This is my girlfriend Claire’s debut post here – she’s also quite a coffee geek and still working in Korea for the next couple months. Look forward to a few more of her posts from Korea in the months ahead!
Several months ago, I moved in with some friends in Itaewon, a diverse neighborhood in the center of Seoul next to the largest US military base in Korea. It’s a quirky area that sometimes seems sketchy compared to the rest of Seoul, but also has the best selection of foreign restaurants in the city.
I was happy to have such nice roommates, and on top of that I found a great café near by! The cafe is called ChansBros, and if the name rings a bell, it should. If you recall, a while back we were impressed by a cafe called Chan’s Espresso Bar in Hongdae, where the owner had both a La Marzocco GS/3 AND a Synesso Cyncra, pulling shots of Intelligentsia and Tim Wendelboe’s coffee.
ChansBros, it turns out, is run by Chan’s brother!
ChansBros is now the only place you can taste Intelligentsia coffee in Korea, according to the owner. Chan’s Espresso Bar in Hongdae used to have it, but now he only serves Tim Wendelboe and his own blend.
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to have Intelligentsia coffee on our visit because the coffee was still passing through customs. Instead of that, we had an espresso and cappuccino using Chan’s own blend, which is sourced from a roaster outside of Seoul.
The espresso was like a ristretto’d ristretto – but not as extreme as Paul Bassett’s minuscule ristretto. Small portion, strong flavor, with a thick texture. Which I enjoyed a lot!
Their blend is called Honey Drop Espresso, and I found it to be very bright, acidic and fruity. It reminded me of raspberry. It also had an almost salty, buttery taste. It goes nicely in their cappuccino, coming across with caramel sweetness.
Overall, ChansBros is a perfect neighborhood place to relax and have a nice chit chat on a lazy Saturday afternoon–which is exactly what I did with three of my girl friends :)
Directions: Exit #2 from Noksapyeong Station, go straight and cross under the street, exit to the right side. You’ll see the cafe next to a motorcycle shop.