© Momos Coffee

Busan’s Coffee Road
When asked about a Korean city offering the best coffee these days, you can say Busan. The port city presents many unique cafes including Momos Coffee where Jeon Joo-yeon, first Korean barista to win the World Barista Championship in 2019, works. Why don’t we travel to Busan with the keyword “coffee” in mind? Coffee columnist Cho Won-jin, who wrote < 19-Year-Old Barista Roasts Stories > and < Practical Coffee Book > guides us.
The moment you step into the arrival platform, you get a whiff of salty sea breeze. On the stairway to the waiting room, the sparkling nightscape of Yeongdo unfolds before your eyes. As you exit Busan Station, you will find Yeongdo, Jagalchi Market, and Gukje Market on your right, while Jeonpo Cafe Street and Gwangalli and Haeundae beaches can be found on your left. Busan, packed with things to see and do, as well as diverse foods and beverages, has become Korea’s top tourist destination thanks to advances regarding means of transportation and a growing travel culture.
After transforming into a city of tourism, Busan also witnessed a significant growth in its coffee industry. Cafes emerged as a means to engage the increasing tourists’ attention. There were limitless potentials and possibilities in Busan. Streets of Choryang, Yeongdo, and Jeonpo-dong had many decrepit buildings. To tourists looking for unexplored places, these rather unexpected and diverse architectures maintaining the trace of time had magnetic charms. Naturally coffee shops that opened business in such buildings instantly became hot tourist spots. Cafe ‘Brown Hands Baekje’ is located in a modern hospital building constructed in the 1920s near Busan Station. ‘Cafe Choryang 1941’ is a 1940s Japanese-style house that has been modernized. ‘Notice’ is a coffee shop occupying an old rice storage from the 1950s.

A barista at Momos Coffee is cupping. © Momos Coffee

Momos Coffee inside Shinsegae Centum City Mall, with a modern interior © Momos Coffee

Werk Roasters, famous for its unique ambience © Cho Wonjin

The rapid growth of coffee culture in Busan can be attributed to the fact that the city has a long history of accepting new and diverse cultures coming through its port and also that it has a relatively large population of those in their 20s and 30s who are considered the main coffee consumer groups. Jeonpo Cafe Street, once occupied only by hardware stores and tool shops, is a good example of the open-minded culture of Busan and enthusiastic Coffee consumers. In 2019, barista Jeon Joo-yeon of Momos Coffee held the trophy at the World Barista Championship for the first time as a Korean. Traditionally the winner of the championship is featured on the cover of < Barista Magazine > issued in the U.S. Jeon was photographed holding the trophy against the backdrop of Gwangalli Beach, which served as a stepping stone for Busan in becoming a globally-recognized coffee city.
It is indeed no exaggeration to call Busan a city of coffee. You can enjoy the coastal city to your heart’s content without eating the famous wheat noodles(milmyeon) or pork and rice soup(dwaeji gukbap), or visiting Gwangalli and Haeundae beaches. If you haven’t had a chance to visit various cafes unique to Busan yet, consider the ones we are introducing below. These are our top picks among the city’s better-known cafes and small, eccentric coffeehouses.
Gaining Global Fame, Momos Coffee

Inside the main location of Momos Coffee © Momos Coffee

Roasting room © Momos Coffee

Momos Coffee’s main location, housed in charming hanok © Momos Coffee

CEO Lee Hyun-ki started a takeaway coffee shop in 2007 in the storage room of a restaurant owned by his parents. Through gradual expansion, the cafe now occupies the entire two-story building including what used to be the restaurant space. In 2009 Momos began serving specialty coffee. It is now one of the leading cafes in Busan. Barista Jeon Joo-yeon, who is a Momos inaugural member with 15 years of experience, became the first Korean barista to win the World Barista Championship. The cafe’s signature item is a hand-drip using specialty coffee beans CEO Lee buys directly from various coffee farms around the world.
Address 20 Osige-ro, Geumjeong-gu, Busan
Senior Roastery in Jeonpo, FM Coffee

© FM Coffee

Inside FM Coffee © FM Coffee

Inside FM Coffee © FM Coffee

Desserts that make for perfect coffee companions are also available. © Cho Wonjin

Roaster Kang Moo-seong, who has made his name known in Busan since the early 2000s as a coffee supplier, opened FM Coffee in 2008 in Jeonpo-dong. Fitting for its name meaning ‘field manual,’ Kang’s menu soon captivated coffee aficionados with its exquisite flavor. He travels to overseas coffee farms every year, including Costa Rica and Panama, to select premium beans himself. FM Coffee’s specialty coffee varies each season to ensure the best quality, and its latte and americano are dark-blends with a rich, chocolate-like sweet flavor. ‘Tomorrow,’ a cold-brew coffee, and ‘Jeonpo Sup,’ a green tea latte variation, are popular choices among customers.
Address 26 Jeonpo-daero 199beon-gil, Busanjin-gu, Busan
A Rising Star, Werk Rosters

