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Everything You Need to Know About Ulsan

Ulsan’s Best Coffee! Is in your Home

Since Martin’s post about Bean Stock Coffee, I decided to share some brewing secrets that I have learned over the years. If you are going to drop good money on good coffee, you might as well brew properly. For those who buy coffee at Home Plus (that has probably been here as long as I have) and use a 20,000 won coffee maker and would feel that this is too much preparation for a good cup of joe, stop reading. For the those who spend money on good coffee and want to extract the best flavours out of their beans; continue.

Coffee is like photography in many ways. You must control a lot of variables in order to achieve something that is wonderful. Just like the point-and-shoot cameras, cheap coffee makers will give you something that resembles coffee but is far from great. Careful attention to the details will produce a great cup of coffee in less time than you think.

For this article, I am not going to go into the hardcore amounts and measurements, I will leave that to the coffee aficionados to seek out on the internet. What I am going to tell you about today is where and how you, the Ulsanite who wants great coffee and does not want to spend millions of won on a machine or spend 6,000 to 8,000 won on a “single” cup of coffee, can make are great cup of coffee at home.

The Tools

These days, Home Plus and Lotte Mart will carry everything that you need to make great coffee (minus the beans, please don’t buy them there…. please). What you are going to need is a metal pot for pouring with a thin spout. I bought mine from Lotte Mart for 15,000 won. Next you will need a graduated carafe (coffee pot) to make sure you get the right amount of brewed coffee. Again, you can pick these up for around 15,000 to 18,000 won at both Lotte Mart or Home Plus.

For this demonstration, I will be using a Hario V60 dripper (Thing that sits on top of the coffee pot and holds the filter). They cost about 8,490 at Home Plus and are well worth the money. The Jung-gu Home Plus will carry everything you need minus the pouring pot. The V60 filters are cheap and run about 2,500 won. Now that you have all of that, it is time to get to the brewing stage.

Fold along the the seam to insure a good fit

The first thing to do is get all of your tools ready. Take your unbleached cone filter and fold along the seam. This will make it fit better into the dripper. In order to lessen the flavour change caused from a drop in temperature, preheat you carafe and rinse your filter.



Heat your water until just off boiling. This should be around 90 degrees Celsius but usually just wait about 10 seconds before you pour. This is crucial because water that is too hot can actually scold the coffee giving that bitter sort-of McDonalds Coffee taste.


Add your grinds to the filter. Use a about 2 tbsp (17 g) for about 200 ml (8 oz) of water. For this coffee I am using some Guatemala that I picked up from Beans Bins in Mugeo-Dong. I think it was about 8,000 per 100 g, which is not too bad. They also post their roast dates, so be sure to get the freshest beans roasted within the last 2 weeks for optimum flavour.


Now, pout a small amount of water into the centre. Not too much that it comes out the bottom, but just enough to coat the grounds. This is the pre-infusion stage. Wait about 30 seconds before you start to pour. When you being your pour, start from the centre and spiral outwards using a thin steady stream. This process should take about 2.5 minutes. you don’t have to time it just make sure that you remove the dripper when the coffee reaches 200 ml.

make a steady stream starting from the centre


Preheat a coffee cup and give the coffee a few moments to settle and rest. Dump out the water and exchange for some perfectly prepared coffee that won’t cost you 6,000 won per cup. This may seem excessive but trust me, once you taste the difference, you will never go back. For about 40,000 won altogether, you can have the best brewing method in the city and not have to pay the insane prices for “pour-over” coffee again.


I chose the V60 because of its ease of use. Some of the other drippers with the flat bottom may take a little more time and it gets a little finicky with the grinds. I also chose this over the French Press because the V60 yields a cleaner cup in the end. I like the French Press method as it is close to the flavour extracted during cuppings but it also yields a slight murky or muddy cup. Perhaps, I will detail how to brew with a French Press if there is enough response.

For about 30,000 won, you can pick up an ice coffee maker with the same V60 filter and dripper  set-up that makes an excellent cold beverage on a hot day. These can be purchased off of Gmarket and I would highly recommend it if you like iced coffee. You will have to use a little bit more coffee to stop from over extracting but there are tons of useful videos on You Tube to show you how to get it right.

Grinding at home is the best, but only if you use a burr grinder. These grinders can found at both Lotte Department Store and Hyundai Department Store. They however, are fairly pricey and it is just easier to get them ground at the store. Just keep in mind that once you grind, the coffee will go stale quite quickly. keep you coffee in an air-tight container and do not store in the fringe or freezer unless you want kimchi flavoured coffee. Just keep it in a cool dark place away from things like garlic or kimchi because the coffee will absorb the flavours.

With that being said enjoy your coffee and if you have any questions about where to get the equipment or problems brewing don’t be afraid to drop a line here.