Five Brewing – complexity takes its toll

In Hongdae there is definitely no shortage in coffee shops, and also there is more than enough hipsterism. Pour-over central ahead? Not really – but there are a few spots. For today Five Brewing is our target.

Naver maps link: Five Brewing

Google maps:


The place takes up a small house and it seems like a coffee snob’s dream: an army of siphon brewers, a board full of TDS values, a wide array of extraction methods – it’s all there.

For pour-over, they have plenty of methods and beans to choose from (oddly one from ‘Ethiopia’ and one from ‘Yirgacheffe’ – also Ethiopia?):


We went for the Ethiopian (on Kalita) and the Yirgacheffe (on Chemex). The setup seemed near perfect, but the sadness started from here on.


Despite all the geeky stuff on the wall (which I love), at least for the coffees prepared during our visit they didn’t even have a timer or scale anywhere nearby. I have big doubts that all the different ratios and timings, especially given the different methods they offer, can be handled purely based on intuition. Also, using a Kalita on top of a large Chemex carafe is something I haven’t seen often before…


The results were sadly a bit average. None of the two coffees had a really outstanding note, especially the Chemex one was a bit under extracted as far as I was able to tell.

I really wanted to love this place: Roasting is done here, they have the most geeky setup, a comfy shop and a super renowned head barista (who was not in during our visit). But I think the complexity may be a little too high to really deliver consistently great results across all the different combinations.

Less is more? I think so.


2 thoughts on “Five Brewing – complexity takes its toll

  1. Been twice here now and really enjoy the place. We go for the Colombian roasts specifically and they rate well for the Colombian flavors I prefer. I’m not a big coffee drinker, but trying to learn more, so we just go with the baristas recommended preparation method, Chemex for these two. Worth trying them out again if a fan of Colombian coffee.

    1. it’s a nice place – we just felt it was too many options of equipment and coffee for staff to handle. Will for sure try again – thanks for your comments!

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