Lugo is a well appointed cafe in the huge Garden 5 shopping mall, complete with their own roaster in shop, La Cimbali and Ditting espresso set up, as well as kit for hand drip. Combining the two main Korean cafe trends, they offer all their coffees (around ~10 single origins) as either espresso shots or as pour over cups.

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In order to offer such an extensive range of single origin coffees as espresso, I was curious to see how they would grind the beans, given that espresso is a finicky product that requires a lot of fine tuning. It turns out that they run the different SO beans through a single Ditting bulk grinder off to the side. Probably not the best way to do that, but the result was okay – pleasant to drink but nothing special. Some other cafes going the route of offering extensive single origin espressos use a bank of dedicated grinders for each origin, which seems labor intensive, and liable to stale the coffee sitting in hoppers for rather longer periods of time. But that’s a topic for another post.

On to the drinks at Lugo. Given its mall setting and in-shop roasting, my expectations weren’t too high. I had their espresso blend and a Brazil single origin espresso. Both were above average and enjoyable, if unspectacular. Not exactly a cafe I’d go out of my way to visit given its distance from central Seoul, but if you find yourself shopping or seeing a movie at Garden 5, or if you happen to live out near this area and need a cafe to call home, you could do much worse. Give it a try and let me know in the comments how your visit was.


It’s located in the Garden 5 shopping mall at Jangji station, on line 8 in Songpa-gu, out in the suburbs of Seoul.