Café hopping in Seoul
with Tae Rodeo

Follow our barista Tae Rodeo, who had so much fun café hopping in Seoul. Here he tells us about some of his favorite places that you might want to note down for your future visit to South Korea!

Tae Rodeo visited Seoul back in 2017 to go and watch the World Barista Championship. There, he spent some of his free time hopping around different cafés in the city. Let’s hear about some of his favorite places from the perspective of a barista.

In June 2017, I went to Seoul with Tae-Varatt, Korn, Ploy Picolo, and Choey to attend the World Barista Championship 2017. Since all of us are coffee lovers and seeing as the city is full of awesome cafés, café-hopping seemed to be the perfect activity for us. We came up with a list of places we wanted to check out; they all had different locations and different styles. Among these differences, I felt that a lot of places share similar moods and tones. They also had distinctive, Asian look with a modern vibe.

After stopping by a few places and having a little too much coffee, I had shortlisted my top three favorite places: Center Coffee, Namusairo Coffee, and Fritz Coffee Company.


Center Coffee impressed me with their service, and their baristas were eager to present their menu. The interior here could be described as simple and minimal. Customers can enjoy their beverages both inside and outside the café. I recommend you to try their filter coffee because they use EG-1 grinder, which is known to preserve the flavors of the coffee. Also, the coffee beans they use are generally low in acidity and are not dark roasted, so I think that’s always going to be a popular choice for customers.

Insider’s tip: Located behind the café is a public park. Just imagine ordering a filter coffee and then walking over to the park while slowly sipping the coffee. Now, that’s the life!

Address: 28-11 Seoulsup 2(i)-gil, Seongdong-gu, Seoul / Hours: 10 am – 9 pm (closed every last Monday) / W: centercoffee.co.kr


Namusairo Coffee is truly an old-school café. Instead of measuring everything precisely, the barista relies solely on his experience when making coffee. We ordered five cups of coffee and there was only one barista who took our order; he also was the one who dripped our coffee and made the espresso. To be honest, we were wondering about the quality of what we were about to drink since that barista was juggling so many roles at once. But after the first sip, we all agreed that he is definitely a fantastic barista. We were completely baffled at how he could make such perfect drinks while working alone. If you ever find yourself at this café, make sure you order an espresso and you will understand why this place is one of my top picks!

Address: 21 Sajik-ro 8-gil, Sajik-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul / Hours: 10 am – 10 pm / W: www.thecoffeechaser.com/namusairo


Fritz Coffee Company caught our attention because of its beautiful wooden decoration and their old-school vibe. This is another place that I would give my salute to their baristas for their fast and impeccable service. Each barista has to master the art of multitasking like taking orders, making espresso, dripping coffee, preparing the bread, and washing glasses. On the day we went, there were only three baristas there, but the service was extremely efficient.

This place has slightly different opening hours compared to most cafés in Seoul. Instead of opening around 10 or 11 am, Fritz Coffee Company starts serving since 8 am. You can stop by for your morning coffee and freshly baked goodies from an open kitchen on the first floor. Another interesting thing about this place is their branding. We’re not exactly sure how the seal on their logo is related to their coffee, but somehow its image is still stuck on our minds! And it doesn’t matter how many times they’ve changed their packaging, the seal still reminds me of this place.

Address: 17 Saechang-ro 2gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul / Hours: Monday – Friday 8 am – 11 pm, weekend and holiday 10 am – 11 pm / W: ritz.co.kr/

Photos by Tae RodeoP’ Mhee-Jiranarong


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