The following series of photos are a visual diary of unique places in Seongbuk-dong which have my heart. In this one, I describe the nuances and perks of my favorite little coffeeshop called Seongbuk-dong Coffee (hereafter SBD).
The first time I stepped into SBD, I was walking by with my sister who spotted the word Yirgacheffe. She explained that it was a coffee that smelled of flowers, which piqued my interest. We went in, had a cup, and ended up leaving with a paper packet filled with fresh ground, hand-roasted Yirgacheffe. Since then, we make sure we don’t run out of this magic powder in our kitchen!
SBD is run by a shy owner who sometimes gives me a free cup of coffee asking me, “Should I put this on the menu?” I try to offer my best two cents… but most of the time, the answer is always a “yes” since they all taste good to me!
SBD always has eccentric photo exhibitions. The current one is about the spiritual moments of India’s Ganges River. Prior to this, it was about snow in the side streets of Korea. One cannot help but mull over these solemn photos while drinking coffee.
To be honest, there is only space for one party in SBD. The coffeeshop, as mentioned, is tiny. A hole-in-the-wall kind of place. I do love drinking my coffee here in silence while the shy owner hides behind the counter. I would get incredibly bothered if I had to drink my coffee with any other (chatty) party!
At the beginning of my visits, I used to get incredibly bothered by these weird, dinky objects that fill the small space. I could never understand why they kept that giant vase of dried up flowers. But after some time, these objects started to grow on me. I guess they are what makes this place so strangely charming!
Featured photography was taken by Jun Michael Park, a Seoul-based documentary photographer and author. See more of his work at mikaphoto.net.