My first café visit during my Korea spring trip was to Yeonhui Espresso Bar (opened September 2022), which as its name suggests, is situated in the Yeonhui-dong neighbourhood. Ever since covid eased out, this area has flourished with several cafes and started gaining traction – but it remains pretty much unvisited by tourists which is why I love hanging out here.
Perched on the second floor of a small shophouse, the café features a curved espresso bar counter in a pretty shade of nude pink with windows lined on all sides permitting the space to be bathed in sunlight. With a very limited indoor area, the seats are all outdoors, perfect for the moderate spring weather.
Here’s how to order: pick up a piece of order sheet at the counter and indicate your order with a crayon, then pass it to the barista. You may also add in special requests if you would like. The menu is divided into 2 parts – the first featuring various coffee drinks innovated by the café, such as their Yeonhui Espresso (KRW3600, SGD3.60) which features homemade orange jam and syrup with espresso and cream. The second part is a list of the conventional types of coffee such as Americano and Flat White. There is also an option to substitute to oat milk at KRW1000 (SGD$1).
On my first visit, I had the Oat Espresso (KRW3000, SGD3.06) which had a shot of espresso, sugar, oat milk and cocoa powder added to it. This was a small glass of coffee which explains the price. I liked the oat + espresso ratio and combination but would request for no sugar if I ordered it again.
As I was staying in the area, I conveniently made a second trip down where I had the Crunky Gege (pronounced je-je) (KRW4000, SGD4.08), which was a relatively new creation added to the menu. It is a small cup of Strapazzato, which is a type of coffee originating from Naples, featuring espresso with sugar, cocoa powder and cream stirred together. Of course, the bar of crunky chocolate topped on the cup is a Korean addition. This was akin to a sweet, smooth and creamy espresso-flavoured emulsion. Side note that I loved their cute coffee cup design.
There was just something very healing from sipping coffee while chasing light and shadows, watching the neighbourhood in action, unintentionally eavesdropping on conversations unfolding and thinking about nothing from my seat in the outdoor terrace.
Weekdays 8.30am – 5pm, Weekends 9am – 5pm
128-10 Yeonhui-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul