30 Jun Zombie Coffee
I’ve never seen a line at Zombie Coffee and that’s a beautiful rarity for any coffee shop in Seoul’s Hongdae neighborhood. When I last visited, there were a few people toward the back typing away at their computers and a couple sitting at the bar who obviously knew the barista. Since their coffee is just about as good as the more famous shops like Anthracite or Coffee Lab, I’d like to chalk up its emptiness to location, location, location.
Zombie Coffee’s area of Hongdae is one for destinations. If you want a good Burger, you go to Burger B. If you want Southern-style BBQ, head to Beale Street BBQ. If you want to drink in public with a thousand strangers with live music, go past Zombie Coffee to the park, but no one is just walking through looking for a cafe.
Like many of the other third wave coffee shops in Korea, Zombie Coffee has an industrial aesthetic with several bright accents. Their refrigerator is a sleek red reproduction made modern and even the fans harken back to the 1950’s. Too much kitsch would create a gimmick, but they are used sparingly enough to be called accents.
The mood is always very casual, quiet and the price is a bit cheaper than many of the fancier shops. If I lived anywhere close to Hongdae and needed to get some work done in a quiet coffee shop there is no question where I would go. They make a excellent strong cold brew and their espresso blend is on point, hitting all the chocolate and nutty notes with decent crema.
I have to give Zombie Coffee credit for roasting in a climate-controlled room, which is standard among the better shops, but considering the options in Hongdae I probably wouldn’t buy their whole beans because they’re roasted a bit too dark for my taste and lack many of the more delicate flavor notes I enjoy, but I haven’t tried all of their beans.
Atmosphere: Whimsical, artsy, quiet
Beans: Roasted in Korea
362-12 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
서울특별시 마포구 서교동 362-12