At long last, famed Kyoto coffee chain % Arabica will open its first store in Indonesia this week — almost four years after it first announced coming to the Southeast Asian country.
% Arabica posted on Instagram yesterday that its store at Central Park Mall, West Jakarta is scheduled to open this coming Wednesday. It also held an exclusive pre-opening event for influencers yesterday, during which they tried various drinks and posed for the ’Gram against the clean white interior that % Arabica is well-known for.
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The menu at % Arabica Central Park consists of espresso-based drinks, drip-based coffee using chemex, and other drinks such as matcha latte, as well as lemonades using still and sparkling water. You can get your favorite coffee using % Arabica’s house blend or single origin beans in two different sizes, except for the 4oz serving of espresso and espresso macchiato.
You can also try its Spanish Latte, which is made either using regular milk and condensed milk, if you’re into sweet coffee; or the Dark Latte, which is basically a mocha latte, that is said to be an Indonesia-exclusive beverage. If you only drink your coffee with plant-based milks, you can opt for oat or soy milk for an additional IDR10,000 (US$0.72).
As for the prices, % Arabica fares a tad higher than most third-generation coffee shops in Jakarta — ranging from IDR35,000 (US$2.51) for espresso, IDR59,000 (US$4.23) for the large iced cafe latte, to IDR405,000 (US$29.02) for 2 cups of Chemex coffee using Geisha beans. All prices are inclusive of government tax.
Early last year, % Arabica announced that it planned to open four stores in Jakarta and Bali’s Seminyak Village and Ubud. The % Arabica global Instagram page wrote earlier this year that the chain’s store at Ashta District 8 in SCBD, South Jakarta — which was originally planned to be the first store in Indonesia — is likely to open some time after the Central Park store’s opening, while the Ubud store is still under development and is slated to open this year.
The projects in Indonesia had been delayed for quite some time, as we’ve heard about % Arabica coming to Indonesia as early as October 2017 (as teased by this Instagram post).
% Arabica is the brainchild of Japan-born businessman Kenneth Shoji, who started his professional coffee journey with a coffee farm in Hawaii. He then worked together with latte art world champion Junichi Yamaguchi to open the brand’s flagship store in Kyoto’s Higashiyama district in 2014.
Since then, % Arabica has become increasingly popular among coffee enthusiasts, and it currently has at least 80 outlets across 14 countries, including in China, Kuwait, and the UK.
% Arabica, especially its outlets in Japan, has become quite a tourist draw. There appear to be plans for further expansions worldwide, including in Russia and Saudi Arabia, as detailed in the coffee brand’s website and Instagram posts.
It’s worth noting that % Arabica has branched out to Southeast Asia in the past couple of years, as the chain already has stores in Manila, Singapore, Bangkok, and Phnom Penh with an outlet in KL announced to open soon.