Did you know that you can actually have a cup of supreme coffee–full-bodied, fresh, made-by-award-winning-baristas–right here in Seoul? I, for one, never actually cared about coffee before. That bitter, brown, liquid! I only buy coffee (=buy a seat) when I go to the nearby Caffe Bene for my lengthy studying sessions. ~4000 KRW for a feeble, brown, not even really bitter americano! In a country where Starbucks and Caffe Bene dominate the coffee scene, in a city hosting tons of cute little cafes caring about decor rather than their drinks, COFFEE TEMPLE, I believe, is THE place for not only coffee purists, but also for those who have been dulled with bad brown liquid for so long that they will find Coffee Temple’s java is liquid gold.
For a coffee dummie like me, the two times I have been to Coffee Temple were an eye-opener. I was lucky enough to have joined my professor’s (who is the owner’s friend) “coffee tasting sessions” when we got to learn about tastes, methods of making, and all different kinds of coffee. Coffee Temple is very small, but is filled with cool coffee-making devices and run by 3 acclaimed baristas. I mean how cool is that? In an unpretentious, cozy little place you can find a corner decorated with cups and certificates and are served the best coffee ever by 3 baristas who have won various prizes in Korean championship. Pure awesomeness.
(not to mention they are so approachable and friendly too)
The corner of honor ^(*o*)^
At Coffee Temple, they only use “new” coffee beans, that is, beans roasted within 10 days. Any bean older than that will be thrown away. Our baristas with impeccable tastes want to ensure that their customers will get the best cup of coffee possible.
They use a combination of 4 kinds of coffee beans to create their unique taste. The menu, likewise, has some totally original drinks that you cannot find anywhere else.
Our coffee tasting lesson started with telling the different beans apart. We got to vote for our “favorite” beans and my uneducated tongue found “Ethiopia old” most appealing. However, the “Ethiopia new”–roasted 1 week ago–gained most fans. The beans of my choice were actually roasted 3 weeks ago and cannot be used at Coffee Temple O_O
Of course the basic lesson was the difference between Espresso and Americano:
We learnt how to tell Latte and Cappuccino apart by looking at the foam:
A quick lesson on how the same beans taste very different depending on the method employed – filter versus aero press:
Coffee Temple’s special drink: Cava latte (caramel + vanilla)–it tasted just amazing. The aromatic mellow espresso is hidden under a thick cloud of smooth, delicately sweet, milk foam.
One latte and one cappuccino. The milk foam was heavenly. I had never thought that milk foam could taste this good. Usually when I order latte or cappuccino, that white stuff on top always baffles me because it doesn’t make the coffee taste any better. I learnt a lesson here: done right, “that white stuff on top” is a milky-white, soft-as-marshmallow, ninth cloud. Too bad it is often done wrong.
Of course we had to try another latte:
Their special drink: Berry more latte. It was seriously delicious and refreshing. This would make the most effervescent drink for summer time:
Another special coffee: Tangerine Cappuccino. With only one slice of tangerine, our cappuccino was transformed into Christmas-in-a-cup. Who would have thought that the zesty flavor of tangerine would be in such a perfect harmony with the richness of a cappuccino?
Coffee Temple is simply a must-visit. The Korean Tourism Organization needs to list it as one of Seoul’s best attractions. My blog doesn’t do it justice. You have to figure out for yourself.
Coffee Temple is located between the CJ E&M Center and the Korean Film Archive, both circled in red. The Nuritkum Square bus stop is marked with a blue circle.
Directions to CJ E & M Center (taken from their website):
- Get off at Degital Media City Station on No.6 Line and take Exit No.2
- West of World Cup Stadium: 171, 271, 571, 7714, 7715
- Seongsan Apt.: No. 7014 & 7015, No. Mapo 08 & 20
- Departure from Yeonshinnae Station & Shinsa-dong: 7715
- Departure from Seoul Station & Namdaemun: 7013
- Departure from Korea Univ., Miari Gogae & City Hall: 171, 172
- Departure from Sangbong-dong, Dongdaermun & Jongro 1~5 ga: 271
- Departure from Hongik Univ.(Exit No.2 at Hongik Univ. Station): 7016,7711
- Departure from Hapjeong(Exit No.2 at Hapjeong Station): 7013
- Departure from Eunpyeong, Nokbeon-dong, Hongjimun & Eungam Ogeori: 7730
- Departure from Shinwon, Mok-dong, Deungchon-dong, Gayang-dong: 6715
- Departure from Yangjae, Dankook Univ. Jongno, Gwanghwamun & Seodaemun: 470
- Departure from Yangjae Station, Kangnam Station: 9711
Directions to the Korean Film Archive (taken from their website):
- If you need a parking space, please use the red route on the map.
- If you use public transportation, please follow the orange route on the map after getting off the bus.
- Get off at the Nuritkum Square bus stop. Cross Nuritkum Square, and then you can see a building with a wooden appearance at the end of the Square. This building is the Korean Film Archive.
- Exit through No.2 exit on Digital Media City subway station (Line No. 6), take the bus 771, 7711, 7730, then get off at the Nuritkum Square bus stop. (Approximately 5 minutes)
- Exit through No.2 exit on Hapjeong subway station (Line No. 2), take the bus 271, then get off at the Nuritkum Square bus stop. (Approximately 15 minutes)
- Exit through No.2 exit on Hongik Univ. subway station (Line No. 2), take the bus 7711, then get off at the Nuritkum Square bus stop. (Approximately 20 minutes)
- Exit through No.3 exit on Sinchon subway station (Line No. 2), take the bus 171, then get off at the Nuritkum Square bus stop. (Approximately 20~25 minutes)
- Blue bus: 171, 271, 470, 710, 771
- Green bus: 7013, 7019, 7711, 7715, 7730
- Red bus: 9711