Relieve Gangnam – a real statement on coffee hill

Update (May 2017): Relieve is out of business. Itaewon as well as Gangnam branches have sadly closed down. But following you can still find our original review.
Coffee Hill (not sure that’s an actual thing) in Gangnam has plenty of options to get your fix. Taking a closer look on Naver/Foursquare/etc. it turns out, that for the longest time I had missed out on Relieve. Yes, the same Relieve that is up in HBC by Namsan tunnels 2 and 3.

Naver maps link: Relieve (Gangnam)

Google maps:


The Relieve building is a real statement in this neighborhood. Equally impressive as Alver (and just a minute’s walk away) but very minimalist. It stretches across 4 full floors (incl. a hipster basement) and provides ample space to caffeinate or eat some of their scones or cookies.

As far as menu goes: limited. They had one pour-over available: Ethiopia. Further questioning did not help, I was not able to find out where exactly from or what exactly this coffee was.


For preparation, Relieve is very well equipped. Very, very similar to Devastate: fancy scales and integrated timers and the same, cool AltoAirs (interesting review HERE). At least in my case, the AltoAir was not warmed up and the filter not rinsed, but the rest was totally by the book. Especially after a few disappointments lately in other cafes (insufficient infusion times, filling up carafes with additional water after infusion was done, etc.), this was a perfectly timed coffee, and every single component was carefully weighed, too.


The result was a really good cup of coffee, which at least for me (and my very limited tasting capability) didn’t taste like anything Ethiopian (no fruit, no flower, but actually pretty spicy and a bit bitter. At least there was no ‘filter taste’ as far as I could tell.


All in all, Relieve is a much appreciated hand-drip hotspot in this very competitive neighborhood and I am sure they will be around for enough time for you to check them out!

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