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OZB offers coffee for the connoisseur, Jeju, South Korea

26 December 2008 2 Comments

Seogwipo bean master roasts his own premium coffee
Story and photos by Brian Miller
OZB Coffee
Take your pick at OZB | Credit: Brian Miller

One great thing about living on Jeju is the absolute abundance of coffee shops. But you may often find yourself trying to find a shop that breaks the mold, a shop that offers its customers more than just the average cappuccino or Americano. If you want more from a cup of coffee than just a caffeine buzz then you’ll want to check out OZB in Seogwipo.

OZB offers a wide array of premium coffees imported from around the world. Coffee roaster Choi Ji Sik imports beans from Kenya, Honduras, Ecuador, Nepal, Ethiopia, Columbia, Tanzania, Brazil, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, Mexico, El Salvador, Hawaii, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Yemen, India and Indonesia. Twice a week he painstakingly picks the best beans from each batch and roasts them at his shop. He also posts a calendar at the front of the shop with his roasting schedule, which details which beans he intends to roast on what days.

Gourmet coffee can run 10,000 won per cup

The coffee runs a bit more expensive than other shops on the island but most find it well worth the higher cost for a drip-brewed cup of quality Joe. My personal favorite is the Kenya AA, which goes for 4,000 won a cup. But if you’re a true coffee connoisseur in search of only the finest coffee, then maybe a cup of Jamaica Blue Mountain (10,000 won) or Nepal Mount Everest (7,000 won) will satisfy. Beyond the drip coffee, OZB also offers the standard fare — Americanos, cappuccinos, lattes, Dutch coffee, frappes, affogatos and so on. All sell at prices typical of coffee shops around Jeju. And if you want to take any of that great coffee home and brew it yourself, OZB sells 50, 100 and 200 gram packages of each of the coffees roasted at the shop. The cost

Customer, Erin Williams, looks on
Credit: Brian Miller

for each package varies by brand, but 50 grams generally goes for 5,000 won, 100 grams will go for around 8,000 and 200 grams for 15,000.

Coffee-making classes offered weekly

Choi takes incredible care with every cup he brews. It’s a surprisingly time consuming affair, in which he applies a great deal of precision to the measuring of water temperatures, the soaking of coffee grounds, and the warming of coffee cups. Watching him do it is kind of like watching a scientist in a lab or an artist painting at his canvas. Choi gives lessons on the finer points of making coffee, in a free 2-hour class held every Tuesday by appointment. Just let him know what time works best for you, and he’ll show you all the secrets to creating a great cup of drip coffee.

The only downside of OZB is the atmosphere, which is a jumble of competing styles and probably in need of a makeover. But what will keep you coming back is the incredible coffee, which is truly some of the best on the island.

You’ll find OZB right next door to E Mart in Seogwipo, just behind the GS25, near the World Cup Stadium.

Choi Ji SikJamaican

Choi Ji Sik crafts a cup (left) while barrels of coffee await brewing | Credit: Brian Miller

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  • Justin Nalepa said:

    Great pictures Brian! This is that great coffee place you told me about…definitely going to check it out. I have some friends coming down from Jeju-si, and it sounds like the perfect place to start our day.

  • jamaicabluemountaincoffee.com said:

    Beautiful photography. I will have to visit this roaster one day.

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