Korean chain coffee stores warned of poor sanitation

Some of the big name Korean coffee chains have been warned over poor sanitation, Starbucks is not one of them.
http://www.koreaherald.co.kr/NEWKHSITE/data/html_dir/2010/03/27/201003270015.asp

Chan’s

Chan's - Outside view

Chan's - Outside view

What we think:

Anders comment:
Quoting myself from the Coffee Lab review “Walking around Hongdae as the area around Hongik University is known as you will find so many cafés that it will be hard to make choice.”
Choosing Chan’s will not make the espresso lover disappointed!

The machine setup consist of one Clover machine and two 1 group espresso machines, one La Marzocco GS/3 and one Synesso (I think it’s the Cyncra model). Interesting in the sense that most espresso bars would have one 2 group instead of two 1 groups. According to the owner he has this setup because he wants to experiment with different settings.

One the menu there where two espresso blends, Tim Wendelboe of Norway and INteligensia of USA.
The Norwegian blend is very fruity and the acid is fresh, almost intense.
The state side blend is sweet and feels thicker and does not have the same intense acid as Tim Wendelboe.
Both blends are unparalleled to other espresso I have been served before in Seoul, Chan’s play in the top league! My personal favourite of the two is the INteligensia.

So why is Chan’s so good? Looking around the espresso bar with the different machine setup and the roasters used gives a feeling of great passion and knowledge about coffee. I believe this combined with the desire of experimenting creates world class espresso that Chan’s should be very proud of!

The menu for the Clover machine consist of four different blends two each from the rosters mentioned above. I didn’t try the Clover this time but I’m sure to revisit Chan’s again shortly.

Chan's - the Synesso and the La Marzocco GS/3

Chan's - the Synesso and the La Marzocco GS/3

Chan's - Ditting grinder with the Clover machine in the background

Chan's - Ditting grinder with the Clover machine in the background

Chan's - Inside view

Chan's - Inside view

Chan's - bean hopper of the Mazzer grinder

Chan's - bean hopper of the Mazzer grinder

Chan's - Time Wendelbow bean bags on display

Chan's - Time Wendelbow bean bags on display

Map and how to get there:

Sangsu Station on Line 6 and Hongik University Station on Line 2 are close to Chan’s.
Easiest is from Sangsu Station Exit 1, walk in the direction you exit along the street. When you reach the next big street, turn right. There will be a lot of cars parked here, to your right there will be two streets in ‘going back’, take the second one. Chan’s is on this street.

The address is 409-10 Seogyo-Dong, Mapo-Gu, Seoul
Website (with map in Korean): www.chan-s.com

Coffee Lab

The fine La Marzocco Espresso Machine at Coffee Lab

The fine La Marzocco Espresso Machine at Coffee Lab

What we think

Anders comment:
Walking around Hongdae as the area around Hongik University is known as you will find so many cafés that it will be hard to make choice. Choosing Coffee Lab will not make you disappointed. Master Barista Jong-Koo ‘Mike’ Bang and his fellow baristas cannot not only brew and pour a cappuccino to come back for they appear to take great pride in doing it too. They have a small surprise in the coming weeks too, read on to the end to find out what it is.

What we drank:
Espresso: tastes like it should do with the acid in good balance.

Cappuccino: I’m not overly positive to topping a cappuccino with chocolate powder and this is probably due to the many bad I’ve been served over the years. The one served by Coffee Lab had just that, chocolate powder so I became rather suspicious. But after the first sip I understood that this cappuccino was something special and after the second sip the suspicion was forgotten. The composition of the Coffee Lab cappuccino comes close to perfection, the milkfoam texture on top absorbed the chocolate powder so that it could not overtake and the taste of the espresso struck through the rest of the milk in a well balanced way.
I later learned that Coffee Lab use different espresso blends for straight espressos and their milk based espresso drinks, yet again this proves the seriousness of this café.

