Sunday, July 30, 2017

Seoul: Coffee Hanyakbang

I am always joking that all I do in Seoul is drinking coffee at as many different coffee shops as possible. Most of them look and feel more or less the same - white floors, house plants, neon signs, hip typography on the walls, and most of all - easily forgotten. 

Last week I came across an hidden gem that I'll probably remember for years from now. It was so amazing that I even went back the next day to try other items in the menu and take more photos.

Coffee Hanyakbang ( 커피한약방  )
Address: 16-6 Samil-daero 12-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul, Korea
서울 중구 삼일대로12길 16-6 커피한약방 )
Euljiro-3ga Station

 Hanyakbang is hided in a small alley amongst shabby buildings in Euljiro. And by small, I really mean it, I hardly fit through this "street". Before that I circled around the block for 20 minutes to even find the right place. 
I can't even imagine how did they even transport all the equipment and furniture there..

Once I stepped in the coffee shop, I felt like I was instantly transported into Wong Kar-wai movie scene (If you have seen In The Mood For Love, you know what I'm talking about). The cafe is delicately decorated with exquisite antique furniture, some of this coming directly from China, for example the medicine cabinet and a spectacular counter inlaid with mother-of-pearl. Their drip coffee is reasonably priced and barista makes sure he knows your taste preference before choosing the beans. They even roast the coffee beans in the shop manually (so the whole place smells heavenly!) Can't get any more artisan than that.

Besides coffee being delicious, it's one of the few cafes I've been here that doesn't blast load K-pop music all day every day.. instead they have a collection of old records they switch from time to time. While I was there, they were playing Chuck Berry.

Second floor features a huge wooden table for those who wish to work on their laptops (feels very out of place though..), more antique lamps, sofas, and a huge decorative wall piece inlaid with mother-of-pearl.

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