Seoul Cafes: Anthracite Coffee Roasters (Itaewon)

A review of Anthracite Coffee Roasters in Seoul by an amateur coffee enthusiast and shoestring digital nomad. Descriptions are equal parts coffee and remote-work suitability.

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Anthracite Coffee Roasters main entrance opens into a patio — Photo by Athena Lam

Cafe Overview:

The first thing one notices about Anthracite is the patio that flanks either side of the wide-open main entrance. On a good day, at least one person will be on the benches, enjoying the coffee and fresh air. On a rainy day, the steady stream of patrons will choose from the numerous tables in the second and third floor. For remote workers and digital nomads, Wi-Fi is available!

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Third-floor seating — Photo by Athena Lam

But first thing’s first: order at the long bar facing the street. Espresso drinks are made with their Butter Fat Trio blend while pour over has a selection of Rainha (Brazil), Banko (Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia), Los Naranjos (Colombia), and Challem (Kenya). I came with a friend, so we tried an ice Challem and cappuccino.

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The baristas are friendly and will make recommendations based on your preferences — Photo by Athena Lam

The Challem was incredible. At first whiff, the aroma is smokey and fruity. the flavour is like beer (smokey, slightly hoppy, ale). Then, the chocolatey notes come through and a slightly floral note (but not typical fruity flavour) drifts just below the surface. Needless to say, the brewing with ice didn’t compromise the flavour at all.

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No words can express how delicious this was — Photo by Athena Lam

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Espresso blend has surprising tangy notes — Photo by Athena Lam

The cappuccino also had surprising flavours. The flavour is the classic nutty and acidic that Pacific West Coast espressos prefer. The ratio leans towards acidic, but is balanced out with a caramel flavour and the rich milk. You can also check out other characteristics of Seoul’s independent coffees in my overview post.

What I like About Them:

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Single origin iced Kenya Challem — Photo by Athena Lam

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Female baristas are still rare, let alone two! — Photo by Athena Lam

The first thing I noticed was that the baristas were women, which is great to see in a still mostly male-dominated profession. Over the three days that I visited, the service was always super patient and friendly. If you are undecided about what to try, ask them for recommendations and they will make them based on your preferences.

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Second-floor seating — Photo by Athena Lam

In addition to the ground floor patio area, patrons ordering eat-in (with the premium price) can head up to the second and third floors. The second floor has a garden island while the third floor doubles up as an open baking kitchen. Both are brightly lit, with some hipstery dangling cables with exposed lightbulbs. The second floor is more polished and has a long workbench while the top floor has a slightly rough industrial look that feels a bit like an old school-house. Both are great for working out of all day.

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Free Americano with whole bean purchase! — Photo by Athena Lam

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Anthracite open patio seating — Photo by Athena Lam

Good For:

  • Coffee: Pour-over filter coffee, espresso.
  • Food: Light pastries / sweet breads
  • Cafe Space: Tons of individual tables and 1 long workbench
  • Friends: Hangouts & catching up
  • Workspace: 3 floors + street patio
  • Remote Work: WiFi available, a few plugs
Address:  738-20 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul

월 – 목 오전 9시 – 오후 10시 / 금 – 일 오전 10시 – 오후 11시

Website:  Homepage / Facebook

Thanks for checking this out! If you liked this post, check out my list of Tokyo cafes Off-Centre and East Tokyo cafes!

2 responses to “Seoul Cafes: Anthracite Coffee Roasters (Itaewon)

  1. Pingback: Seoul Cafe: 5 Independent Cafes | The Cup and the Road·

  2. Pingback: 2016 Year in Review – A Photo Collection | The Cup and the Road·

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