While other % Arabica branches in Jakarta may appear to be more catered for quick stops, the opening of its fifth Indonesian outlet and first roastery on Jl. Gunawarman deliberately carves out a space to enjoy coffee at a more relaxed and leisurely pace.
Minimal but purposeful, the store’s design was executed by French architecture studio Ciguë, who was also the team behind their outlets in Marrakech and Brooklyn. Bathed in natural light from the store’s floor-to-ceiling glass windows, the woody interior lends the room a homey feel, embracing a simple layout that spotlights the roastery room and its star: the industrial Probat UG 22 vintage roaster.
While each Arabica store is fitted with its own small-batch roasting machine for custom orders, the one in Gunawarman takes the coffee-tasting experience up a notch by introducing the German roaster, which approximately produces up to 50 to 100 kilograms of beans a day to be used in all their outlets across the city. This allows customers the opportunity to watch the roasting process, which is on view through the glass window behind the storefront and mezzanine on the second floor.
Depending on the availability of head barista Anandita Rinaldi, the roastery also invites those eager to get to know their beans to take part in a cupping session, a brewing process that delves into the beans’ aroma and profile notes, from the house blend to single origin Sumatra Simalem and Yirgacheffe Konga. But even now with 134 outlets worldwide, Arabica’s favourites don’t stray away from reliable menu items like the Spanish Latte and the velvety % Soft Cream, which can be enjoyed as an affogato with a shot of espresso.
The outlet’s strategic location—simultaneously part of one of the most trendy culinary spots in the city and a cosy neighbourhood—reflects the stream of customers: the early risers stopping for coffee and pastries after a bike ride at their outdoor terrace, to those setting up their work-from-cafe corners on the skylit second floor.
Despite the brand’s concise menu, the crowd in Gunawarman is a nod to the consistent quality that Arabica is known for, achieved through the close monitoring of beans and attention to detail in design that has become distinct to the brand.