Two world in a cup
Coffee culture has evolved in many dimensions.
While cafe hoping is still an on-going trend in millennials, rising of specialty coffee is another factor indicating how coffee plays an important role in Thai culture. Therefore, recognition of coffee has been shifted to be another cultural context with rich of artisan like wine or whisky. So, it was not surprised that on the opening day of Japanese coffee brand “% Arabica” at ICONSIAM was hugely success with warm welcome from locals.
One of the first branch of % Arabica settled down at historical Hiyashimaya area in the heart of Kyoto. At first, two worlds of different era crashing together: one was a traditional life surrounded by a preserved wood-built quarters, apprentice geishas and own town locals. Another represented new approach to modern life with green been from Hawaii and a roasting machine. But with vision of the founder Kenneth Shoji to “See the World Through Coffee”, the brand has co-existed between traditional and recent time. % Arabica becomes bigger than just a coffee or the brand itself. But also a life unveils stories of people and places.
Bangkok branch also represents % Arabica’s brand identity with its clean line and minimal design, covering by white. While the mesmerised ceiling triggers a visual perception with great mirrored effect. The opening bar placing in the center looks exactly like a big art piece. From here we can actually see how baristas make every cup of coffee. The store design reminds me some motifs around us. Fluid reflect from mirror above matches with infinite wave of significant landmark Chaopaya river. In the same time, pure white with grid structure on the floor replies to Thai architecture like Wat Prayoon. The center bar also looks alike Rattanakosin island, a center part of old bangkok.
“Our mission is to grow % Arabica across unique lands and cultures of the world” Shoji emphasizes his vision. By merging the new place’s culture with brand identity and exclusive taste, the result of compounding the world with coffee responses with increasing of branches around the world.