Kyoto’s hip minimalist coffee shop makes its mark at ICONSIAM.
The buzz: After a year of teasers, Kyoto's specialty coffee meister has finally made its Thailand debut. Founded in 2014 by lifelong coffee enthusiast Kenneth Shoji, the popular chain currently has 58 outlets in 14 countries including Thailand.
The decor: Stationed at Charoen Nakhon’s glitzy ICONSIAM megamall, the sleek cafe adheres to the clean, minimalist script with its white-tiled floor and mirrored ceiling. Representing coffee cherries on a branch, the brand's iconic "%" signage ushers you inside, where the white counters are topped with wood-clad bespoke coffee machines. Look beyond those and you'll glimpse the roasting station, with two Tornado King coffee roasters proudly whirring away behind glass walls. A floating bean cellar displaying jute sacks lines the upper walls, while down below the seating area consists of white leather stools.
The drinks: Choose between the nutty and floral % Arabica blend, high in sweetness when paired with latte, creating a chocolate and caramel-like taste, or the fresh and fruity Single Origin blend. Both are available in everything from espresso-based coffee (espresso, macchiato, Americano, latte, Spanish latte) to filter coffee brewed with Chemex. For those new to the hype, we recommend the caffe latte (from B130 house blend/B145 single origin) and the unique Spanish latte (B150-180 hot/B180 iced), which incorporates rich condensed milk. Not keen on coffee but still want to see what all the fuss is about? Opt for the matcha latte (B150-170 hot/B180 iced) and lemonade (B150 still/B170 sparkling).
The crowd: Well-heeled coffee aficionados, neophiles and fancy pants.
Why we’d come back: We were relieved to find that the taste of the coffee justifies the hype and we love watching (and smelling) the beans being freshly roasted onsite. The shop also provides a pretty Insta-worthy backdrop, if you're seeking fodder for your feed. Veerabhatr Sriyananda