by Michael Jones
I'm always looking for a great cup of coffee and last night I discovered one. Yesterday, I was exploring the Sangsu area when I found a small coffee shop called Deniro Coffee Roasters. The shop seemed comfortable and I liked the sign they had in the front of the store listing the beans they had available. We walked in and immediately the smell of freshly ground coffee filled my nose. It’s a glorious smell. I knew at that point that this place would serve good coffee, but I was still shocked by just how good the coffee tasted. I ordered an Iced Café Latte for 5,500 and expected a decent cup of coffee. What I received, however, was far better than decent. It was superb, and I would say it might just be the best cup of coffee I’ve had since moving to Korea. In a lot of lattes, the milk completely overpowers the coffee. Sometimes shops use too much milk, or they use poor quality coffee, or something goes wrong during the roasting and brewing process. The latté I had last night was magnificent. The texture was rich and creamy, but the coffee was strong and balanced the sweetness of the milk. It was so smooth and delicious I almost ordered another one. The cafe was filled with dark wooden furniture, and the lighting was really relaxing. I enjoyed sitting in front of the counter and watching the baristas prepare each drink with some beautiful coffee equipment. They also collect coffee bean bags from some of the famous roasters in America and it adds a nice touch to the atmosphere. I see this café becoming one of my favorites and I really look forward to going back. Who knows, I might even go back tonight.
Go to Sangsu Station and take exit #1
Walk straight out of the exit
Continue walking for 5-10 minutes
Walk through the intersection @ Dokmak Ro 7 Gil
Then turn right immediately before the Hyundai store
At the first intersection take a left
Then take the first right onto Yanghwa Ro 6 Gil
In about a minute, Deniro Coffee Roasters will be on your left
The Standard Coffee Bar is an excellent cafe located in the trendy, and outrageously expensive, Gangnam district of Seoul. Fortunately, the coffee prices are on par with with most coffee shops in Seoul, and the real estate price is not reflected in the price of the coffee. Most of the coffees were priced between 5,000-6,000 won, which is expensive you are from America, but pretty standard pricing for a cup of joe in this coffee addicted city. I'm obsessed with iced coffee, so I ordered the dutch latte for 8,000 won. The price was a little steep, but it was great. I was also extremely pleased by the size of the drink. Some up-scale cafes serve shot-sized coffee, but not here and the ratio of milk to dutch coffee was about equal. The coffee was strong, but not overpowering, and was extremely smooth and creamy. I would definitely say this place is in my top 10 for dutch coffee. Despite how good the coffee was, however, I might like the atmosphere of this cafe even more. The inside was cozy and full of natural light from the balconies and open windows. The floor was made of rustic wooden planks and overhead there where wooden rafters and beams. I felt like I walked into a barn, albeit without the hay and animals of course. Antique coffee equipment was spread throughout the cafe and made the whole experience feel more authentic. This cafe would be a great place to study, or to go on a date. The brick walls, wooden beams and flooring, and perfect lighting made us feel extremely relaxed, always a great feeling in a city of over 20 million people. Whether you are looking for a great cup of coffee, or simply a place to relax from the chaotic Gangnam streets, the Standard Coffee Bar is a great choice.
Go to Gangnam Station and take Exit #11
Walk straight until you see the tall CGV (movie theatre)
Then take a right
Walk straight up the hill
The cafe is at the second intersection
by Michael Jones
Today I discovered another great coffee shop. The name of the shop is 5CIJUNG and I went to the location in Samcheongdong, which is a really nice neighborhood near Gyeongbokgung. I ordered an iced caffe latte (7,000) and my girlfriend ordered the same thing. Every drink you order comes with a scone, and they are delicious. Actually, it was the best scone I've had since moving to Seoul last year. The scone was flaky, moist, and was just a tad sweet. The butter and jam that came on the side were also delicious. Additionally, the cafe latte might be the best one I've had in Seoul. The steamed milk was good, but I could still taste more of the coffee. A lot of coffee shops in Seoul add too much milk, use weak coffee, or sometimes both, and the drink you end up with is basically milk flavored coffee. After a nice morning hike, the latte was perfect. After being blown away by the scones, we decided to order a desert as well. We chose the Fondant au Chocolat (8,300) and it was mind-blowing. It took about 20 minutes to prepare, but it was absolutely worth it. On the plate you get a small bowl of bananas and grapes, smooth vanilla ice cream, and the Fondant au Chocolat, a small chocolate cake filled with warm chocolate filling. The chocolate percentage was 66%, not incredibly dark, but it tasted fresh and it was outstanding. The interior of the shop is cozy. The walls are white, there is a lot of wooden furniture and accents, there is minimal artificial lighting, and a lot of natural light. A good thing in my opinion, since some coffee shops in Seoul seem more like nightclubs than a good place to enjoy coffee and conversation. I would consider 5CIJUNG the perfect cafe to study at, go on a date, or to simply indulge on a great cup of coffee. The prices are slightly expensive, but the coffee and food are of the utmost quality. This could definitely be a once a week kind of place for me. I hope you try it sometime. Stay thirsty.
Go to Anguk Station (line 3) Exit 6
In about 50 yards take a right at the crosswalk
You will walk straight for a while (It's a nice walk though)
You will pass lots of shops, restaurants, the occasional street musician
When you get to the Street Churros on your right keep going straight across the road
Then take a left at the Kiehl's store
Walk down that street until it gets to the main road
Cross the main road and then walk to the right (slightly uphill)
The coffee shop will be on your left side at the back of a parking lot
And across the street from the sunflower and hot air balloon mural
Sorry for the long directions, but the journey is worth it. Enjoy the coffee.