A Drop of the World in a Cup of Coffee,
Nairobi Coffee Bistro
Incheon is a global city. In particular, many foreigners live in IFEZ (Songdo, Yeongjong, Cheongna). The current foreigner population of IFEZ is approximately 6,492. There is a café famous among these foreigners. Nairobi Coffee Bistro, located in Songdo International City, is always filled with the chatters of regular customers from all over the globe.
Place to Meet
It’s a weekday afternoon, and Nairobi Coffee Bistro is already crowded. What is unique about this place is that you can meet people with different eye colors. “We have customers from Chadwick International School, IGC faculty, and Boeing pilots in Yeongjong. More than 30% of regulars are foreigners.” The café’s owner, Lee Shin-dong, greeted us with a gentle smile unique to him. We could feel the presence of Nairobi in various places at official events of the international schools and global companies in Incheon. Graduation parties and one-day drip coffee classes are often held here. Nairobi Coffee Bistro has become a ‘place of meeting’ well-known among foreigners after the owner has built bonds with regulars. Souvenirs from friends around the world are increasing all across the café.
Beginning of Nairobi
When he was young, he was engaged in equipment sales and café consulting. One day, he found a booth of ‘Nairobi’ in an exhibition place. He was captivated by the thought of introducing Nairobi coffee, supplied to the British royal family, to Korea. After that, he started running a coffee shop in downtown Seoul. Nairobi Coffee Bistro, located in Songdo International City, is the place that Lee carefully built from large parts to small details. The thick hardwood table that creates a comfortable and elegant atmosphere was made from 2,000-year-old solid wood airlifted here. Every corner of the place, including even the hand-stained accessories found throughout the café, has been cared for. It has more than 20 different kinds of coffee beans and has one of three large grinders in South Korea.
Confidence of Café, Sam’s Drip
Lee is a master of coffee who has studied coffee for a long time. He brews custom coffee to suit customers' tastes just like a professional tailor makes a suit that perfectly fits the customer's body. The coffee is called ‘Sam’s Drip’ after his English name. His hand drip coffee makes even the layperson of coffee not forget the taste and return. According to Lee, the best time to enjoy coffee is 10 minutes after the coffee is brewed completely. This is because the temperature at which the taste buds can feel the taste most accurately is 50-55°C. “Some people do not like coffee that is not hot. But in the end, when they taste it, they all show that they are satisfied.” When you taste Sam's Drip, which he recommends, you will enter a new world of coffee.
[Mini Interview] Captivating the Palate of the World Gregory Hill, president of the University of Utah Asia Campus, also visits this place often. “Coffee is great, and the Mexican dishes they started recently are also nice. It fills your soul heartily.” The Mexican menu captivated the global palate by fully reflecting the advice from the IGC staff in developing menus and recipes. His family, who came to Korea with him two years ago, are also regular. “I heard that my children also come here often with their friends. A place with a good vibe and food is everyone’s favorite regardless of age.” Hill said, “I am delighted to have met such a wonderful friend and business partner in Korea. Lee is like a private ambassador for Incheon.”
Address. #M26, 1F, Songdo Convensia, 123, Central-ro, Yeonsu-gu, Incheon