This has been a rather long wait.
%Arabica which first announced its opening in Singapore last August 2018, may finally open at 56 Arab Street next week (week of 17th June).
It faced many delays due to construction and interior works.
The chain has also announced locations of its two other Singapore locations – Chip Bee Gardens at Holland Village, and 313@somerset.
% Arabica originally from Hong Kong technically (then Kyoto Japan), is known to be one of the best coffee shops around.
The Arab Street branch will be a small 20-seater, designed in minimalist white similar to many of the other stores world-while.
However, there are plans to serve actual food at the Chip Bee Gardens outlet.
(Impression of the %Arabica Singapore Arab Street Cafe. Photo credit: %Arabica)
There are 16 stores located in Japan, Hong Kong, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Philippines and China, and is finally setting foot in Singapore.
A bit of its origins: Its founder and owner, Kenneth Shoji, established the brand on March 11, 2011.
His mission is to grow % Arabica across unique land and cultures of the world, so that young baristas can “See The World Through Coffee”.
After moving to Hong Kong, an idea hit him to start a coffee business.
With a bank loan, he bought a coffee firm in Hawaii and started trading green bean from around the world. He became the sole-exporter of a Japanese roasting machine.
For one year, he persuaded Junichi Yamaguchi (a world champion of latte art) to work with him, and succeeded.
The flagship % Arabica store opened in Discovery Bay, Hong Kong in February 2013. As a location, Discovery Bay proved to be quite challenging in attracting customers.
To reach a wider base, the store then moved to Higashiyama, Kyoto in February 2014 and became recognized as a coffee brand.
% Arabica is known as a great place for excellent coffee, somewhere even coffee snobs would be go to.
It takes pride in using beans from its own coffee farm in Hawaii, and from around the world.
The company strives to source all its beans directly from the origins. Kenneth himself, along with his global head barista Junichi, travels to various coffee origins around the world.
Depending on the season and availability, you can find coffees from Japan, Guatemala, Brazil, El Salvador, Ethiopia and Panama.
When I visited Hong Kong’s branch, I remembered that a key feature of %Arabica was that coffee could be roasted to order on the spot.
Select your preference, and I was told to come back in about 30 minutes to collect my bag. (Not difficult as IFC is a shopping haven.)
Let’s hope this facility would be available over here as well. Look out here for updates on Singapore’s outlets.
% Arabica Singapore
56 Arab Street Singapore 199753
(Opening mid June 2019)
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