Kyoto coffee chain % Arabica to open 4 stores in Jakarta and Bali starting in March

Coffee addicts in Jakarta and Bali will soon get a taste of % Arabica. Shown in picture is % Arabica outlet on Arab Street, Singapore. <em>Photo by Nadia Vetta Hamid for Coconuts Media</em>
Coffee addicts in Jakarta and Bali will soon get a taste of % Arabica. Shown in picture is % Arabica outlet on Arab Street, Singapore. Photo by Nadia Vetta Hamid for Coconuts Media

After almost three years of uncertainty, Indonesian coffee addicts will finally get a sip of cuppa from famed Kyoto coffee chain % Arabica very soon.

In an Instagram post yesterday, % Arabica announced that it is opening four stores in Jakarta and Bali in the coming months. The first store to open in March will be at District 8, a mixed development complex in SCBD, South Jakarta, followed by one in Central Park, West Jakarta and one in Bali’s Seminyak Village in April. The last of the first four stores, which is set to open in Ubud in May, will be % Arabica’s flagship store in Indonesia.

It appears that the projects in Indonesia have been delayed for quite some time, because we’ve heard about % Arabica coming to Indonesia as early as October 2017 (as teased by this Instagram post). Both the District 8 and Ubud stores were first teased in March of last year ⁠— the former was even slated to open in May or June.

As we’ve come to learn, % Arabica stores in Indonesia are designed by German-born architect Alexis Dornier. Dornier, who is now based in Ubud and has increasingly become a household name in design and architecture across Pulau Dewata, has worked with the Kyoto-based coffee chain a few times before.

This includes outlets in China’s Chengdu and Beijing, as well as London Covent Garden in the United Kingdom. If those are anything to go by, which we’re sure they are, Coconuts is excited to see what the spaces will look like in Jakarta and Bali.

% 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 56 outlets across 13 countries, including in Kuwait, UAE, and China.

% Arabica, especially its outlets in Japan, has become quite a tourist draw. There appear to be plans for further expansions worldwide, including in the US 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 two stores in Manila, three in Singapore, and one in Phnom Penh. The first Bangkok store looks set to open this month, and there are already plans for % Arabica outlets in KL and Penang.

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