Authentic European Cafes in Seoul
Paris, Stockholm, and Lisbon. We’ve found cafes in Seoul offering real European-style coffee.
Seoul now presents places where you can experience the diverse European coffee culture represented by espresso, brews, and arabic-style coffee, in a way you would in Europe. A Parisian trendy cafe opened business in Seoul under the same name, and coffee beans from a famous roastery in Stockholm, Sweden, brought the Scandinavian ambience over to Seoul. People wait in a long line in front of a cafe specializing in Portuguese-style espresso and egg tart.

Europe is expanding in Seoul.

From the Marais, Paris to Seochon, Boot Cafe
Boot Cafe is famous for its vintage blue exterior and unique characteristics, noticeable even in the Marais district, the hub of trendy cafes, bars, and shops in the French capital. Boot Cafe used to be a shoe repair shop before renovation, and is a must-see place for tourists and locals alike. That Boot Cafe has come to Seoul. Boot Cafe Seoul opened business in a renovated hanok building, bringing the same ambience, interior decor and props as those used in the Paris shop, as well as matching Fuglen Coffee Roasters specialty beans from Oslo, Norway.

The exterior wall of Boot Café Seoul is adorned with Boot Café Paris’ signature blue frame, along with the word ‘Cordonnerie.’ It is a familiar scene to see a pedestrian stopping for a photo in front of the wall. Once inside the cafe, there are even more photo spots. The cacophony of the section covered in magazine pages forming a random collage, colorful tables and chairs is unexpectedly harmonious with the aged hanok. Watching the goods displayed in the corner of the cafe, such as T-shirts, caps, tumblers, eco bags, and pouches, you can certainly enjoy feeling like you are floating in Paris, not Seoul.

Allonge(Americano) and cortado(1:1 mix of milk and espresso), and banana pound cake are the cafe’s signature menu. One difference from the Paris shop is that cortado can be served cold. Creme doux meaning ‘sweet latte’ is a Seochon exclusive menu. Homemade sugar cane syrup makes the drink sweet. All coffee beans have both acidic and less-acidic flavor options in consideration of customers who may prefer weaker acidity in their coffee. It is great luck that you can experience Paris and Oslo in Seocho.

Address 46 Jahamun-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Hours Wed-Sun 11:00-20:00 (Last order at 19:30)
Instagram @bootcafe.seoul

Scent and Taste of Stockholm, Always Au8ust Roasters
Gaining popularity in Northern Europe, Drop Coffee Roasters is a roastery cafe based in Stockholm, Sweden, a country known for its avid coffee drinkers. Not just Sweden, but most of the Scandinavian countries occupy the top spots in terms of global coffee consumption. Coffee is a big part of daily routines in Northern Europe. Drop Coffee is something even they feel proud of.

Located in Mangwon-dong, Seoul, Always Au8ust Roasters is the official distributor of Drop Coffee. Thanks to that, the cafe selectively offers coffee beans that best match various occasions. The Scandinavian-style interior decor using wooden furniture and props and the beans imported from the roastery in Stockholm define Always Au8ust Roasters.

Always Au8ust Roasters CEO Park Seon-young had worked at a marketing team of a big coffee franchise for a long time. Whenever she could she flew to Europe to study European cafes. Drop Coffee Roasters of Sweden was one of the cafes she had checked out, but she discovered a difference. She found her ideal coffee culture that was eco-friendly, sustainable, and healthy, while staying in Stockholm. She also liked the comfortable and stable Scandinavian style of the roastery cafe. The approach to vegan diet and environmental issues she had seen in Scandinavian coffee culture worked in Seoul’s Mangwon-dong area as well. Young people who understood these principles would wait in line for opening each morning, order coffee, take photos, and immerse themselves in the cafe’s Stockholm ambience.

The signature menu of Always Au8ust Roasters are hand-brewed coffee offering the fresh taste of Drop Coffee Roasters’ beans and strawberry meringue roulade. Hand-brewed coffee has a clean taste of a balanced acidity and sweetness. If you are a vegan, you can ask to switch out regular milk and add Minor Figures oat milk for an espresso-based drink. If you need alcohol instead of caffeine, you may want to order organic natural wine by the glass.

Address 19 Mangwon-ro 6-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Hours Wed-Sun
Instagram @alwaysau8ust

All About Portuguese Cafe Culture, Sorry Espresso Bar
Under the radar of stubborn Americano devotees, espresso bars have slowly grown thanks to the devotion by unyielding espresso fans. With an increasing number of Instagram photos showing carelessly placed demitasses(small cups for espresso), espresso bars are now considered hip and trendy.

Sorry Espresso Bar is a Portuguese-style shop with a distinct voice that sets it apart from Italian-style espresso bars. To recreate Portuguese espresso, the cafe brings in coffee beans from Portuguese largest coffee brand Delta Coffee and espresso machines locally acquired. Espresso is extracted in accordance with the concentration rate suggested in local guideline data. The popularity of Sorry Espresso Bar is not solely thanks to its espresso.  Rather, it is the combination of egg tart and the drink that sealed the deal for the cafe. To introduce egg tart, a source of pride for Portuguese people, to the Korean market, the cafe imports frozen, yet original tart made by Nutriva, one of the top-three bakery brands of Portugal. To recreate the exact flavor of authentic Portuguese egg tart, the cafe even installed an oven shipped in from Portugal for its higher temperature setting.

There’s no chair to sit, and no Americano to quench thirst, but Sorry Espresso Bar is amazingly successful. The second Changdeokgung location in Bukchon, which opened a year after the opening of the first location, is frequented by Portuguese Embassy staff. They would come by morning and afternoon, sipping espresso and snacking on egg tart. Although the place is tight and the line is long, the espresso bar is a place to focus on its beverage and food rather than a place to sit down and talk, so you will be able to grab a table soon enough and taste authentic Portuguese espresso. Keep in mind that by the late afternoon egg tart will likely be unavailable.

Address 63 Gyedong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul (Changdeokgung Branch)
Hours Mon-Fri / Sat
Instagram @sorry_espressobar
March 2022 Editor:Jung Jaewook
Photographer:Kim zun

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  • March 2022
  • Editor: Jung Jaewook
  • Photographer: Kim zun
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