Alien's Day Out

Forest Coffee Roasters @ Hongdae


**UPDATE Nov 23 ’12** Forest Coffee has moved and rebranded. They are now known as TAILOR COFFEE. Same owner, same roaster, same barista, same good coffee! The new shop is around the corner from the old ‘Forest location.’

Last week I got to spend one of the rainy days hanging out at Forest Coffee Roasters, a tiny shop tucked away in one of the side streets of Hongdae. This is the independent roastery and cafe that supplies Botton Cafe‘s beans, and they do all their roasting in a miniature room in the back of the store. As soon as you walk in, the smell of roasting beans surrounds you and it just takes you to that mental space where you feel like you can conquer the world, or at least your to-do list. They are small, unpretentious, and have a punky edge over all the other frilly cafes around Seoul.

You get a sense that they are respected amongst the coffee community here in Seoul, especially when other baristas walk in to get their caffeine fix~ seriously, while we were there, several other baristas stopped by to just chat with the owner and talk ‘coffee’.

A corner of their shelf is tagged by some famous baristas and in the back of the cafe, there is a tiny room which holds their roasting machine.

This place is all about the coffee– no food on the menu. I went with the pour over (drip) Kenya Karatina AB, iced. The prices are steep, but comparable to other cafes in the area. And if you take yours to-go, you can get a 1,500 won discount.

Plus. You get to have your coffee made by a hottie Korean hipster dude. This is John, the quietly friendly barista who is also responsible for the artwork on the walls.

The final result was something quite refreshing and delicious. Slightly acidic but with sweet notes too, and it got rid of the headache I was having. :) I usually add some soy milk to my coffee, but I have to say, I really enjoyed this without.

What’s impressive is that they have a fancy Synesso Hydra espresso machine that costs more I even want to think about. These people don’t mess around.

The handsome beast in action.

I’m talking about the machine, people! So smooth, so sexy~

With a cuppa caffeine, it’s now time to be productive!

**UPDATE Nov 23 ’12** Forest Coffee has moved and rebranded. They are now known as TAILOR COFFEE. Same owner, same roaster, same barista, same good coffee! The new shop is around the corner from the old ‘Forest location.’

Directions to Forest Coffee Roasters
Hongik University Station, line 2. Come out exit 8, turn right and then turn left at the roundabout, crossing the street. Walk to the next roundabout and turn right, after the bbq restaurant on the corner. Cross the street and walk up 1 block. The cafe will be in a small alleyway on your left.

Address: 서울특별시 마포구 서교동 330-39 (google map)
Hours: 1pm – 10/11pm
Tel: 02-335-0355

Beans for sale.

I bought myself a 10,000 container of freshly ground beans from Bolivia, and then they were super generous and gave me a mini sample bag of Indonesia Ache Organic grounds too! They are awesome. I’ve been sipping on this stuff every morning.

So all you caffeine addicts who are in search of some good beans, check this place out!


  1. Wowmygod they have flat whites!!!!!!! Ah but looks like no soy milk? Hopefully they’ll add soy milk one day.

    • Yupyup! Botton Cafe also has flat whites and they have soymilk there. Not sure if they could do it with soymilk, but I’m sure they would try for you! :)

      • Wow i’ve never seen flat whites in Korea. Here they are at every cafe, and its simply my favorite coffee. Do you know why most cafes in Korea even that do have soy milk, don’t have it on the menu for each drink? I know that it can burn easy or whatever, but yeah here every cafe will have soy milk (and sometimes rice milk) for every drink.

  2. You are so cute! This is one of my favorite posts.

  3. okaaaaay….i think its about time i visited korea again!!!! i’m glad you’re buying freshly ground beans! have i finally influenced you?!?! :P

  4. Love the Prince reference on the menu. And that barista is dreamy, indeed. Will have to add this to my never-ending list of cafes to check out! Thanks for sharing. ^^

  5. I’m talking about the machine, people! So smooth, so sexy~ <– LOL

    i love ur posts :D

  6. I see you in the espresso machine, Mipa! ;-)

    Coffee looks yummy. I can almost taste it with the way you described it.

    • you so observant you~~~~~ :)

      • I also observe that John is cute. :)

        I love that shot you took looking forward from the cafe into the rainy street. So atmospheric!

        Also, this reminds me of a cafe near my house where they do their own roasting, and it’s kind of industrial-chic like this. I need to go this weekend. Not even close to being the next best thing to being in Seoul, but it’ll do for now.

  7. You were talking about the machine? Sure….. ;)

  8. When I read “the handsome beast in action”, I laughed out loud :D

  9. This place looks pretty pro – I’m going to have to drag myself away from the other awesome coffee places in Hongdae and give it a go.

  10. Wow, I just love your blog :)! I don’t follow it regularly but I just come here every here and then to check what you have been doing :D! I have never left a comment but now I just decided to do so:) I’m interested in Korean culture and vegan food and I find your blog so cute! You take good photos and make so amazingly delicious looking food! And I like the drawings too! I wish we had cafes like this in Finland:O
    I hope you’ll continue writing your blog^^

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  12. I just visited Tailor Coffee and saw your cakes Mipa! So exciting! I didn’t have a chance to try them yet, but I will on my next trip. The baristas are really nice and speak English really well. When I mentioned that I got to know about their cafe through your blog, they stopped and said “this drink has milk in it….” I’m not vegan, so I was okay drinking it, but it’s so awesome that they are knowledgeable and aware of vegan customers. So so so happy with this place. The coffee was delicious. Thanks Mipa~

    • Hi Megha! Thank you so much for your comment!I’m actually goin to blog about the new Tailor cafe soon. I’m so glad you like the cafe! Yea, they are all super nice there. :)

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