Coffee Travel log - Seoul

May 29, 2017

Every time I get the opportunity to travel the world, I will seek out the different coffee cultures in the country. Looking back on my photos, I realized that I have made footprints on quite a few parts of the globe. And I wish to share my coffee adventures with you.

 

First up on the list, I had the opportunity to check out the scene in Seoul, South Korea.

 

It is full swing winter and the streets are howling icicles at -11 degree Celsius.

 

The coffee revolution has evolved exponentially in South Korea. I remember visiting more than 6 years ago when the K-pop trend just exploded around the world. The streets were peppered by facial, beauty products and the latest fashion trends. But street after streets, I have not been able to find a single specialty cafe. 

 

I am pleasantly pleased but not at all surprised by the availability of good coffee when I visit again last December. Globalization has spread its reach to this area and the Koreans are fast on catching up in the latest coffee wave. 

 

The Koreans are an amazing bunch of people. They are highly sensitive to beauty and looks. Needless to say, the visual outlook of their shops, cafe and packaging are awesome.

 

I can find micro specialty roasters in almost every populated areas.

 

Gangnam - Relieve Coffee

This place serve one of the best coffee I have tasted in Korea. Situated in the back alley of Gangnam up a slippery snow covered slope. 

 

 

Relieve cafe uses 2 Slayer Espresso Machines. One peek from the window and I knew that I have to get my coffee fix here. Slayer Espresso machines are one of the top of the line in the industry. Think of them as Lamborghini-made espresso machines. 

 

Their house blend consisted of 60% Fazenda Santa Lucia from Brazil and 40% Supremo Huila from Colombia. My cup of coffee has a delightfully rich almond and chocolaty flavor. I am amazed by the sweet juicy finish at the end of my tongue that resembles citrus plum. 

 

 

I really want to get my hands on one of these pour over filter. I have not seen such a intricate design in the traditional V60. Too bad language failed me and waitress thought I wanted more coffee instead.

 

Cafe near Gyeongbokgung Palace

 

Talk about surprises as I found this cafe just behind the street of Gyeongbokgung Place. A cafe cum roastery that focuses more on B2B. Their shopfront is a simple showcase of what they do. The Colombian blend has a very heavy body that reminds me of what I serve back home.

 

Seems like the Koreans really love their Colombian beans.

 

Other hideouts

Look at the intricate interior details the Koreans have of their coffee hideouts.

My friend Tony from Coffex will love to get his hands on one of these solid wood and glass cased Cimbali Espresso Machines.

 

 

Micro roasters who hone their craft in-house creates an inconceivable feeling of romance. And you can find such cafes scattered all over the streets in Korea. 

 

I truly enjoyed my trip here as it reminds me of the ever growing community that shares a similar passion of what we do. 

 

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