productions in hope of finding out more in advance of release of the sequel. Junki, their lead writer and narrative designer was more than happy to chat.
Hi, please could you introduce yourself. What has been your role on Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly?
My name’s Junki, the lead writer and narrative designer for Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly. Thanks for having me!
For those unaware of the Coffee Talk series, could you give us a brief rundown on how things play?
You’ll be assuming the role of a barista at a late-night coffee shop set in an alternate fantasy Seattle, and you’ll be serving warm drinks to patrons seeking a break from their busy lives.
You’ll have a few different base ingredients to concoct your drinks with, such as tea, green tea, coffee, milk, and chocolate (or more), along with additional flavorings and sweeteners if needed.
By serving the right drink for the right occasion, you might just find your customers spilling the beans,revealing interesting tidbits about themselves that may help you understand the bigger picture…and solve their problems, too, maybe.
How much time has passed and what has happened to the world in between the events of Coffee Talk 1 and Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly?
Actually, the game’s timeline is roughly the same as ours, so about three years.
Can you give you a brief insight into some of the new characters appearing?
We have three new characters on our roster (and perhaps one half-new?).
First up is Lucas, a Satyr influencer trying to boost his popularity for a personal purpose. Second up is Riona, a banshee with a dream of becoming a soprano while working part-time as an online courier. Then, we have Amanda, a sister of an existing character you probably know and love (if you played Coffee Talk 1), and lastly, an existing character that has undergone a significant change himself… you’ll probably have to find out in-game for the last one, haha.
Coffee Talk 1 took some real-world situations and put a unique spin on them. Will Coffee Talk Episode 2 be doing the same? What issues will be tackled?
Yes, there will be more diverse issues being tackled, but we try to express them in a way that’s closely tied to the characters’ personal journeys. As a result, some may be more in-depth while others will be more open to interpretation, because people have different ways of relating.
Some of the larger topics we’re attempting to explore involve bias within the world’s governing structure (as we aim to expand on the world’s lore a bit) and challenges associated with social media, and how it affects everyone differently.
Will we get a bit more backstory about the barista?
We were big fans of the soundtrack found in the original game. How much new music can we anticipate with the sequel? Will any previous tracks make a return?
With the creativity of Andrew Jere- I mean, Aremy Jendrew, there will be two new ‘albums’ waiting for you in-game, plus one special album containing eight extra tracks you’ll need to unlock. As for the returning tracks… there’ll be one very special one.
How long will a full playthrough of Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly take?
It depends on each player’s reading speed, but we estimate it’ll be around 2.5 times longer than its predecessor due to more branching and whatnot.
Are there any additions like Coffee Talk 1’s endless mode?
Yep, both Endless Mode and the Free Brew option have returned! Additionally, you can now choose the patron who’ll be the fortunate recipient of your drink creations in the Free Brew option 🙂
What new ingredients can we add into our drinks?
Hibiscus tea and Butterfly pea tea- or Blue pea tea for short.
Coffee Talk already has a loyal fan base. Can you discuss some of the more heartwarming tales you’ve heard from the community?
Yes, many players reached out to Coffee Talk team and said they felt comforted by the game, especially since it came out during the height of the pandemic. Kind words and heartfelt stories were given from players through email, social media, Discord; they shared stories on how they had a hard time during the lockdown, and when they found Coffee Talk, it gives them warmth and comfort, it helps them go through the hard times, the music helps them calm their mind… and those kind messages are the fuel for the team to keep creating and keep going.
As we write, Coffee Talk is playable through Game Pass. Are there plans to run the same route with Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly?
Yep! The second episode will be available on Xbox Game Pass day one, so people can enjoy both games on Xbox Game Pass. The game also supports streaming via Xbox Cloud Gaming.
Is there a future after Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly?
For now, we just hope players will have a blast with Coffee Talk Ep. 2: Hibiscus and Butterfly, and we shall see from there 🙂
Since our exclusive interview with Junki, Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly has launched on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC and Game Pass. In fact, you can grab a download of the game right now from the Xbox Store. Make sure you go and pick it up.
Huge thanks go out to Toge Productions and Junki for giving us some of their time.