OWL Magazine Korea

Seoul Yeonhui-dong Cafe: Anthracite Yeonhui Branch

Korea is now a country that could perhaps be called a coffee republic, as you can find various cafes scattered all over. It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t drink coffee, especially among office workers. Coffee has deeply permeated our daily lives.

Thanks to this, you can find a wide variety of cafes everywhere, ranging from global franchise cafes led by Starbucks to cafes from mid-range brands and those run by individuals. Anthracite is also operated as a franchise cafe, and you can find it in Yeonhui-dong.

“Anthracite Cafe”

Anthracite is a franchise cafe that started in “Hapjeong”. They transformed a factory that was previously used as a shoe factory, renaming it “Anthracite” for the purpose of space regeneration, and gave birth to a cafe.

Although it was previously used for a different purpose, it was no longer functional, so they gave it a new purpose and it was reborn as a coffee factory. Following this context, it expanded from Hapjeong to include locations in Hanrim, Jeju, Hannam, and Seogyo in Seoul. Now, you can find Anthracite cafes all over.

“Yeonhui-dong, Anthracite Cafe”

You can find Anthracite Yeonhui Branch by heading northeast from Yeonhui Intersection. It’s located in a building across from Yeonhui Elementary School, and you can find it right in front of the pedestrian overpass. One peculiar thing is that you can’t see the sign from the outside.

So initially, I had no idea what this place was used for, but I could find out through the map that it was used as a cafe space under the name Anthracite.

“Anthracite Yeonhui Branch: Gallery, or a Pub-like Atmosphere”

Anthracite Yeonhui Branch is operated on the 2nd floor. You can place your order on the 1st floor and enjoy your drink on either the 1st or 2nd floor. On the 1st floor, you can see coffee roasters displayed, and there’s a counter where you can purchase beans, coffee, drinks, snacks, and more.

There are also some seats available on the 1st floor, in a form where there are only seats without tables. On the 2nd floor, you can finally find tables alongside the available seating.

One peculiar thing is that when you place an order on the 1st floor, they ask whether you’ll be staying on the 1st or 2nd floor. Without needing a separate buzzer, if you stay at your seat after placing the order, they will bring your drink directly. It seems that they might take detailed impressions from the customers when placing the order and bring the coffee directly.

“Menu at Anthracite”

At Anthracite, you can order various coffee menu items, including Americano. One good thing is that you can choose the coffee beans when placing your order. On this day, I chose “William Blake” personally over “Pablo Neruda,” which were the available beans for the day.

The price of a cup of coffee, based on Americano, is 5,500 won, which is a bit more expensive compared to Starbucks. However, you can choose the beans, and you can feel a different, unique atmosphere compared to Starbucks.

“Providing a Different Atmosphere: Gallery, Museum, Pub”

The atmosphere at Anthracite is quite different from the typical cafe ambiance. It exudes a scent similar to a gallery or museum. Overall, they keep the lighting very dim, creating a special atmosphere that sets it apart from other typical cafes. Due to the dim lighting, at times, it feels like you’re in a pub.

On the 2nd floor, there are seats arranged into two categories. In the area with only seats by the window, you can often see people gathering in groups to chat. However, in the area with tables placed behind, you can see many people bringing their laptops to work or study.

It’s a place where you can see various people in one location. However, overall, it’s a place where you can find people working, studying, or doing various tasks alone or with friends, making it a good place for working with a laptop without pressure.

However, the lighting is so dim that if you work on a laptop for a long time, it may strain your eyes. Additionally, nowadays, it’s rare to find people reading paper books, but in cases where people are studying or reading books, the dim lighting may not be good for their eyesight.

Overall, it’s a cafe that provides a sophisticated yet unique feeling. You can also order hand-drip coffee that’s brewed by hand, making it a good place for coffee enthusiasts.

“Seoul Yeonhui-dong Cafe: Anthracite Yeonhui Branch”

  • Address: 135 Yeonhui-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul
  • Phone: 02-332-7650
  • Operating Hours: (Mon-Fri) 9:00 AM – 10:00 PM, (Sat-Sun) 9:00 AM – 11:00 PM
  • Website: https://anthracitecoffee.com