Hand Roasted Coffee In Winter – Seoul

Hand Roasted Seoul - Byrd and Bean

Hand Roasted Seoul - Byrd and Bean

Hand Roasted Seoul - Byrd and Bean

Seoul In Winter - Byrd & Bean

Seoul In Winter - Byrd & Bean

I open the front door of my Airbnb apartment. I greet my first day in Seoul with a slight grimace. My warm, post ‘good night sleep’, face is instantly chilled by the fresh slash freezing morning air. Winter in Seoul is much colder than I could ever have imagined. What now?

I push myself out the front door; the act requiring determined force, as if the house were purging itself of any human life, and warmth. I’m faced with the elements and scurry along, head down, to avoid the wind’s icy lashes.

In an attempt to find the nearest metro station, I become task fixated. Find metro, find warmth. The Emperor sans clothes could have passed by, and I would not have noticed! I became like a horse with blinkers – hell bent on the path directly before me. One foot in front of the other. Keep going. Right foot, left foot. Good. Don’t look up. So cold! How do they do this? I can’t feel my toes. I can’t see if the pedestrian light is green. Keep moving. Repeat.

Thank goodness for the sense of smell that is able to intercept all the other senses, and jolt me to a halt. (Nose receives message. Nose sends message to brain. Brain sends message to limbs. Limbs instantly halt.)


Virtually involuntarily, my horse-blinkered head lifts, in what must have looked like an epiphany awakening slash mad-nutter movement, and I try to find the source of the smell.

I can’t read Korean (yet) so trying to read the signs doesn’t help. And then there it is, in between the complicated Hangul letters, some English letters that I most definitely do understand, ‘Hand Roasted’.

Yep. You heard me. Hand friggen roasted! Good gracious, how did I end up here? Without even trying, my body, in a semi frozen state, sub consciously finds coffee. That takes skill! I’m proud of myself.

I take note of the place and vow to return before my stay in Seoul is over.

Fast-forward to my last day in the capital city. I open the same front door and head along the same route as five days ago. Except, this time, I have a posse. On either side of me I have two friends. How it came about that I made four new friends in the space of a few days, who knows?! (My scintillating company…or maybe the promise of hand roasted coffee did the trick?!

The five of us pulled into the postage stamp sized cafe space decked out with camping chairs and camping tables. Warmth and coffee was the order of the day for me.

Sitting on a camping chair, in a foreign country with new friends from France, America and Hong Kong, whilst watching what would be my morning brew being hand roasted right in front of me. A ‘pinch me’ moment.

Whoever it was that had the idea of using camping décor was spot on as it fitted well with the wooden pallet wall, and the black & white photo gallery.

I so would have loved to ask the owner about his story, and how the cafe came about, but sometimes a little bit of mystery adds to the allure of a place. I would just have to settle on knowing the key facts, hand roasted.

In that moment, what more does one possibly need to know!


Byrd and Bean

Hand Roasted in Seoul - Byrd and Bean

Hand roasted Coffee Seoul - Byrd and Bean

Hand Roasted - Byrd and Bean

Hand Roasted - Byrd and Bean

Hand Roasted in Seoul - Byrd and Bean



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  • Lauren December 27, 2016   Reply →

    Lovely descriptive read of the pre to consuming hand roasted hehehe

  • Jann Warner December 29, 2016   Reply →

    I love your ‘voice’ in terms of visual imagery and writing style.

    • Cayly February 2, 2017   Reply →

      Thank you so much! xxx

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