Need more reasons to love the Hongdae and Sangsu area of Seoul? Besides boasting an impressive array of bars, clubs, boutique shops, and restaurants, it’s also home to some of the best coffee shops in Seoul. Our last post on Coffee Lab, with their various extraction methods made available by their expert baristas, struck us as a cool place for chilling during the day and an intimate spot for meeting at night. Our third installment on the best Hongdae coffee shops brings you Tailor Coffee, which feels like a small slice of New York City – the classy and polished side of it.

TAILOR COFFEE
329-15 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea (마포구 서교동 329-15), +82-02-335-0355
Open Monday-Sunday 12 p.m. –  11 p.m.
tailorcoffee.com

Stepping into this half-basement of a coffee shop (their roastery occupys the rest of the building), we came to appreciate all the the tiny details that make this place special. A sharply dressed barista, wearing a glossy bow-tie and wing-tipped shoes, is on top of his brewing and extraction game. Quaint, yet subtly sophisticated, the interior decor is minimalist and accentuated by a hand-written menu on a small chalkboard. Cali and NY inspired pop art hangs effortlessly on the walls around you. Mouth-watering specialty cakes (flavors change from time to time) call out to you from under the counter. The noise levels are quiet enough to get some work done while loud enough to get a small group together for uninhibited conversation.

Tailor Coffee specializes in the pour over drip method of extraction, and in brewing tasty Dutch coffee. You can choose from a variety of recently roasted single-origin beans for your drip, which originate from such locations as Southeast Asia, Africa, and Central/South America. The baristas skillfully hand-press the coffee grounds before brewing the espresso for consistency in volume and taste, and are methodical in the pour over process, for even saturation and brewing. Aside from the drip, I also enjoy the Flat White, which is micro-foamed steamed milk over a double shot of espresso. It was wonderfully strong and the espresso flavor was dominant yet perfectly complemented by the velvety milk. Their espresso, which many say is the ultimate test of a barista’s skill, was rich and robust with complex flavors; chocolate, caramel, and fruit-like undertones. As expected with baristas of that caliber, their latte art was on point as well.

Tips:
There is a 2,000 won charge for refills, and 2,000 won discount for to-go orders. If you’d like a recommendation in coffee bean grinds for brewing at home, the “Purple Rain” espresso blend is bright, uplifting, and of a lighter roast. I have yet to personally try their Dutch coffee, but will update as soon as I do!

Directions:
Hongdae Station Exit 8. Take a right on the road right outside the exit. When you hit the first roundabout, go straight and take the first road that splits off on the left. You’ll hit another roundabout (a small rest area with commercialized wall art), immediately take your first right. Go down this long street full of small boutique shops for 2 blocks and take a left. Take your first right, and you’ll see Tailor Coffee on your left.

What are your thoughts on our pick of Tailor Coffee as one of the best Hongdae coffee shops? Leave a comment below and let us know! In case you missed it, don’t forget to check out our first post of this mini-series on Coffee Libre, chosen due to the owner’s care in directly sourcing the world’s best coffee beans.

About The Author

RL

An eclectic soul with a diverse background, Rob has lived in Korea for the past 5 years. An avid interest in Korean culture, high-quality media, and content led him to co-founding SeoulSync. On his down time he plays ball, visits museums, explores new places, and shoots. These days, he channels his photography into the @seoulsync IG and his own personal @rlvism account.