the coffee bun, so far as i can tell, originated in singapore. no wait, it's indian. or...malaysian. mexican? oh hell, i don't know. if you do, clue me in.
i discovered them in seoul, south korea, in the food court of the lotte department store. this was no ordinary "food court," however. and these were no ordinary buns. (that's what she said.)
pappa roti was the brand/franchise. roti=bread, or in this case bun, i.e. the father of all buns. but there are others: roti boy, roti mum. it's a cinnabon, i thought. upon further inspection, it looked too bready to be a cinnamon roll. and the swirl of creamy stuff going on top, prior to baking...was it sweet? sugary? it seemed to disappear as the buns baked...or bake right into the dough.
as difficult as it is to describe them, i will try: they are a bready, unbelievably light, freshly baked bun that has a somewhat crusty topping which gives them a slight maple taste. inside, there is a tiny splotch of butter. butter. they melt in your mouth, they are not overwhelmingly sweet, and are perfect with a cup of coffee.
and since i had my first taste, i haven't stopped craving them.