Korea Telecom has built quite a nice little cafe in their first floor show room, amid all the office buildings and historical attractions at Gwanghwamun station near Gyeongbokgung palace. One would expect that a cafe in an electronics showroom would be little more than a gimmick to draw in more potential customers, but I was surprised at the level of investment and quality attained. They are using a Synesso espresso machine, paired with what looked like a Mazzer Robur, and a Ditting grinder for preparing pour-over hand-drip single origin coffees roasted by one of Korea’s big specialty coffee companies, Tera Rosa Coffee. (I tried visiting Tera Rosa while visiting the east coast of Korea, but got knocked out by food poisoning…don’t go to fish markets in the summer time).
The espressos I’ve tried there were generally good, if a bit on the over-extracted side. But still quite forgivable and enjoyable. The hand-drip pour-over coffee I tried was also well prepared and tasted really nice, with delicate origin notes showcasing the quality of the bean and the roaster.
Don’t be put off by the corporate surroundings and the majority of clientele in business attire, this is a bona fide specialty cafe worth a visit if you’re in the area! The outdoor terrace and inside decor is also pretty nice for hanging out. It’s bright and airy, and the constant flow of people gives it a nice atmosphere. I think the back wall of the cafe is actually made of dirt with plants growing out of it too… weird, but cool.
Click here for map and directions.
Head to Gwanghwamun station, go out exit 2 and turn around, you’ll see it in the giant KT building.
View KT Olleh Square Cafe in a larger map