I first read about Coffeest Café on the blog, discoveringkorea.com which all travellers planning a trip to Korea should read before their trip. It touted Coffeest as one of the best cafes in Seoul so how could I not include it on my list of cafes to visit?
Coffeest Café is located behind Gyeonghuigung and the building that it is located has constructed glass floors to simultaneously protect and showcase the foundations of the ancient palace. The building itself is a little nondescript but I guarantee you will smell the place before you actually see it. Coffeest roasts all its coffee in-house and the scents are amazing.
Once inside Coffeest, you immediately notice the huge sacks of coffee beans scattered in front of the counter and the amazing collection of coffee-related paraphernalia scattered around the store. Wooden chairs and tables are placed neatly around the room, dominated by a huge 8-seater table. On the day I went, the café was filled mainly with corporate types from the offices in the neighbourhood but I have read that artsy types flock there as well.
The menu at Coffeest is all in Korean but one of the staff is fluent in English and will help you with the ordering. The food section is limited to a few items such as ham&cheese paninis and cheesecakes. The paninis were amazing though, cheese oozing out and all. The perfect brunch menu item.
The location may seem obscure at first but with a clear set of directions, it can be found pretty easily. And while it may seem out of the way of the normal tourist track, it is just a few minutes walk away from Gwanghwamun Square, Seoul Museum of History, Gangbuk JeongDong NANTA Theatre and the historic Jeongdong Street.
Address & Directions:
1-335 Sinmullo 2-ga, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Take the subway to Gwanghwamun Station, leave via Exit 7. Do a 180-degree turn at the exit and take a right at the intersection. Walk straight until you see the sign for the Salvation Army Centre, turn right, and walk for about 400m ’til you see Sungkok Art Museum. Coffeest Cafe will be on the left.