Japanese coffee chain % Arabica has opened its first branch in South Korea, continuing its expansion in Asia. The store is % Arabica’s 125th worldwide, following initial launches in Bali and Taiwan in August 2022.

The coffee shop is located at Starfield Library, one of the well-known tourist spots in the most expensive area in Seoul, the Gangnam District. The interior design is minimalistic in order to encourage customers to unwind with books and coffee. The store’s exterior is made of the brand’s distinctive glass and white accents.

Since its first store opened in Kyoto, Japan in 2014, the boutique coffee group has expanded to 19 countries, with 86 outlets in Asia.

According to % Arabica’s website, the company plans to open stores in Vietnam, the Philippines, Canada, Mexico and Spain in the near future.

There are about 76,150 coffee shops in South Korea. Last year, coffee sales in the nation were almost US$2.3 billion, marking a steady increase since 2008.

With sales of US$1.7 billion last year, however, Starbucks is still the most popular brand in the East Asian country, while local chain Ediya, which ranks third in terms of sales, had the most locations as of 2020.

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