My first encounter with % Arabica was in Hong Kong a couple of years back. I was heading for the star ferry at Tsim Sha Tsui and came across them. Despite a small shop, the design was modern and attractive – I immediately liked the place. And I liked the place even more after having one of their coffees. Fast forward to today, I’m thrilled to have my favourite coffee spot coming to London!

A little background about % Arabica – it’s a very popular coffee chain that started in Kyoto. It is a coffee shop founded through a strong passion for coffee, which reflected well with the coffee quality it serves.

% Arabica's coffee bar

% Arabica’s London branch is at Covent Garden by King Street. The shop has a really bright interior and contemporary designs. Just like the Hong Kong branch I’ve been to, they’ve got their custom Slayer coffee machines, as well as a variety of slickly-designed merchandise.

Here is what I’ve tried at % Arabica London:

Iced Latte (£2.80)

Image of a cup of % Arabica Iced Latte

My go-to at the Hong Kong branches is the Iced Latte – and that’s what I first ordered at this new London branch as well. The latte has certainly hit the spot. It was incredibly silky and smooth to taste, with just the right intensity and sweetness. This totally momentarily brought me back home when I was sipping through this lush coffee by the harbour waiting to hop on the star ferry. It’s definitely my favourite to order at % Arabica!

Matcha Latte (£3.2)

Image of a cup of % Arabica Matcha Latte and a cup of Latte

I then also ordered a Matcha Latte. You get to choose to have your matcha sweetened or unsweetened. While I normally refuse to add sugar to my coffees, I opted for sweetened. Knowing they’re a Japanese brand, I thought their matcha might come quite strong and intense, hence choosing to have it sweetened.

Having it sweetened was just right for me. The matcha was rich but well-balanced. It was velvety to taste and quite a lovely pick-me-up!

Kouign Amman (£2.2)

Image of a piece of % Arabica's Kouign Amman pastry and a cup of Iced Latte

Other than coffee, the London % Arabica offers a small selection of pastries and treats as well including croissants and brownies. Scanning through the menu, my eyes set on the Kouign Amman.

I haven’t had that many Kouign Amman pastries so to me it might look a bit small compared to those at Dominique Ansel Bakery. Nevertheless, it was absolutely lovely – perfectly flaky, crispy on the outside, and fluffy on the inside. The sweetness was just right and though seemingly small in size, it’s actually just perfect to pair with a good cup of coffee!

In summary…

It’s been clear that I’ve been a fan of % Arabica and will continue being a fan of them, especially with this new London opening. It’s also just great to see Japanese coffee brands entering the London market! There was Omotesando Koffee earlier this year, and now % Arabica – both very strong contenders if you ask me.

  • Coffee
  • Atmosphere
  • Service
  • Value

Instagram: @arabica_uk

Nearest station: Covent Garden

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