© Werk Roasters

The second-floor sitting area where you can enjoy your coffee © Werk Roasters

Werk Team © Werk Roasters

Four young Busan-based baristas and roasters founded Werk Roasters. Roaster Park Hyeon-dong, who has served as a jury for the national barista selection contest, and barista Song Chan-hee, in charge of branding, met while working at Momos Coffee and later opened the cafe together. The Werk team is also joined by barista Kim Seok-bong who oversees financing and operation and barista Lee Sang-yong who is responsible for the cafe’s interior design. Their motto is ‘optimistic changes in life.’ The business opened in May 2018 in a residential neighborhood in Jeonpo-dong. Unlike other cafes, the first floor is used as the office and roastery, while the basement is the cafe where orders are made. The second floor is a sitting area with unique chairs the team has collected from various places across the country. The unique ambience is reinforced by dimmed, indirect lighting. Their signature menu includes ‘Baby Latte’ from Werk Blend Baby and ‘Single Origin’ brew selected each season.
Address 115 Seojeon-ro 58beon-gil, Busanjin-gu, Busan
One-of-a-Kind Small Cafe, Coffee Awake

© Coffee Awake

Roaster and barista Kim Ji-young opened Coffee Awake in front of Pusan National University in May 2012. Kim wanted to offer premium quality brews and help people understand that coffee is not bitter. In the early days of business, the cafe brought in various beans from specialty coffee shops. With its growing customer base, Coffee Awake now has a separate roastery for its own blends. The menu includes espresso drinks using two kinds of blends or a single-origin coffee that changes every week, as well as various brewed coffees and beans.
Address 46-4 Busandaehak-ro 63beon-gil, Geumjeong-gu, Busan
Specialty Roasts in One Place, Coffee Space Bar

CSB Lounge © Coffee Space Bar

It’s a cafe sitting in a building that looks literally like a space bar on the computer keyboard. CEO Kim Tae-wan, who has an extensive barista and roaster experience in local cafes, opened Coffee Space Bar in 2017. It’s a coffee select shop featuring specialty coffees from leading roasteries in Busan, including ‘In & Bean,’ ‘Werk Roasters,’ and ‘Hytte Roastery.’ Last May, Kim opened a flagship store named ‘CSB(Coffee Space Bar) Lounge’ in Namcheon-dong. The lounge offers a wider, more pleasant space than the main cafe. In its basement, collaborated exhibitions featuring local artists are regularly held. Coffee Space Bar has a famous thick, creamy hot chocolate, while CSB Lounge is known for its mixology tea combining tea and fruity drinks like in a cocktail.
Address 95 Hwangnyeong-daero 74beon-gil, Nam-gu, Busan
A Precious Cup of Joe, Treasures Coffee

© Cho Wonjin

© Cho Wonjin

Treasures Coffee presents a selection of specialty coffees that are varied in types, origins, and processing methods and hard to find in Korea. It indeed is a place where you can enjoy a unique drink, as it maintains seven to eight kinds of boutique coffee lineup at all times. The very first business was launched in 2016 in Suyeong-gu, but ended after 1.5 years of operation. In 2019, the cafe reopened in Jeonpo-dong. Frequented by heavy caffeine drinkers everyday, Treasures Coffee captivates the locals, offering quality coffee drinks at a reasonable price point.
Address 28 Jeonpo-daero 216beon-gil, Busanjin-gu, Busan
Scandinavian Style, Hytte Roastery

Roaster Jeong Hyo-jae and barista Choi Hee-yun at Hytte Roastery © Cho Wonjin

© Cho Wonjin

© Cho Wonjin

© Cho Wonjin

Roaster Jeong Hyo-jae and barista Choi Hee-yun are a married couple of the same age who run Hytte Roastery. They initially opened a cafe in Yangsan in 2013 but closed it and went on a coffee trip to Australia and Northern European countries to broaden their experience. In 2018, inspired by ‘Nordic roasting’ that was trending among Scandinavian specialty coffee shops, the couple launched a roastery cafe in Namcheon-dong. Nordic style roasting means a very light roasting, resulting in a golden yellow color on the roasted beans. Compared to dark roasted products, Nordic roasting can be used to generate high acidity and floral, fruity scents. Hytte’s ‘Stopover’ is an exemplary Nordic roast with a gentle acidic taste and a sweet floral scent. In October 2019, they halted the cafe business, but have since continued to operate the roastery. The Hytte brand is becoming more popular and can be found in various regions across the country, including Seoul, Jeju, Gyeonggi, and Gangwon. In Busan, Gonggeuk Sand Coffee in Gijang, Alike Coffee in Jeonpo-dong, and Nobaker Nobakers sell Hytte products.
Located about 15 minutes on foot from Jeonpo Cafe Street, LOTTE HOTEL BUSAN offers a total of 650 rooms and suites tailored to the purpose of your trip. There are various types of rooms, including modern rooms overlooking downtown Busan and Choo Shin Soo Star Room decorated with baseball paraphernalias once owned by baseball star Choo Shin-soo.

Choo Shin Soo Star Room at LOTTE HOTEL BUSAN

Signiel Premier Room at SIGNIEL BUSAN


SIGNIEL BUSAN is the second SIGNIEL location following SIGNIEL SEOUL, and sits in the upper part of LCT Tower, a landmark in Haeundae. Its 260 rooms and suites offer stunning ocean views of Haeundae and the Gwangan Bridge. The luxury hotel also comes with world-class fine dining options, which includes a menu created in collaboration with Michelin 3-star chef Bruno Menard.
February 2021 Editor:Kim Hyewon
Writer:Cho Wonjin

Where to stay?

  • February 2021
  • Editor: Kim Hyewon
    Writer: Cho Wonjin
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