Best Busan independent coffee shop
I like "Hands" in Kyungsungdae next to the Starbucks. Decent layout and great f&*king coffee. I think that it's some sort of uber-Christian operation as well, FYI.
Another great place is CCC in PNU, run by twin brothers. It's totally like a place back home (I'm Olympia/Seattle in the US) and they totally know what they're doing. It's the only place in the whole country where I've been served a real "espresso macchiato." Forget Starbucks hijacking and total cock-up of the actual drink: a macchiato (Italian for "marked") is not some sort of sweetened-up big ass cup of coffee with caramel or other such atrocities. It's simply a shot or two of espresso served in a demitasse, on top of which is thrown a spoonful or two of hot foam. That's it.
But the best best best coffee place in the whole city is "Kona Espresso" in Yeonsan-dong. It's a husband and wife-run coffee supply store (they supply other coffee shops) with a tiny takeout espresso bar (not really a sit-down joint, but hey...) The coffee is top notch and they're both great baristas. The best part is the price: a double Americano or a double latte will only set you back 1,500 won, less than half of any other place, and the coffee is goooooooooooood. Same goes for their beans. I buy a kilo of awesome Kona espresso beans there each month and it only costs me 22,000 won. Some of the other joints in town are charging 14,000-17,000 won for 300 grams. Coffee, like most any imported item, is way overpriced in this country, but I know the gem.
And all of Tom and Tom's should be closed and burned to the ground, along with Angel-vag-in-a or whatever it's called. At the latter they charged me four bucks for single shot Americano and then wanted to charge me extra for a dash of milk to throw in the thing.
Only considered independent compared to the dominant presence of the Starbucks, Pascucci, Holly's, etc., but Charlie Brown Cafe in PNU is excellent, run by a woman who used to own Davioda coffee and then later Nonaim cafe in the same area. She knows about customer service and is very eager to please.
what an awesome thread this is!
i would concur that "addagio" near the jangsan 2001 outlet is quite good.
i also like a little place called "dominica." it's at the entrance to the haeundae kyungnam apartments in jwa-dong. small, quiet and quaint.
i would like to see this thread grow! on with the suggestions....
also, anyone know where to find a killer DRY cappuccino- the best one ive found is at the illy espresso in shinsegae department store, but that's a chain.
Kona Espresso is in Yeonsan-dong near Baesan street market and the new Jai Apartment town. It's on the main street running to Togok - NOT the street that goes through Yeonsan tunnel, but the next one down. It's pretty nondescript and easy to miss, as it's much more of a coffee shop supply store than an actual working cafe.
DIRECTIONS: Get out at Yeonsan-dong subway station, exit 10. Go straight down the road past the Lotteria, all the way past the "Star Nightclub" hotel and the big green driving range on your right (about five or six minutes). Take a right on the main road there and walk about another five minutes. You'll pass a gas station on your right. Kona Espresso is then on your right, next to a really sad and shitty pet store which should be burned down.
The Kona Espresso shop sounds a little hard to find but I finally pinned it down using Daum road view.
We're living in the future, people! If you know a good spot, pin it down on a Daum or Google map so everyone can find it.
Here's the link to Kona Espresso:
Good idea FeedBusan, I am the third largest importer of coffee products and the largest importer of coffee machines in Korea. I have not been able to find one single decent coffee shop in all of Korea.
Problem is the coffee beans and the 'American' approach to coffee. Sorry but Americans are not known for their expertise in coffee. That's why you don't find American coffee chains in countries like Italy, Belgium, Holland, France and Scandinavia. People in those countries drink coffee not super sweet dish water flavoured with all kinds of shit like in the states (and Korea).
And for those who sent in comments: Charly Brown and Kona both are franchises. Kona is a Korean brand name of a very small roaster of beans. They do better than the large 3 commercial roasters in Korea but lack experience and a do not employ a 'nose' (the one who blends the beans to a good mixture).
Definitely vote "CCC" in PNU.... The art gallery atmosphere is comfortable yet stimulating. They are open until you leave. Do their coffee right and change exhibitions about every month.
Go to the PNU 'square' (Busan Bank, Tour les Jours, cell phone stores)
Cross to Lotteria
With your back to Lotteria, walk straight down the road towards Crossroads/Soul Trane.
The third small alley on the left before "Alley Cat" pub, take a left.
I love Cafe Forest directly across from Pukyung University (next to "the bean"). Its a young husband/wife operation. The wife is a great barista and very kind. The husband is a pastry chef. They offer a 1000 won discount on takeout orders (which an americano 1500 won) and the interior is very nice and relaxing. Also, everything you order comes with a small cookie or piece of cake.
They also offer baking classes for a reasonable price. You can make cakes, cookies, etc. Last year my gf and I did it around thanksgiving. We made a ton of cookies and gave them out to our friends. It was overall a really nice experience.
Give it a try sometime :-)
Martin's clearly the man, Tharp. He employs a Filipino housekeeper and likely imports fresh air from the himalayas to breathe. However he's probably a more entertaining guy in a bar than 90% of the posters here, so Martin--your rarified preppie upper-crust bluster is welcome by me. However net-worth means sweet FA, and most foreigners' taste buds in this country is suspect. Tharp hails from a land long known to ingest coffee intravenously, so I know he knows what he's talking about.
Chain or no chain, Charlie Brown Cafe is right on. It takes the right manager the make things work, not how much money they make.
I agree with tharp. Hands Coffee in Kyungsung is damn good. The espresso is the best I've had in Busan. Also, free wifi.
I haven't had Kona Espresso yet but it's on my list now. Maybe even tomorrow!
I tried CCC Cafe near PNU today and it was great. The espresso macchiato was really legit and the overall vibe there is artsy and eclectic unlike some other places that are just tryin' but lyin'. Oh, and free wifi.
To find directions it took me some intensive google research, but it was worth it and these directions will take you there:
From PNU subway, go right out exit 3. Turn left at the first street (you're now headed towards PNU's main gate). One block past Busan Bank, turn right at the blue Gallery sign. Turn left down a super-sketchy-looking alley (if you get to Taco's Family, you've gone too far). There will be a white sign at the end of the alley for a Christian Restaurant. Before you get to the sign, CCC is on the right, with a bunch of wine bottles out front.