Hand drip: not tried yet

For the New Zealanders and the Australians out there, Coffee Lab also serves Flat White! I have never tasted a Flat White when I’ve been Down Under so I can’t judge if it tasted like it should. But I can say that I liked what I drank and with reference to the quality of the cappuccino I would be surprised if it didn’t.

Fine Cappuccino from Coffee Lab

Fine Cappuccino from Coffee Lab

Coffee Lab Flat White

Coffee Lab Flat White

Coffee Lab interior with chairs hanging from the ceiling

Coffee Lab interior with chairs hanging from the ceiling


Note:
If you are near 2m/6′6″ you might need to watch your head from the hanging chairs.
Two coffee roasters at Coffee Lab

Two coffee roasters at Coffee Lab

Beans we took home
Kenya Peaberry: Very nice hand drip after brewing my first cup, will update when I’ve finished the bag.

Another shot of the La Marzocco at Coffee Lab

Another shot of the La Marzocco at Coffee Lab

Green beans on display at Coffee Lab

Green beans on display at Coffee Lab

Coffee Lab wall decoration

Coffee Lab wall decoration

How to get there:
Sangsu Station on Line 6 and Hongik University Station on Line 2 are close to Coffee Lab.

Bonus:
After stepping out of Coffee Lab we ran into their Master Barista Jong-Koo/Mike who told us that they are starting a second store for express/take away only in about 1 or 2 weeks, He also invited us to come and see the work in progress. After visiting I can say that it looks very promising, the store itself is very narrow with bare stripped concrete inner walls given it a rough but stunning look. It is on the same street as Frisbee (one of few in Korea that sell Apple products) and it is the street that starts/ends from the T-intersection at Hongik University.
I would like to point out that I’d never meet Jong-Koo before leaving Coffee Lab hence after I was served. Just so that you don’t believe that I was given better treatment than any other guest.

Coffee Lab is expanding with an express take out in small but stunning premises

Coffee Lab is expanding with an express take out in small but stunning premises

Happy New Year

Happy New Year from Seoul Coffee Guide.

The photo is from a café that is likely to get a review in 2010.

Happy New Year 2010 from Seoul Coffee Guide

Happy New Year 2010 from Seoul Coffee Guide

and also found some books

Found some books in Korean about coffee.
I believe that this together with the magazine posted earlier and the cafés this blog have come across shows that the Korean coffee culture is thriving.

Hand Drop Coffee book (translated hangul:

Hand Drop (translated: style exists in handdrop coffee)

Hand Drop Coffee Book - Learn the circles when making hand drip coffee!

Hand Drop Coffee Book - Learn the circles when making hand drip coffee!

Coffee Roasting book (appears to be from the same publisher as the magazine Coffee)

Coffee Roasting book (appears to be from the same publisher as the magazine Coffee)

Coffee Roasting book - showing the difference between the wet and dry cleaning methods.

Coffee Roasting book - showing the difference between the wet and dry cleaning methods.

Came across this magazine – Coffee

Tea, Cake, Beverage & Culture – Coffee is the full name of the magazine.
Full of articles, photos and adverts, just like a Coffee magazine should be.

Front cover of Coffee

Front cover of Coffee

Part of the cupping article from the front cover

Part of the cupping article from the front cover

Article about Guatemala

Article about Guatemala

They also have a webpage www.coffeero.com

Yeondu Café

Outside view of Yeondu Café

Outside view of Yeondu Café

What we think

Anders comment:
Walking up the narrow Gamgodang-gil that at the beginning is walled on both sides is very peaceful compared to many other places in Seoul. This means not so many cars, but the ones here will manage to squeeze through in normal Seoul manner. Samcheong-dong and Gamgodang-gil houses many small shops, cafés and restaurants. Especially two cafés stand out here, Yeondu is one of them.

Yeondu Café offers fair trade coffee which we have not seen in many other places across the city. Some weeks ago on a very rainy day we talked to a fair trade group that had set up stand in the crossing down the hill from Yeondu. They want to turn this entire neighbourhood into fair trade, hope you succeed. Most of the coffee beans also appear to be organic.
Often it is possible to see the staff operating the coffee roasting machine and they sell some basic gear for making hand drip at home.

