Gangnam [강남]

Brown Hands | 브라운핸즈

A furniture company with a cafe that doubles as a showroom? And is just the right aesthetic for instagramming, studying, or meeting up with friends of all ages? Genius.

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I visited Brown Hand’s Busan location last summer and was so excited to find out they have a cafe in Seoul cafe too! Unfortunately, it is very very far from me…hence why it took over 6 months to check it out.

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Also! They call it the “Dogok” location (that’s the neighborhood) but it is not next to the Dogok subway station. It’s one stop away at Maebong Station.

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1st Floor

The building is kinda old run-down factory style, and looks very cool with all the mixed & matched furniture. There’s 2 floors with plenty of seating and enough outlets that it’s also a good place for studying/working with a laptop. There’s also an outdoor terrace, that looks like it’d be lovely when the weather’s warmer!

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2nd  Floor

I came on a weekday afternoon and most of the customers were closer to middle-aged than university student. There were even a few children! This area seems a lot more chill than the university neighborhoods.

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Brown Hands isn’t a cheap place, but I remind myself that I’m paying for the atmosphere just as much as the coffee…

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Oh, and if you’re a Korean drama fan, apparently 응답해라 1988 (Reply 1988) shot a scene here. So if you like recreating cafe scenes, you can come drink the Vienna coffee here!

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When I was in Busan, I’d had the iced vanilla bean latte, so this time I ordered the hot version. I also got carrot cake because I was having a good day~

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Vanilla Bean Latte ₩6,800

The latte was nice! Whatever vanilla stuff they use cut some of the bitterness without erasing the coffee flavour (although I’m realizing I kinda prefer all my coffee iced).

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Carrot Cake ₩7,000

My first bite of the carrot cake was a tiny bit dry, but after that I didn’t really notice it? The icing was delicious, you can see the little pieces of carrot, and the spice balance was lovely. All things I want in a carrot cake.

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Brown Hands sells coffee beans (from Coffee Libre roasters) and some of their own branded stuff like eco-bags, mugs, and the metal trays like the ones they serve your order on.

And remember, they also make furniture! Though, like the cafe menu, it ain’t cheap. A table like the one I sat at (this one) can be yours for ₩1,400,000. In addition to the Dogok cafe, there are also “design cafes” in Busan and Masan. I think it’s definitely worth checking out a Brown Hands cafe if you’re nearby!

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  • Hours: 8am – 11:20pm (the 2nd floor closes at 10:20pm)
  • Contact: 02-572-0332 | Website
  • Location: 458 Dogok 2-dong Gangnam-gu | 서울 강남구 도곡2동 458
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