OWL Magazine Korea

Samcheong-dong Cafe ‘Blue Bottle Samcheong’

When Starbucks first entered Korea, it positioned itself with a luxurious image. However, as it expanded across the country, it transformed into a more mainstream space rather than a luxury one.

While Starbucks focused on efficiency and spatial strategy in distribution, Blue Bottle grew by paying attention solely to the quality of coffee under the name of “specialty coffee.”

As a result, Blue Bottle adopts a strategy where the interior of the store is minimalistic. They do not install Wi-Fi or outlets in the store to allow customers to concentrate on the true taste and aroma of the coffee. Even in larger stores, they do not arrange many seats. However, you can find attempts to reflect the characteristics of the local area in the interior.

“Blue Bottle Cafe in Samcheong-dong, Blue Bottle Samcheong”

Blue Bottle stores are relatively hard to come by in Korea. They have significantly fewer stores compared to Starbucks. In total, they have nine stores in Korea, with eight in Seoul and one in Jeju.

One of them can be found in Samcheong-dong, known for its hanok village. It can be found on the street across from the National Folk Museum next to Gyeongbokgung Palace. Right next to Blue Bottle, you can also find the restaurant “Hwangsaengga Kalguksu,” which has been listed in the Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand.

“A Clean, Minimalistic Atmosphere at Blue Bottle Samcheong”

The Blue Bottle Samcheong store is also designed in a simple manner. It is adorned with a combination of white and blue, creating a clean atmosphere. You can place orders at the counter, where the staff kindly take your order. Once you’ve ordered, you can pick up your coffee on the second floor.

“A 3-Story Venue”

Blue Bottle Samcheong is a three-story venue. Consistent with Blue Bottle’s concept, you won’t find Wi-Fi or outlets in the store.

There are not many seats, and you may face difficulty securing one. The first floor has table seating, the second floor has only seats or standing tables where you can enjoy your coffee, and only on the third floor will you find seats, though not a large number.

“A Space Reflecting Blue Bottle’s Focus on Coffee Taste”

While Starbucks places emphasis on space rental rather than coffee, Blue Bottle operates with a concept that is distinctly opposite. It’s a place where you can feel their focus on the true taste of coffee and the interaction between people.

“Seoul Samcheong-dong: Blue Bottle Samcheong Cafe”