What we drank:
Hand drip: quality and taste is excellent, competing among the very best internationally.
Espresso: very good, competing among the very best in Korea.

Yeondu Café - Inside view with staff and guests

Yeondu Café - Inside view with staff and guests

Gas burners to boil the water

Gas burners to boil the water

Green coffee to be used in the roaster

Green coffee to be used in the roaster

Yeondu Café staff operating the roaster

Yeondu Café staff operating the roaster


Beans we took home

Tanzania AAA (Ruvuma) and El Salvador org. "LAZ L AJAS"

Tanzania AAA (Ruvuma) and El Salvador org. "LAZ L AJAS"

Bought these bags at different occasions, both are of very hight quality giving an excellent aroma. If you want to make hand drip at home and it goes bad it will not be the fault of this coffee that is for sure.

How to get there:
Anguk station exit 1 and continue walking in the same direction as you exit for 300-400meters, then turn right when you see the street that is walled on both sides. Now continue walking for about 1km, the walls will stretch for some time and Yeondu Café is one the second street to the right up a small hill. You will probably see it’s neighbour first an outlet of the coffee chain The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Yeondu Café is on it’s left side.

Credit to Carl for finding this place first.

Starting up…

Just finished the first post. It had to be Cafe Classico as this was the first place in Seoul I had hand drip coffee at during my first visit. This place showed me that there is not only coffee chains in this city and sparked me to create this blog. This blog/coffee guide is joint venture between myself and Larsson who have lived here in Seoul a bit longer then me.

To come is:
*A cafe review of the place we don’t know the name of, only where it is. Yes it is time to learn hangul so I can read the signs. Photos are ready so this could be ready later this week.
*Book show case of Korean coffee books

It is my first time using Wordpress as an admin, it is a great blog but it took me a few days to get friends with it so to say.

On the todo list for the blog are:
*Play around with some more themes
*Add the Korean flag and coffee beans in the header
*Understand more about map integration
*Make the page look nice in mobile browsers Read More…

Cafe Classico

Outside view of Cafe Classico

Outside view of Cafe Classico

What we think

Larssons comment:
This is the only coffee place in Seocho-dong that I know serves hand dripped coffee and personally, I think its excellent. The atmosphere is great with its tiny kitchen, sturdy wooden interior and spread around coffee bags.  In the spring and summer one of the walls can be opened. The home made Lemonade is also very refreshing, and is recommended in the summer. The girls running the place are always happy to see you and gets to know your taste in coffee very quickly. I love the place!

Anders comment:
I can only agree with Larssons comment, this is a great place.
Their waffles are impressive too, so impressive that you better share one between two people.

The staff preparing coffee

The staff preparing coffee

What we drank:
Hand drip: Excellent to say the least, but as with all hand drip in Korea say strong when they ask how you want it. Have never been disappointed with any cup here!
Espresso: Have not tried yet

Beans we took home
Brazil 17
Sample bag: Ethopia Yirgacheffe

Brazil Nobre 17 (100g) and Ethiopia Yirgacheffe (sample bag, enough for one cup of hand drip)

Brazil Nobre 17 (100g) and Ethiopia Yirgacheffe (sample bag, enough for one cup of hand drip)


Menu with coffee beans to buy and enjoy at home

Menu with coffee beans to buy and enjoy at home


Impressive menu with different types of hand drip coffee

Impressive menu with different types of hand drip coffee


Location:

How to get there:
From Gangnam station Exit 3 follow the street south (direction Yangjae). Turn right at Hooters and after two streets to the left you are there.

Bonus:

The coffee roasting machine at Cafe Classico

The coffee roasting machine at Cafe Classico

Inside Cafe Classico, one seat is by a desk!

Inside Cafe Classico, one seat is by a desk!