The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is an American coffee chain founded in Los Angeles. “Why then are you covering it on Sojuwave?” you might ask. Well, this isn’t just an ordinary Coffee Bean location or any simple cafe for that matter. This cafe is a fusion space for coffee, cool cars, and great sound.
Gangnam Station -> Exit 4 -> 5 Minutes -> Left side
I wasn’t sure, and still am not sure if this should be classified as a 2 story cafe sharing space with a car dealership and some headphones, or if it’s a car dealership with a cafe inside, along with the headphones for sale. The space has no clear cut lines and seamlessly mixes all three to create an interesting experience.
Click to enlarge photos
I walked in as I was waiting for my friend to finish his 회식 (company meeting), which of course lasted forever (forever because I was in Gangnam, where there’s everything I could have been doing). Before really exploring the place I ordered a small Americano because it’s the easiest for me to say and I like my strong. At 4500 won it’s not the cheapest coffee you’ll get at any of the cafes. The cheapest drink on the menu is a small hand drip coffee at 4300 won. For the most part, drinks are about 5000-7000 won.
The 1st floor has three cars on display, one left of the entrance, another by the window along with some tables, and the feature car in the middle of it all. While the two cars at the front were alright, a Grandeur (Azure) and an Avante (Elantra), the feature car had me drooling. The Genesis EQ900 (G90), the first luxury brand car for Hyundai Genesis, looks like a beast. The white leather interior, aggressive front grill, but elegant finish (probably because it’s just super clean)…what can I say. I could go on and give it it’s own post, but I’ll let Hyundai contact me for a real review (hint: send me a car please).
There are enough seats on the 1st floor to sit 112 people. Now, you could sit at the boring normal tables, or you could sit at the dope tables made with Hyundai rims. With only 6 of these tables available and to enjoy the view of the EQ900 I sat here. No one has ever really said “Damn those hyundai rims look good” on a car, but in table format the rims look good, possibly a great DIY if you’re handy and want to decorate your own space. They also have tables made out of engines I’ve noticed as I look back on these pictures. The TVs above the car run continuous commercials for the car, making you want to buy it so hard.
Beside the beast they have booths set up with headphones from JBL Harman. The booths are lined with fabric to make it even more isolated for sound quality (although these are headphones we’re talking about). We chose to go to the booths upstairs since the ones on the 1st floor were all occupied.
The transition from the 1st floor to the 2nd is gradual. The stairs on the way up showcase Harman speakers on the walls. Upon reaching the 2nd floor the walls are then covered with car parts showing what Hyundai’s are made of. The frame, hood, wheels, dash and seats are attached to plastic pieces you would see in toy car models. Being an Engineering graduate, this was way more interesting than it should be knowing that each of these pieces has its spot in a factory assembly line, and the intricacies of putting them together to create a car.
I sat in the booths on the 2nd floor as it gave me a good space to observe. I observed the couple in front of me and was super jealous, observed the friendly reunion to the left of me, and a few people working away on their laptops. In the booth you could plug in your phone to try out the headphones. The headphones gave great sound to go with my coffee. The seat was a bit uncomfortable but at least I could listen to some songs to pass the time. My samsung battery charger kept my phone alive.
The 2nd floor also somehow managed to get a Sante Fe up there. I was really impressed with all the detail that went into decorating the space; The individual railed lighting, warm tone with a flick of modern, floor colored like the road, division of space and the 2nd floor windows that give a great view of the road. It’s probably not on anyone’s tourist map but if you’re big into coffee it might be. Oh ya, and the coffee was good. It’s The Coffee Bean, what can you expect?