% Arabica Higashiyama – Kyoto (JP)

Certainly one of Japan’s most innovative and stylish coffee bars, % Arabica Higashiyama offers a new take on coffee on demand and perfect instagramability

  • opening times:
    Mon - Sun: 8 - 18
  • wifi:
    Yes
  • urls:
    FacebookWebsite
  • machine:
    Slayer
  • coffees on offer:
    various

This is the kind of coffee bar that offers a high degree of instagramability – if that’s even a word – with its discreetly branded Slayer espresso machine in the front window, its elegant white interior, the imposing temperature controlled coffee storage shelves and its rather odd-looking Tornado King roaster at the back.

Slayer

Slayer

The Japanese built machine allows you to roast quantities as little as 200g and has become an important service trademark of % Arabica, because it is one of the only coffee shops in the world where you can have your coffees freshly roasted to order. Coffee connoisseurs might wrinkle their noses at this, but it certainly makes for a unique experience.

Details

Details

Founded in Hong Kong by Kenneth Shoji, a Japanese-born and California-raised businessman who also owns a coffee farm in Hawaii, % Arabica has already been hailed as Japan’s answer to the likes of Blue Bottle and is currently operating a number of shops in Kyoto, Hong Kong, the Middle East and soon Berlin.

Inside of the shop

Inside of the shop

Head barista Junichi Yamaguchi carefully crafts every espresso-based drink with a three group Slayer while filter coffees are brewed inside a custom-made brew bar along the main wall. For its own retail stores % Arabica roasts its coffees off site, hence not using the Tornado King for this purpose, and its coffees are really exquisite indeed.

Roaster at work

Roaster at work

But it is particularly the branding that has been done exceptionally well. The percentage symbol greets you everywhere in the shop, from napkins to coffee cups, while never feeling exaggerated.

Perfect branding

Perfect branding

While I sipped on my delicious flat white, I sat at the back of the store observing the flow of people moving left and right past the window, occasionally stopping to snap a selfie with the Hokanji Temple’s gorgeous 5-story pagoda in the background. Great place to visit!

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What our reader said

Caren Schelleman said:

Great! Look forward to reading it :-)

admin said:

Hi Caren We're so happy to hear this! We've got a few more recommendations up our sleeve that will be appearing on our website in the coming days so keep an eye out for them!

Caren said:

You've been to a few of my fave coffee places in Japan! Makes me "home"sick! (If you make it to Japan again, go to Sentido in (the center of) Kyoto. The ladies that run this place know their stuff!)


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