A hybrid based on a store in Hongdae and one in Berlin, this member of the Seoul coffee scene is certainly setting expectations high: Bonanza / MTL Coffee in Itaewon, located near by the Leeum Museum in short distance to Itaewon-daero.
Naver maps link: Bonanza Coffee
The place has a great design, with a massive swing door and huge windows that can create a nice airy space in the summer. The space is great for hanging out (and take selfies), but it is not huge – so be warned.
Coffee-wise they are as broadly set up as most places, housing the milky and non-milky options. The beans are roasted in Berlin, Germany (at least the ones sold in packages; not sure if all others, too). For pour-over, they only had one option at the time of my visit (end of November), but I assume it changes around once they run out: Sasaba from Ethiopia.
For preparation the barista was thorough (much appreciated as always): Pre-warming the Kalita Wave and all the equipment. But then the filter was not soaked/washed separately before the grind came in; in my opinion not ideal, especially given that they use brown paper filters that can have quite a bit of an influence on taste. For the infusion itself, there was pre-infusion, but then the main part was a little on the speedy side in my opinion.
As a result, the pour was tasty, but not overly special (I was not able to really taste out any outstanding notes). Again, I don’t know if that was due to short infusion time or maybe due to my state of tiredness, but I would have liked a little more intense taste (or even punch, to wake me up).
All in all I liked the place, and due to location and design they are worth another visit – next time hopefully more awake (before and after coffee), and with more luck on the taste side.