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  • Mr. X

アラビヤコーヒー (Arabiya Coffee)

Updated: Oct 12, 2022

Outdoor crowd moving toward underpass

I recently caught up with "The Regular," an old Balconi regular who was visiting Japan. It turned out that the owner was also in the country, sampling the local coffee, customs, and new beans. When the owner couldn’t make the trek to Osaka, The Regular and I stepped in, to take in the sights and give a full report. Our mission? To boldly brew where no bro has brewed before. Enter Arabiya Coffee.

small store front with coffee sign over glass door entrance

Full disclosure: we’re not affiliated with any of the cafés mentioned in this blog— we just love coffee! Coffee is universal and great coffee should be shared with everyone. With this directive, we continue to seek out new locations worldwide, for your enjoyment. If you find you like something elsewhere, feel free to share it with one of our baristas. We too are avid coffee drinkers and love to check out new places for a cup, when time permits.

Print of ARABIYA 1951 and man's head with turbin on demitasse set on table top

The Regular is a jetsetting coffee connoisseur who lives a stone's throw away from Japan. According to him, Osaka Japan is home to some of the finest food and coffee in the country, with Arabiya Coffee having been in business there since as early as 1951. To this day, Arabiya Coffee provides an array of select coffees, much like the original selections offered when their shop first opened in the early 1950’s.

Wood carved menu board in Japanese.  English words Arabiya coffee 1951.2.9.

The Regular went on to explain that coffee was viewed as a luxury beverage and that a café was widely considered a place of prestige, enjoyment, and a popular place for a first date. Customers would even go so far as to dress up and be on their best behavior when visiting a cafe, so as not to diminish the atmosphere or the shop’s reputation.

Patrons in background while worker in half apron clears table

At the time, coffee was quite expensive, given that the beans were sourced from South America. It was believed that if you were a skilled barista, you knew a little something about the finer things in life and how to enjoy them.

Woman and man working behind counter with shelves behind them holding decorated cups and figures

Much like today, it’s not uncommon to find tired and weary souls wandering into a coffee bar on their last leg and leave with a jolt of energy and optimism.

Young business men sitting over next table, one wearing exposed face mask.

One interesting similarity between Balconi Coffee and Arabiya Coffee is their penchant for keeping a low profile. Both establishments tend to shy away from traditional marketing tactics, relying solely on word-of-mouth advertisement from discerning drinkers, such as yourself. Arabiya Coffee’s owner also prefers to keep a low and very authentic profile, on the bustling streets of Shinsaibashi.

Wood engraving of thee men holding mugs framed with japanese words.

Like Balconi, you will find the usual stack of assorted and very outdated reading material. I couldn’t find any books on Confucianism, the history of China, or Quantum Mechanics, so I think Balconi wins that round.

Book case with magazines

If you happen to find yourself in Osaka Japan and looking for a great cup of coffee, be sure to check out Arabiya Coffee. You won’t be disappointed!

Outdoor overhead round signage with Japanese words, coffee mug logo with word coffee

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