Getting a coffee shop right should be an easy trade. Small space, espresso machine, stock their own bean brand no ones heard of, fancy branding and open whenever you like. So why is it in Korea most coffee shop has an identical modern fit-out, is open 24 hours and is large enough to seat the population a small pacific nation?
The answer is consortiums. They run them all. So finding one with the above traits, an independent coffee shop that ‘you know care’™, in the main youth area of Hongdae is surprisingly tricky. Luckily Coffee Libre is there to get my hole in the wall take away fix.
Open since 2011, the renovated herbal medicine shop off the main area of Hongdae serves as the cafe of, I’m not quite sure really, an emerging empire much in the vain of Streamer? Coffee Libres’ roastery and head office are located nearby is what I’m trying to say. It’s small but you can tell there is a love of coffee here and shows in their participation of almost every coffee related event in Korea in the last 3 years.
Knowledgable on aeropress, which is a supreme rarity in these parts, freshly ground beans and a lack of soy milk speaks volumes really for the appreciation of coffee the staff at Coffee Libre hold. Only three items are on the menu, Espresso, Americano and Cafe Latte all reasonably priced at ₩4000. Iced Lattes are cardinal during Seouls humids summer.
Well worth going out of your way and doubly worth finding it. Check out Coffee Libre if you’re in Seoul.
My understanding of New York Style pizza comes exclusively from what I’ve watched on American sitcoms. Pizza sold by the slice rather than whole, with thin, oily, awful toppings and about as gourmet as a kebab after midnight. It’s simply not a thing where I’m from.
Pizza SLICE in Shibuya, Tokyo doesn’t aim to change that, but at least do it in a much better setting than the gutter in-front of the kebab truck.
Only open since November 2013 its goals are fairly simple. Simple dining and beer in a social environment where it can be shared between friends, evident in the large share tables and open floor. Staff are willing to have a conversation with you if you ask something interesting enough, my suggestion would be their opinion on the Godzilla Remake. It’s less than favorable.
Slices range from a reasonable ¥300 for a cheese slice to ¥600 for the slice of the day, which was Chorizo and Mozzarella when I visited. Beer is on tap and you can also get a coffee if you feel like being a real weirdo.
© 2014 Carey Ciuro