[Seoul] Boasting 4 outlets in Seoul (Hapjeong, Itaewon, Seogyo and Yeonhui) and 1 on Jeju Island, Anthracite Coffee Roasters is a homegrown coffee roaster in South Korea that is popular not just among Koreans but also with foreign tourists.
Not far away from their first ever café in Hapjeong-dong is their 4th Anthracite branch, nestled in a small street in Seogyo-dong.
Taking over what used to be a mansion, the café has a luscious entrance of trees, shrubs and stones designed like a front yard of wealthy family house indeed.
One might not even realise that there is a café hidden behind the porch.
Having seen the space of the other 3 outlets in Seoul, the concept of this café stood out to me the most.
While the other branches are situated in mostly bare, concrete buildings featuring a raw, industrial concept, this one is entire refurbished and based on all-wooden furniture and brick walls.
Just like its counterpart in Itaewon, this branch has 3 storeys – on the 1st floor is a large bar table where you can watch the baristas at work; on the 2nd floor you can find a bar table again together with separate tables; and the 3rd floor has mostly small separate tables and an outdoor terrace.
The café may be large but I felt an atmosphere of cosiness at every corner.
When I first visited, the only 2 choices for coffee were drip coffee and latte, but the menu has since expanded then.
Though the menu is in full Korean, the baristas will patiently explain to guests in English.
After choosing the type of coffee, you can then choose from a few types of beans sourced, imported and roasted by the café.
I am a latte person, but went for the unexpected choice of Drip Coffee (7000KRW, SGD8) which I did not regret.
The texture was very smooth, and there were moderate tones of acidity but did not taste sour or acrid.
The selection of pastries here is simple (think madeleines, financiers, scones, etc.) and changes regularly.
Being part tangy, part sweet and part buttery, the Lemon Madeleine (3500KRW, SGD4) turned out to be an excellent partner for the drip coffee.
However, the Fruit Pound Cake (4500KRW, SGD5.10) was not quite memorable since it was on the dry side.
I also tried the Ginger Lemon Tea (7000KRW, SGD8) which was warm and very comforting in the winter.
Looking through the glass windows of the café out into the garden while sipping on my drink, it is hard not to feel sentimental, difficult not to feel at peace.
Yet another one of my favourite cafes in Seoul.
Anthracite Coffee Roasters 앤트러사이트 (서교점)
11 World Cup-ro 12-gil, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea (Mangwon Station Exit 1)
서울시 마포구 서교동 월드컵12길 11
Opening Hours: 9am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
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* Written by Crystal Wee, a “Cafe Pornographer”. More of her cafe gallery on Instagram @Crystal_wee. DFD paid for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.