Wanna grab a cup of high-quality coffee? % Arabica may provide you the best choice.
% Arabica has always taken their coffee production seriously since September 2014. Currently, they are running 43 stores in 12 countries all over the world. The great success of % Arabica in the coffee industry mainly attributes to their persistence to serve the best-quality coffee.
% Arabica originates from Japan in 2014 and has shortly opened different branches in Europe, the US, Middle East and Hong Kong. This sixth Hong Kong branch, “Kube”, officially opened on November 6, 2019.
Unlike the other % Arabica cafes, this newly-opened branch is not characterized by the signature gigantic “%” sign. Instead, the store designer has made a twist to the overall look of the café, shaping it into a golden cube that locates at K11 Musea near the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade. The outdoor environment enables customers to enjoy their coffee while appreciating the magnificent views of the Victoria harbour, introducing a new comfy zone for the coffee-lovers!
The Design Principles
With the assistance from the Office for Metropolitan Architecture from Netherlands, “Kube” is specifically designed into a cube shape. Adding to the usual design principles of simplicity and minimalism, a ground-breaking element – the golden cubic shell, is also demonstrated in the new branch.
The fact that “Kube” is located in the kiosk of K11 near the seaside of Tsim Sha Tsui, also enables customers to enjoy their beverages and feel the gentle sea breeze that sweeps over their faces. Chilling on the marble seats next to the store, customers can also enjoy the striking beauty of Victoria Harbour. Imagine sipping on your appetizing coffee with the breath-taking view ahead of you, how chill and relax would it be.
As for the internal design of the store, the overall image is neat and plain. Pastel yellow and muddy red are chosen for the colour assortment of the internal walls. Although the two colours are relatively contradistinctive, they appeared exceptionally harmonious and matched when being put together.
Moreover, customers can clearly see the internal design of the store with just a glance – the coffee machines, coffee beans collected from different regions, as well as the process of producing a cup of coffee. Some original products such as mugs, tumblers and coffee beans are also placed as part of the decoration. However, in an overall picture, there is no extra or superfluous decoration inside the store.
Original Products from % Arabica are also displayed and sold in the store. (Photos by Weijian Liang)
When Night Comes
When night comes and the edges of “Kube” ignite, “Kube” looks even more alluring. There lights that surround the golden cube, grant a uniqueness to the store that make it stands out from neighbouring buildings. The counter of the shop is also designed as a folded window – When the store opens, the windows are opened for service; When the store closes, the windows are closed to restore the initial shape of a cube, isn’t it adorable?
Written on the surface of the cube, there are the title of the store, “Kube”, the designers’ names, Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten, the architecture company, OMA, as well as a simple description of the store, “Victoria Dockside”. When night approaches, the lightings of “Kube” itself, combine with that from buildings of the opposite shore, creating a dazzling picture that one could only dream of.
% Arabica takes pride in sourcing beans from its own coffee farm in Hawaii, as well as importing rarer coffee beans from other countries. We can choose either “blend beans” or “single origin beans” for all beverages. “Blend beans taste stronger while single origin beans taste purer.” said the staff.
Compared to other cafes, % Arabica offers relatively limited choices of espresso-based coffees and some other beverages. The price ranges from HKD$30 to $55. Instead of offering drinks with high diversity, they focus on producing limited choices of high-quality coffee made from rare beans. % Arabica also sells their original coffee beans, under a session in the menu titled “Bean Price”. This includes Guatemala La Esperanza, Japan % Arabica Blend, Colombia Supremo Decaf and some other coffee beans.
I ordered a cup of Iced Caffe Latte (HKD$45). After seeing the process coffee-brewing, I served myself with tissues, sugar and straws in the self-service corner. The Caffe Latte tasted bittersweet. The the coffee bean did not dominate over other elements so the mellowness of the milk can still be tasted. The aroma of the Latte also left a pleasant aftertaste that made me yearn for more.
“The simple renovation of the café attracts me the most. I find the golden cube shell quite special. However, unexpectedly, I am amazed by the taste of their coffee. It is the best Espresso I have ever had, it’s bitter, but also sweet.” said Ms. Mak, the customer of % Arabica. “It’s more than a cafe. It clears my worries and anxiety by offering the magnificent view. It provides a sort of mental healing!”, another customer, Mr. Dai expressed.
Good coffee does not only bring gustatory enjoyment, it also heals your mind. Take a break by buying yourself a cup of high-quality coffee in % Arabica!