24 DEC 2019
Words: The New Norm
Photographs: The New Norm
% Arabica Cafe,
I came to Sanneizka to have a walk early this morning, hoping to avoid large crowds of tourists. When I stopped to take a photo of the Sakaguchi Tower, a tiny white house caught my attention. Sandwiched between two traditional buildings, a modern façade of glass stood out. The words “% Arabica” was printed clearly onto this glass, logo marked coffee machines and paper cups in the background, it was only then that we realized that this was Arabica’s first store in Kyoto.
Characteristic of Arabica, their café was white and brown, using light wooden materials for their ceiling and parts of their wall, paired with grey toned concrete floors to neutralize the overall tone of the café.
Perhaps I was there too early, but there weren’t many people inside the café and the street was quiet. I ordered a latter and sat right at the back of the store. The seating area was small and could only accommodate about 10 people. There was a bar table and two wooden chairs near the entrance, so most customers would choose to have their coffee in a take away cup and on the go.
A translucent board was used to make the ceiling of the seating area, allowing natural sunlight to filter into the space. On one side of the cafe is a glass display used to display bags containing coffee beans from different countries.
Coffee beans are roasted at the rear of the store, other coffee equipment is also stored here. The idea was so make customers aware of the different types of coffee beans that they can choose from to create their perfect cup of coffee. The café looked like a small museum, where customers could not only watch, the whole coffee making process but could also smell, taste and enjoy the coffee.