January 15, 2018

NEW in BGC: Japan’s % Arabica opens first Manila branch

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  • NEW in BGC: Japan’s % Arabica opens first Manila branch
  • Finally—the first word we uttered before rushing to BGC on a sunny Friday afternoon last January 12 to get our hands on one special cup of coffee.

    It’s been almost a year since % Arabica announced its first Philippine franchise, and we’ve been licking our lips literally every day over when and where we’ll be hearing the grinding and gurgling of coffee machines at this Japanese specialty coffee shop. And finally (yes, we can’t stress it enough)the doors of % Arabica in BGC have been opened.

    The logo of % Arabica is a simple representation of a coffee plant.

    % Arabica was brought to the Philippines by a coffee-loving mom-and-daughter duo that has been traveling around the world looking for the best coffee spots. “Every time [mom and I] go to a different country, we try different things, and we can’t forget the taste of % Arabica,” shares Allue Hortaleza. This prompted her to go back to Kyoto, where the main branch of % Arabica is located, and get in touch with the owner with the hopes of bringing % Arabica coffee back home to the Philippines.

    % Arabica was founded in Japan in 2014 by Kenneth Shoji, a man who wanted to live a simple life with coffee being a part of his everyday routine.

    What captured the hearts of Allue and her mom are % Arabica’s “respect for everything, respect for the coffee beans, respect for the baristas, and their skills on how to make good coffee,” adding that the coffee offered by % Arabica is timeless.

    The coffee menu of % Arabica is straightforward—composed mainly of americano, macchiato, and lattes—which pretty much gives us all that we need.

    Good coffee is everything that we need.

    The disguised complexity will hit you once you get your first sip of their coffee. % Arabica uses 100-percent Arabica coffee beans from around the world, like Guatemala, Japan, and Brazil, which embodies the company’s slogan: “see the world through coffee.”

    You can choose between two types of coffee: “Blend” which is a combination of two or more kinds of Arabica coffee; and “Single Origin,” which will vary to highlight every coffee origin. We tried their Single Origin Caffe Latte (Php 160) and Spanish Latte (Php 180), which flowed ever so tenderly into our system. Caffe Latte is a good choice for those who are not fond of sweet drinks, while Spanish Latte contains sweet condensed milk.

    The soft opening day of % Arabica was graced by Global Head Barista Junichi Yamaguchi.

    Kyoto Head Barista Shu Konishi also joined the opening, personally making coffee for the day’s customers.

    As much as the menu is a minimalistic showcase of the world’s greatest coffee, the place itself allows us to get a refreshing break from flashy and ornamented coffee shops with its minimalistic design. The place is naturally lit during the day and is vibrant even in the evening.

    % Arabica Global Head Barista Junichi Yamaguchi and Kyoto Head Barista flew all the way from Japan to support the opening of the first Manila branch, personally overseeing the crafting of coffee for every customer. If you drop by this week, you might be able to see the coffee-making finesse of these two men before they fly back to  Japan!

    Written by Rizelle “Rei” Leaño

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