Jeju Island Cafes || South Korea Specialty Coffee Guide
During my trip to South Korea, I had the privilege of traveling to Jeju Island for a week. Jeju Island was highly recommended to me by a friend back in Australia. He described Jeju as one of the most beautiful places on earth & that many newlywed Koreans take their honeymoon on Jeju Island. He was not wrong. It was an island full of surprises, many different ecosystems & some of the most dynamic landscapes I've ever seen. Of course in true Starving Artist fashion, I had to find some of the best coffee. Despite Jeju Island being far away from everything, it did not disappoint. This post is a specialty coffee guide dedicated to all the delicious coffee I had on Jeju Island.
The best way to save these cafes for future reference is to use a Korean App called Kakao Maps. Google maps will not work. To learn why; read my "Apps you must download before traveling to Korea" blog post.
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제주 서귀포시 상예동 2850-5
This cafe is located on the Southern side of Jeju Island just off the 1132 highway. There is a small gravel parking lot to the side of the cafe that patrons can use. The interior & exterior of the cafe gives off a clean beachy vibe. It is minimalistic but homely at the same time. The menu is completely in Korean so if you're feeling adventurous like me, I just smiled & pointed randomly. If you want to play it safe, you can always use Google Translate or skim through their Instagram # & point to what you want saying "igeo juseyo"; which means "Can I have this please".
There is a coffee trend I have noticed in Korea that I absolutely LOVE. It's where they put this white fluff on top of the iced coffee. I'm not sure what its made out of but it makes cappuccino foam look so 2017. The coffee I received had this glorious foam on it & it really made my day.
564 Hallim-ro, Hallim-eub, Cheju, Jeju-do, South Korea
Anthracite Coffee Roasters have a few locations in Korea & they are simply exquisite. Each cafe is encompassed by an industrial space. Despite these grandiose structures, the coffee served is not overshadowed by the industrial space. In actuality, the cafe & architecture work together to bring a unique experience for everyone who walks through the heavy iron doors.
The Jeju Island cafe is located near Jeju city on the site of an old starch factory. From the outside the lot looks abandoned but once you walk in you transcend through to the lively inside. Textures, objects, nature, smells & sounds come at you from all sides. Parts of the building are overgrown with vegetation, the floors are unevenly paved & sunlight hits your face from odd angles. In the middle of the room is the cafe bar where your attention finally falls.
In true style, I opted for an iced filter and It was brewed lovingly by one of the baristas. To go with my filter I chose one of the baked goods made daily from their menu. It was a match made in heaven. There were plenty of seats in the surrounding room so this place is perfect for groups.
264-6, Seongsan-eup, Ilchul-ro, Seogwipo, Jeju Island 63643, South Korea
Jeju Suma is located next to Seongsan Ilchul Marine Provincial Park. This spot is an excellent place to snorkel, but I talk more about that in my Jeju Island Guide coming soon!
After hiking up Seongsan Ilchulbong (Sunrise peak) you can find yourself on the waterfront at Suma coffee house. This cafe is the ideal place to have a delicious coffee while you look out onto the ocean. In true Korean fashion, you can find the luxurious foam atop of their iced latte's here. Jeju Suma is open late so don't worry if you spent a few long hours in the water like I did!
792 Udohaeangil, Udo-myeon, Jeju-si
So technically this cafe is not on Jeju Island nor is it a specialty coffee shop BUT! It does serve pretty special coffee. Udo Island is situated just off the coast of Jeju Island. It is a small island that can be seen in its entirety in about 3 hours. Udo Island is famous for peanuts. Everything you can consume as food will have peanuts in it; so if you have a peanut allergy I would probably pack my own food/drinks for a day trip to Udo Island.
After spending a about 2 minutes in the water in front of Udo Marilyn Monroe, I decided to have some lunch. (I saw a tiny Jelly fish so I legged it out of there quick smart. It was a non venomous jelly fish but it was a good enough excuse to get out of the freezing cold water to have a coffee. haha) I walked inside & was immediately presented with a menu that almost entirely revolved around peanuts.
I opted for the peanut latte & a peanut burger. Both were delicious. Who would have thought peanut would go with coffee huh? The interior of the cafe was very rustic & was home to lots of Marilyn Monroe paraphernalia. The outside of the cafe is reminiscent of a beach house in Greece. To my surprise there were two locations only meters apart so if you can't find an open seat in one cafe you can simply venture down the road. There is even a rooftop for those people who want to catch a few rays while they have lunch.
삼도2동 967, Jeju City 690-809
Ssal coffee is located in Jeju city. Its a cozy cafe with a lot of seating. If you're in a group this is the perfect place to have a coffee before catching your flight/ferry back to South Korea. I was lucky enough to taste one of their tiramisus and it was absolutely delicious. It was dense in texture & flavour. Their coffee was also delicious & hit the spot on this rainy day (thankfully it was my last day on the island).