2017 Year in Review

December 28, 2017

It has been a year full of activities & expansion at % Arabica, and here are our top 10 favorites of 2017!

1. Origin Trips

One of the main aims of our brand this year was to source all the beans directly from the origins, and our founder, Kenneth and the global head barista, Junichi, spent so much time visiting coffee origins around the world.  Seeing Ethiopia was mind-blowing, huge farms in Brazil were astonishing.  We will keep visiting the origins as much as possible in 2018, in order to keep improving our beans quality, as there is no compromise over quality at % Arabica.

2. Welcome to % Family

It’s hard to believe that when we opened Higashiyama store in Kyoto in 2014, and Arashiyama store in 2015, we could run the stores with only two baristas.  Now that our stores have become so much busier, we need at least four baristas each to serve coffee non-stop.  This year, we welcomed eleven new baristas from Japan, Taiwan, France and Poland to our family.  Let’s see the world through coffee together, guys ( ´ ▽ ` )

3. Coffee Heaven in Kuwait

Our global store #8, % Arabica Kuwait Roastery opened in March, with amazing facility accompanied with beautiful store design.  In a short span of time, this store became the most popular % store in the world selling more than 2000 cups of coffee on busy days.

Photo by Takumi Ota

4. Anything Is Possible

In March, our global store #9, % Arabica Kuwait Gardenia opened in Kuwait City, and this store will always be special to us.  Two years ago, our Kuwaiti partner told us that they would like to build a store at an open place in the middle of a shopping mall and a car park with lots of wind blowing in.  And we just couldn’t imagine this vision coming true.  But look at the result, it couldn’t have been better.  This location will always remind us a simple reality that ‘’If you work hard, anything is possible.’’

Bottom photo by instagram.com/ifarex/

5. Small But Powerful

In June, our global store #10, % Arabica Hong Kong Star Ferry opened, and this store has become popular instantly.  With only 17m2 space, it is serving the highest number of coffee drinks per square meter among all of our stores.  We dream to open stores like this all over the world, and we will work hard day in, day out to make this dream come true.

6. Hello Oman!

In August, our global store #11, % Arabica Oman Al Qurum opened at the capital city of Oman, Muscat.  It is a city full of history and has an ambiance of its own which we are excited to explore.  Even though, Oman is yet new to speciality coffee, we are looking forward to growing the business together with our local Omani customers, who has shown enthusiasm to indulge in our coffee experience.

7. Dreamy Location in Hong Kong

As you may know, our brand HQ is located at the beach community, Discovery Bay in Hong Kong, and we need to take a ferry to go to Central, where is literally the center of all the business and trends in Hong Kong.  After getting off the ferry, there is a prestigious shopping mall, IFC, and as much we love the place, we were very excited to have our store there.  In November, we opened our global store #12, % Arabica Hong Kong IFC, which is the first store while going into the mall from the ferry pier.  At this dreamy location, we will strive hard to serve the best coffee we can to satisfy the most sophisticated coffee drinkers in Hong Kong.

8. Paris, Here We Come!

Our founder, Kenneth’s dream is to open our stores in New York and Paris, and we have already gotten a fantastic start to it coming true.  At the end of November, we have successfully signed the first location in Paris, and it’s an exceptional one.  The location is at the oldest passage in Paris – Passage Des Panoramas, and our store is next to an Italian restaurant designed by Philippe Starck.  As a brand which loves design as much as coffee, this location is truly a milestone for us ( ´ ▽ ` )

9. % Europe HQ Finally Got Approval

For the future European operation, we have a joint-venture company named ‘% Arabica Europe’ with headquarters in Berlin.  The construction approval took endless months, but in December, we finally got all the approvals from the city council.  % Arabica Berlin Kreuzberg will open at the end of March probably, and we cannot wait for the opening ( ´ ▽ ` )

Store design by Puddle Inc.

10. See the World Through Coffee

As of December 2017, we have our stores running in Japan, Hong Kong, Kuwait, UAE, and Oman. And in 2018, we will open in Philippines, China, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Morocco, Indonesia, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Singapore, Turkey, UK and USA.  We are greatly honored and humbled that our brand has reached at this amazing stage, with your kind support.

To conclude this amazing year, let us promise you all that we will keep working hard and improve with every passing day in 2018 to make this brand even more special.

Let’s see the world through coffee.