I’m a big fan of Blue Bottle Coffee from my time visiting their cafes in Tokyo. I was really excited last year when I heard there would finally be Blue Bottle Coffee in Seoul. They’ve now opened four cafes in the city – located in Apgujeong, Samcheong, Seongsu, and Yeoksam.
I visited the Samcheong cafe, located near Bukchon Hanok Village and Gyeongbokgung Palace, so my review is based on that cafe. However, from my experience, the chain provides great coffee no matter which cafe you visit. I visited in Septmeber 2019.
Why Is Blue Bottle Coffee In Seoul Worth Visiting?
As mentioned, I might be biased as I was thrilled to hear that there’d be Blue Bottle Coffee in Seoul. That being said, I always try to be fair when I review places. So why is Blue Bottle Coffee worth visiting?
Firstly, the big selling point for me is the coffee itself. There are too many cafes that have a great location but sacrifice the quality of the coffee. Fortunately, that’s not the case here.
My favourite drink is a cafe mocha. I have a bit of a sweet tooth but the Blue Bottle mochas are fantastic as they aren’t sugary sweet. The dark chocolate complements the bitter coffee to produce a heavenly mix that is both sweet and bitter at the same time. The fluffy steamed milk certainly helps it go down well.
The other coffees are great too, and you can get siphon coffee on the 3rd floor at certain times.
Where Is Blue Bottle Coffee In Seoul?
Secondly, Blue Bottle Coffee in Seoul is located in some amazing areas. They’ve clearly done their research and invested in the right places to give people more than just a good coffee.
The Samcheong cafe is located between Gyeongbokgung Palace and Bukchon Hanok Village, and is close to several major sights in Seoul. It’s perfect for a quick caffeine fix as you walk around and see the many sights. There are also some great views from the large windows.
To get to the Samcheong Blue Bottle Coffee shop simply walk for a few minutes from Anguk Station (Line 3).
You can find the location of the four cafes below:
Blue Bottle Coffee Apgujeong (Gangnam)
Blue Bottle Coffee Yeoksam (Gangnam)
What Is There To Do Nearby?
There are four locations for Blue Bottle Coffee in Seoul and each one has plenty to see nearby. Grab a delicious coffee and check out some of these wonderful sights fully charged:
Blue Bottle Coffee In Samcheong
As mentioned, the Samcheong Blue Bottle Coffee shop is near to Gyeongbokgung Palace. In fact, you can see it from the 3rd floor with views of the palace. The cafe is also located near the entrance to Bukchon Hanok Village.
Blue Bottle Coffee In Seongsu
Described as the Brooklyn of Seoul, Seongsu was the location of the first Blue Bottle Coffee in Seoul and was chosen for it’s cool image. It might not be on many tourists’ radar, but this area is very popular with young Koreans.
Here you can find lots of wall paintings, old buildings converted into trendy cafes and restaurants, and a much more chilled, hip vibe than other parts of Seoul.
You can also visit Seoul Forest from here, a lovely park that has some wonderful autumn leaves, and is great for kids. Next to the forest is Under Stand Avenue – an innovative group of shops and a community space to promote fair trade, sustainability, and an eco-friendly life.
Blue Bottle Coffee In Apgujeong
Apgujeong is a fantastic place to visit and has a LOT of good cafes in the area, including Banana Tree (potted desserts, very cute). I’ve spent hours walking around the various small alleys and side streets and there is so much to see and do here.
Even if you’re just window shopping, you’ll have fun looking at the small craft and fashion shops. There are also plenty of bakeries and small restaurants to stop in at if coffee is not enough.
This is a gateway to Gangnam and you’ll find lots of references to Korean culture, including the K Star Road with pop stars as giant bear statues. You can visit sites made famous by K-pop stars and, if you’re lucky, maybe you’ll bump into some?
Blue Bottle Coffee In Yeoksam
Also located in Gangnam (the wealthiest area of Seoul), this Blue Bottle Coffee shop is close to Gangnam Station. As you probably know, Psy made this area famous with his song Gangnam Style.
Because of this, you can find a big golden statue celebrating his contribution to Korean music right outside the station. Be sure to walk under it and take a picture on your way to get a coffee.
This area is also great for shopping and you can find lots of designer shops and malls, including the gigantic Starfield COEX shopping mall.
What Drinks Can I Get At Blue Bottle Coffee In Seoul?
The selection of drinks on offer at Blue Bottle Coffee in Seoul isn’t as large as some of the other main coffee shop chains. However, I personally think this is a good thing as they focus on what they do well – making beautiful coffee. The prices are a bit more expensive than most coffee chains, which is reflected in the premium taste.
Any Food Or Snacks?
Of course. Those who love a sweet treat or savory nibble with their coffee will be pleased by the available snacks, including those pictured below:
Special Events At Blue Bottle Coffee In Seoul
Siphon Coffee is available every day from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. There is a reserved seating section on the 3rd floor and you can watch the coffee being made. I didn’t try this when I visited, but I will certainly try it in the future.
The Best Time To Visit Blue Bottle Coffee Shops
I won’t lie, this cafe is very popular and there can be lots of tourists visiting during the peak times. However, I visited around 1:00 pm on a Monday and the place was nearly empty. Definitely try to avoid the weekends unless you want a long queue.
Any Problems With Blue Bottle Coffee In Seoul?
As mentioned, this place can be very busy during tourist peak times (weekends, holidays) and the first time I visited there were queues for an hour just to get a drink!
Furthermore, whilst this is in a beautiful building, there isn’t a lot of space to sit down and relax. There are a few chairs, but it is not really appropriate for families or people looking for a long rest.
Final Thoughts On Blue Bottle Coffee In Seoul
Other coffee chains offer more chairs, but Blue Bottle Coffee is more about enjoying the coffee and then getting back out into the heart of Seoul. A fair compromise for the taste, or a missed trick? I’ll let you decide.
The layout is minimalist and goes with the company’s ethos: simple yet beautiful, like their coffee. There is a reason that people queue up for an hour during peak times – the coffee.
For me, it gave me a quick 30 minute moment of calm during a busy day taking photos of Bukchon and Seoul’s other fantastic neighbourhoods. I love the taste of their coffee and it is prepared with skill and patience. I hope you visit and enjoy it as much as I did.
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