in Republic of Korea

Mr Kim took six hours to brew me a cup of coffee

20120828-112642.jpgIn Korea, if you ask a barista for a ‘Dutch Coffee’ you get a brewed coffee with ice cubes. I was told Dutch people don’t like hot coffee. During this week’s trip in Korea, I met Mr. Kim. He knows I like Dutch coffee and he wanted to show his dutch coffee maker. A lot of Koreans take pride in creation of food like kimchi and soy sauce at home. Mr Kim seems to be a collector, from old portable Japanese radio’s to windup clocks. In the center of the living room stands a large coffee dripper. The device looks as if it came out of a chemistry lab, a glass instrument in a wooden frame. In the top, there is a water container, which drains to a 5 mm thick ceramic filter after which it is stored. Adding a liter of ice water in the top level water container, followed by about 100 grams of grounded coffee in the compartment below, he then simply let’s it run. Now, the ceramic filter is important, the total process for all the coffee to go through this stone filter takes about six hours, after some time, you can see coffee drip from the filter, drop by drop. When the container is full, Mr Kim puts it into vacuum bottles and stores it in the fridge. Contrary to warm Dutch coffee in the coffee shops, his coffee is entirely iced due to the long process of making it and storage in the fridge. He got some from the fridge to taste. We drank the coffee straight at first. It has the taste of a fresh brew but the spike from espresso. I thought it would be flat and heavy but it was quite rich of flavor. Because of its purity, mr. Kim usually serves his coffee as a dessert with decaf coffee. He made a nice creation in a glass with a scoop of vanilla ice for us. Looking at all the creations in the room, while enjoying the coffee asked if he was educated to be an engineer but turned out to be a retired journalist. I suppose that’s where his time and the love for coffee comes from.