Before this, I went to Lee Donghae’s Haru & One Day
On my third day in Seoul, I transferred from Jongno-gu to Mapo-gu, particularly in the Hongdae area. I can still vividly recall a bright and sunny day that perfectly matched the vibrant and youthful atmosphere of the district. Before I came to Hongdae, all I knew was that there’s a “cafe street” in the area and, of course, it was my target.
If you walk around the central shopping area of Hongdae, you will find friendly English-speaking volunteers of sorts, who offer assistance to tourists. So, being appreciative of their effort and because they seemed to be really eager to help somebody, I approached a duo of a young lady and an older guy and asked them where the “cafe street” was. The lady slipped out a little paper map and encircled the “cafe street” that I was looking for. The area stands out on the map because it had the most green.
The “cafe street” the lady pointed to me is actually Yeonnamdong (not literally one street), which is another area that is technically not part of Hongdae but is located close and right next to it. And although there is a street in Yeonnamdong that is a famous cradle of restaurants and shops and is known because of its long green linear park called the Gyeongui Line Forest Park, the cafes you could find are not limited to this area. Well, I later realized there is not one cafe street in Hongdae; you just go find a street with a high concentration of cafes and that’s it.
If you wander off the linear park and turn to the side streets, there are more coffee shops to find. In my case, I walked along the forest park but found only a few cafes. Most establishments here are casual restaurants, pubs, and stores. So, I turned at a random street and continued walking. A few more turns and I stumbled upon White Coffee sitting radiantly, gracefully at a street corner.
Finding White Coffee was like finding a motherly angel who would receive me from a tiring walk—I was starting to get tired, hungry, and coffee-thirsty walking around under the noon sun. I had passed a few coffee shops but, although I was sure they had good coffee and ambiance, I thought I could find something better so I moved on. Finally, I looked up and, to my eyes, White Coffee was sparkling. The stairs going up to the second-floor entrance of the cafe are lined with green plants like a red carpet enticing for a grand entrance. It was a soothing sight after a nearly-frustrating walk, as relieving as finding an oasis of trees and spring in the midst of the desert.
White Coffee was welcoming and very pleasant, it was spacious and cozy brought about by the plant-filled rustic interiors. Meanwhile, the coffee bar exhibits some coffee bags and cool-looking brewing equipment that would pique one’s curiosity. I was the only customer when I walked in (some others followed after), and I took a table next to a window and beside a lone plant that was in need of a company.
I got another one of those kori sort of coffee although on the menu, it’s called Dutch cube latte. It is always such an amusement to watch and pour the warm milk over the coffee ice cubes.
Baek Jongmyung White Coffee is located at 241-80, Yeonnam-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul.
Seoul sure is a coffee lover’s paradise.