% ARABICA’S FIRST NEW YORK STORE

The founder of Kyoto coffee chain, % Arabica, has made his dream of opening a store in New York come true. On June 11th, the first-ever US store opened its doors to the people of Brooklyn.

One of Kenneth Shoji’s ultimate goals is to have stores in Paris and New York as he saw these cities as “iconic amazing locations”. The first Paris store opened in 2019, and since then, the city has 3 % Arabica outlets. Now, the second half of his goal, a New York store, is achieved. The coffee chain now has 88 shops in 17 countries and is ever-expanding.

The Brooklyn store still encompasses the brand’s minimalist concept that is consistent on all of % Arabica stores worldwide. Just like every other store, the Slayer espresso machine is used for consistency in flavour in every cup of joe by % Arabica. This New York Dumbo Roastery, however, offers a small selection of Balthazar pastries — an aspect not commonly found in other stores. This is one of many other unique features the Brooklyn store has.

If a cup of iced latte doesn’t satisfy your caffeine fix on a hot summer’s day, this new Brooklyn % Arabica store serves a coffee flavoured Japanese-style soft serve ice cream, known as % Soft Cream. Inspired by Shoji’s beach vacations, this coffee dessert is made with the brand’s signature coffee blend, % Arabica Blend. 

In addition to purchasing this best-selling blend in-store and witnessing coffee beans being freshly roasted, customers can also customise their own blend of green coffee beans. Specially roasted on the spot using the Tornado King roasting machine, customers are able to bring home their very own personal bag of roasted beans. This customisable roasting service is not available at just any % Arabica store — only half of all the stores worldwide offer it, and this new Brooklyn store is one of them.

To ensure that you have the full Japanese experience with just one visit to this coffee chain, the % Arabica New York Dumbo Roastery store has hi-tech Toto toilets, complete with heated seats and bidets. While this is the norm and bare minimum in Japanese restrooms, it’s considered luxury almost anywhere else. This aspect might be exclusive to just this US % Arabica store.

We have the French design firm Cigue to thank for the well-thought-out space that blends all the functions seamlessly together. % Arabica is not new to collaborations with renowned interior designers and architects. Even though there are many that contribute to the various % Arabica stores, the aesthetic is the same: Japanese modern minimalism.

Calling this newest store of the Kyoto-based coffee chain impressive is an understatement. With every new store comes a refreshing design that takes locals’ demands into consideration. This is one of the ways % Arabica approaches its brand’s motto of “seeing the world through coffee”.

Author

  • Azra Syakirah spends much of her time travelling asia, photographing and writing about cafe's and coffee experiences. She has lived in Malaysia, Singapore, and more recently Japan, where she resides in the capital, Tokyo.

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