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korea eats

Coffee in 분당: 가비양

Before we went into 물냉면 restaurant for lunch, I happened to glance up the road and saw what looked like a sign with a pour-over coffee setup on it. I assumed it was a decent cafe and made a mental note to come back to it after we were done eating.

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An hour later our stomachs were full with cold noodles and broth…. And I had the beginnings of a headache pounding at my head.

This happens sometimes. For someone who drinks 2 cups of coffee a day, going 36 hours without caffeine is a bad situation.

We had no choice but to enter the cafe premises. It was called Gabeeyang, and it had a simultaneously slick and airy exterior. Upon entering the automated sliding doors, I was greeted with bags and bags of green coffee beans and Probat roasters. Further in, there were wooden tables for the customers and shelves stocked with everything coffee beans, hand-made drip brewers, and pour-over kettles.

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I’ll admit, the Korean cafe scene threw me off a bit – I walked right up to the lady at the counter, expecting to be able to order a drink. It turns out that I was supposed to wait to be seated, where a menu of food and drink would be brought to me, and then decide what I wanted. There’s no buying a drink to-go here – a concept I both understand and admire because it forces the customers to slow down and pay attention to what you’re drinking.

And considering the coffee that they offer here, it’s a well-thought practice. Looking through the menu, I saw high-quality coffees ranging from ₩ 5,000 to  ₩ 22,000 a cup, both single-origins and blends. They even have the rarer and more famous coffees like the Panama Geisha, the Luak, and Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee. An impressive selection from a nondescript cafe I found by accident… (Here’s the menu if you’re curious).

I ordered the Ethiopian Yirgacheffe (pronounced 예가체프 in Korean) along with 3 milk cookies to share with my grandparents. The coffee was made with plastic drip cone and with a metal kettle, neither brand which I had seen before. It came in a Victorian-style teacup and saucer, with a small bowl of unrefined cane sugar on the side – a nice touch. The coffee itself was bright, full-bodied and tasted unusually hazelnutty, although the characteristic fruity notes of Ethiopian coffee became more evident as the coffee cooled – I tasted both strawberry and citrus notes. The cookies were a combination of shortbread and macarons; 2 delicate wafers with a layer of sweet spread in between.

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Although it seems that Gabeeyang focuses on hand-drip coffee, I saw a La Marzocco machine and 3 different grinders when I wandered over to the back (perhaps a separate grinder dedicated to single-origin espressos?). It seems like I’ll have to come back next time to try their espresso drinks the next time I come back for 물냉면…

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(Traditional Korean seating, an outdoor patio, and a view of the café pooch available upon request).

Gabeeyang Cafe: 463-820 Seongnam, South Korea 분당구 서현동동 182-1 가비양

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Discussion

4 thoughts on “Coffee in 분당: 가비양

  1. That is maybe the most chilled and laid back Coffee Shop I’ve seen in Korea, will definately check it out next time I’m in Seongnam. 감사합니다 for sharing.

    Posted by Fresh Korean | June 10, 2012, 2:06 am
  2. This looks really nice!!!!!!! I’ve just started working for an entertainment company and will go to Korea in August very excited! Hopefully in my holiday side of the trip I will get to visit this place :)

    Posted by rememberthefirst | June 10, 2012, 4:27 am
  3. You might remember me from years ago when I last commented on your blog! Anyway, I’ve finally gotten my own but still love reading yours… I hope you’re having a blast in South Korea :)

    Posted by Irina @ wandercrush | July 29, 2013, 9:54 pm
  4. I’m really impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Anyway keep up the nice quality writing, it is rare to see a nice blog like this one nowadays.

    Posted by Middle Back Spasms At Night | August 6, 2013, 2:38 am

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