Paul Bassett Coffee Station Cafe - Korea

Paul Bassett won the World Barista Championship in 2003, and since then he’s opened cafe/roasteries in both Tokyo and Seoul. I stumbled upon the Seoul location a few months ago and just got a chance to head back to take some pictures.

If it weren’t for the giant glass-enclosed Probat roaster, the awkwardly named ‘Coffee Station Paul Bassett’ might be easily overlooked in the maze of stalls selling gourmet chocolates, cupcakes, macarons and other pricey edibles at the Gosok Terminal Shinsegae’s basement level food court.

Paul Basset Coffee Station Korea Probat Roaster
However, the Probat isn’t just there to draw attention. They roast in the shop on a regular schedule and sell a variety of single origin coffees at standard Korean prices (100g / $8-10).

Paul Bassett Coffee Station - Cups

I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of espresso here. Honestly, given the location, I was expecting it to be nothing but hype and branding with exorbitant prices aimed at gouging the typical Shinsegae clientele. But the price wasn’t high, and hopes quickly went up when my espresso order came back in a thick walled demitasse with just the right amount of dark reddish brown crema.

I was thinking to myself, oh, this is actually going to be good; and indeed it was. The espresso at ‘Coffee Station’ has incredible body like melted butter. The taste is equally rich, with a balanced sweet and savory undertone upon which high notes of acidic citrus fruits distinguish themselves as the dominant flavors in the cup. One tip: don’t bother with the single ristretto – it came out as hardly more than a teaspoon and is extremely acidic and definitely not worth paying $3 for, I don’t know why this is even on the menu. The double ristretto is perfection, however, as are the larger servings.

Paul Bassett Coffee Station Cafe - Korea - Counter

The location at Gosok Terminal puts it on three subway lines (3,7,9) and makes it a good spot to grab a coffee before or after hitting the mall. It’s also next to a theater, the express bus terminal, and the JW Marriott hotel. However, the basement of a high end food court with lots of foot traffic and noise is not exactly an ideal place to lounge around for long hours, and it’s only open until around 8pm.

Paul Bassett Coffee Station Korea - Counter
Nevertheless, if you’re around Gosok Terminal, you should definitely make a quick pit-stop for an espresso at Paul Bassett’s ‘Coffee Station.’ The roasted beans are also a good deal better (and fresher) than anything you’ll get at the chain stores, and probably a bit more consistent than some of the indie Korean roasters. It’s worth getting lost in the station a few times while trying to find the cafe, you won’t regret it.

Paul Bassett Coffee Station Cafe Korea - Counter

Map and directions below.

Paul Bassett Coffee Station Cafe - Korea

Paul Bassett 은 2003년 세계 바리스타 챔피언이에요. 그가 챔피언이 된 후 도쿄서울에 카페와 로스팅 공장을 열었는데요, 몇달 전 강남 신세계에 쇼핑하러 갔다가 우연히 발견하게 되었어요.

신세계 지하 푸드코트와 베이커리 사이에 위치한 Paul Bassett Coffee Station Cafe.
만약 이 카페에 엄청나게 큰 유리창문과 Probat 로스팅 기계가 없었더라면 주위에 있는 화려하고 예쁜 컵케이크며 고급스런 수제 초콜렛, 마카롱 등에 파묻혀 잘 눈에 띄지 않았을거에요.

Paul Basset Coffee Station Korea Probat Roaster

하지만 Probat 로스팅 기계가 단지 눈길을 끌려고 거기 있는 건 아닌가봐요.
규칙적인 스케줄에 맞춰 커피를 직접 로스팅하고 단일원산지 커피를 그리 비싸지 않은 가격에(100 그램당 8천원에서 만원정도) 팔고 있었어요.

Paul Bassett Coffee Station - Cups

이 카페를 방문 하기 전, 저희는 강남에 있는 카페들의 터무니 없는 가격과 낮은 품질의 커피에 상당히 실망해 있었어요.
그래서 사실 반신반의 하는 마음으로 들어갔는데, 가격은 우선 합격점! 더 놀라웠던건 두꺼운 데미타스잔에 짙고 붉은 갈색빛깔의 크레마와 함께 0.5oz/25ml정도 들어있는 에스프레소! 이걸 보고나니 기대심이 좀 생기더라구요.

Coffee Station의 에스프레소는 녹인 버터같은 바디에 균형잡힌 쓴맛,단맛과 고소함, 상큼한 과일같은 신맛이 모두 살아있어요. 아, 에스프레소를 주문하실 때 팁! 굳이 리스트레토로 시키지 않아도 된다는것 – 한 번 리스트레토로 시켜봤는데 거의 1티스푼정도 되는 양에 신 맛이 너무 과하더라구요. 더블 리스트레토는 완벽했어요.

Paul Bassett Coffee Station Cafe - Korea - Counter

제가 생각하기에 이 곳은 친구들끼리 모여서 수다를 떤다거나 편히 쉴 수 있는 곳은 아니에요.쇼핑하기 전 잠깐 들러 아주 좋은 커피를 후다닥! 마시러 갈 수 있는 곳이죠. 주위에 푸드코트와 베이커리들이 즐비하다보니 조용한 분위기를 기대하기는 힘들어요. 백화점 영업 종료 시간에 맞춰 문을 닫으니 오래 있을 수도 없구요.

Paul Bassett Coffee Station Korea - Counter

그래도 만약 고속터미널에 갈 일이 생긴다면 꼭 한 번 가보셔서 에스프레소를 맛보세요. 또한 다른 어떤 곳보다도 좋은 커피빈을 적절한 가격에 구할 수 있는 곳이기도 해요.

Paul Bassett Coffee Station Cafe Korea - Counter

Gosok Terminal is a confusing place and I never get where I want to go without wandering around for a good 10 minutes (while dragging poor friends around with me). But when you eventually find yourself in the Shinsegae department store 1F full of cosmetic stands and luxury fashion shops, then you’re in the right place. Just go down the escalators to Shinsegae B1 food court and you should be able to find the cafe next to one of the exits.
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