I never thought I would be a coffee person, but here I am. I definitely remember being in my first year of college and thinking to myself that I couldn’t understand why so many people were addicted to coffee. It’s practically a religion at IU and Starbucks is almost a status symbol. You have to be seen with your Starbucks cup or mug somewhere.
Oh, how the times have changed. Addicted to coffee is an understatement! I went to Korea tolerating coffee but came out of there needing my daily fix. At some point I even made a coffee budget for myself because I was getting out. of. control.
I have to blame my addiction on the huge amount of unique cafes in Korea. Coffee culture is extremely strong here, you can get coffee almost anywhere and at any time. There are franchise cafes but there are also little hole in the walls where you can find someone passionately brewing their own coffee. These small shops were my favorite! I could appreciate their passion to open a coffee shop on their own.
I had definite favorites in Seoul, but I couldn’t resist trying out new cafes when I was out and about. They all have their own vibe and taste, and I feel like I learned more about coffee and got to taste a large variety of different coffees. There are so many methods and tastes and I loved every minute of my coffee adventures!
Cafe Jiny is a cafe up on a hill in Hannam-dong that I saw every day while taking the bus to work. Every. day. I always saw it and wanted to try it, but it was up a really steep hill. Not the best location. Finally, I just sucked it up and went with some of my coworkers one night. The hill kind of sucked, but their coffee and desserts looked amazing!
They had so many cakes and tarts to choose from and they all looked equally delicious. Sometimes having too many choices is a problem, am I right? 😉 We settled for the chocolate tart and banana tart. The banana was my favorite! I don’t even think I like bananas that much. The chocolate tart was good but very rich.
As for the coffee? Well, my usual caramel macchiato never fails to disappoint. They had really comfortable outdoor seating so we got to enjoy the beautiful weather outside. 🙂
Hannam-dong was just an in-between area for me, halfway between work and home. I hold so many great memories there. I miss it a lot. I think it is one of the under-appreciated areas of Seoul, compared to more popular ones like Itaewon and Hongdae. There are a lot of great little shops and restaurants there and is definitely worth a look!
How to get to Cafe Jiny:
Take the brown line to Hannam station. Exit to Blue Square and walk right. You will see Cafe Jiny on the hill across the street straight ahead of you.