Earlier this week I had a chance to visit 2009 Korean Barista Champion Lee Jong Hoon’s workshop in the north east area of Seoul. My coworkers from the middle school I teach at here in Korea actually made the reservation. I guess the coffee I make for the office every day has brought them over from the dark side of instant coffees :) We had a nice couple hours hanging out at the workshop, though I have a suspicion most were expecting something more like a cafe than a lab.
I won’t say much about this visit because it was mostly taken up by translation and socializing, and Lee Jong Hoon didn’t get there until after we left. But I do plan on returning soon. Until then, here are some pictures of the Republic of Coffee workshop.
I did get a chance to pull a dozen or so shots and make a few lattes with their WBC blend made up of 70% El Optimismo, El Salvador, and 30% La Planada, Costa Rica. It’s described as “a very sweet and bright acidity espresso blend with notes of dark fruit, toasted nuts, treacle and chocolate with creamy texture.”
Their WBC spec’d 2 group Nuova Simonelli Aurelia paired with a Mahlkonig K30 is much nicer than the Gaggia GD2 and MDF I’m used to working on. But I haven’t had enough experience to comment much beyond that, except that I had a lot of fun!
Definitely looking forward to going back and perhaps doing a little interview as well!