Art is something that Kyoto-born Junichi Yamaguchi understands very well. Yamaguchi is not only the winner of the Tokyo 2014 Latte Art World Championship Open, he is also the co-founder (together with businessman Kenneth Shoji and architect Masaki Kato) of % Arabica Coffee, a small chain of specialty coffee bars with outlets in Kyoto, Hong Kong and Kuwait City.

Pulling shots of espresso before foaming milk to create his Instagram-friendly latte art, Yamaguchi is a vision of confidence in his Higashiyama café, located near Hokanji Temple, a Kyoto heritage site. The beans are roasted on the spot at % Arabica Coffee and you can request your preferred level of roasting, from light to dark.

Yamaguchi moved to Tokyo, working at The Theatre Coffee in Shibuya for two years before competing in latte art competitions and winning the aforementioned competition in 2014, sealing his claim to fame. Today, the self-taught barista is a much sought-after latte art trainer, having taught classes in Japan, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Malaysia.

Little wonder latte art otakus from round the world eagerly make pilgrimages to % Arabica Coffee in the UNESCO World Heritage city to happily obsess over every cuppa he crafts. It’s a trip well worth making.

在清水道站下車后,我們沿著八坂塔的長坡緩緩走去,
不過到這的目的既不是參觀八坂塔,也不是來拜訪清水寺,
而是尋找一家朋友推薦的精品咖啡館。
這家由日本拉花冠軍山口纯一開設的% Arabica離八坂塔和清水寺不遠,
在一眾京都老店中,這家新新咖啡館顯得有點鶴立雞群,
下午繁忙時刻,還會有著長長的人龍在外排隊,非常的好找。

長形的店面,外頭看似不大,其實裡頭還是有好些位置供客人坐下。
除了販售意式和手沖單品咖啡外,豆子也是由自家烘焙,
新鮮之餘,還更能滿足咖啡師對豆子的品質和口味的要求。
所以雖然頂著拉花冠軍的榮銜,這的咖啡卻也極具水準,
絕不是單純的滿足視覺享受而已。
如果你來到京都,又剛好在清水寺附近走累了,
不妨來這歇歇,喝杯咖啡,再繼續古都的行程。


% Arabica Coffee: Kyoto Higashiyama
87-5 Hoshino-cho Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, Japan
Mon-Sun 8am-6pm
+81-75-746-3669
arabica.coffee

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May 4, 2016

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