%Arabica: If you haven’t bean, this cafe’s a strong addition

We check out %Arabica Abu Dhabi Corniche, a simple space that’s frothing with appeal thanks in part to its swanky private coffee booths

There’s a new coffee shop adding strength to the capital’s cafe scene, infusing an extra shot of quality and some very cool vibes.

%Arabica Abu Dhabi Corniche has just opened its doors in Al Jazeera Tower in Khalidiya, a street back from Corniche Road beside the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and it’s inviting the coffee set to “see the world through coffee” at its establishment.

This is the fourth %Arabica outlet for the UAE (the others are in The Dubai Mall, City Walk and Mirdif City Centre), but its the first for Abu Dhabi, and we’re told it won’t be the last, there are two additional outlets in the works - in Al Bateen and at The Galleria Mall.

The specialty coffee franchise which originated in Japan was founded by Kenneth Shoji, who said it was his way of ensuring he had “an amazing cup of coffee everyday”. In order to do this he bought a coffee farm in Hawaii, started a bean trading company, and then became the primary exporter of a Japanese roasting machine, the “Tornado King” and the distributor of the “Slayer”, the best espresso machines in the world.

%Arabica is simple and stylish in its approach, which is all part of the appeal especially when it comes to passersby. I, for one, noticed the cafe one evening while driving past, and it was the logo along with the minimalistic light-coloured design inside that caught my beady eyes.

While the private suites, with their velvet lounges and copper tables, not to mention silk string curtains, are plush and inviting, especially for those seeking privacy, there are no fancy cups or saucers here. You’re served your latte or cappuccino in a recyclable paper cup that brandishes a simple %, and the beans are neatly arranged in hessian sacks above the working space, which adds to the rustic appeal.

Your choice of coffee is relatively simple too, there are espresso-based and drip-based coffees to choose from, made with either Arabica or single origin beans, of which there are plenty of varieties to choose from with the best quality Arabica beans sourced from more than 30 countries including Brazil, Panama, El Salvador, Ethiopia and Guatemala.

Apart from being new to the coffee scene, the Abu Dhabi franchise’s purchasing and administration manager Majed Kaddoura says it’s “the quality of the coffee” that sets the business apart.

Coffees here start from Dh16, while a 250 gram bag of beans will set you back Dh58. To see for yourself, head to %Arabica Abu Dhabi Corniche, which is open from 7am to 11pm Sunday to Wednesday, from 7am to 1am on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Ramadan timings are yet to be decided. For more go to www.arabicacoffee.ae/


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