In life, we find that there are some things we excel at, things that we know no one can do better than ourselves. Likewise, there are some things that we just can’t get a grip on, no matter how hard we try. For me, that was chemistry. While my friends were acing quizzes, I was still stumped as to what a mole was. Baking soda and vinegar rockets was as far as I got in that department.
Despite my obvious lack of talent in that particular subject, I was immediately able to identify the chemical structure that acted as the logo of a new coffee shop at Sultan Road. Caffeine. A.R.C. Coffee’s emblem was the only time an image of a chemical structure didn’t send me running towards the horizon, but instead beckoned me to come closer.
The wall at the side of the shop was a colorful mural that was a popular spot for photo-hunters looking for a brand new image to feature on their Instagram feed. The mural depicted the process of turning green beans into the coffee we all know and love, as well as featuring a quirky man pouring a latte from the second floor. With a background like that, I couldn’t resist snapping a couple pictures myself.
Walking inside, we were greeted by the sight of a cozy coffee shop illuminated by charming tulip-shaped lights hanging from right above the baristas’ counter. I concurred that A.R.C. must have had a thing for cute lights, as even their special cold-brew, steeped for a longer period of time to bring out the coffee’s flavor, was served in not bottles, but light bulbs. Black metal pressure pipes jutted out the wall in some places, creating a feel of homey and industrial.
At A.R.C. people were given the full walkthrough of coffee. In fact, A.R.C. is an acronym for academy, roastery, and café. Here, patrons could not only have a cup of delicious in-house roasted coffee, but also learn about how coffee makes its way from tree to espresso. Their academy, located on the second floor, offered an array of courses such as basic barista training, latte art training, and even a special coffee appreciation course. Their roastery on the other hand sat by their baristas’ counter and ensured green beans from Guatemala, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Costa Rica were roasted to perfection. The café spanned two floors and proved to be a popular spot for people wanting to open their laptops and get to a couple of emails.
Shawn was behind the counter when I asked him if he could tell me a little about the space. He seemed like the right guy to ask as he had A.R.C.’s logo tattooed on his arm. Now that’s dedication! He told me that the roastery came first, and that the café and academy followed not long after to further highlight their preexisting enterprise.
Despite having only opened in December of 2015, A.R.C. has quickly become a local watering-hole. With its eye-catchingly bright mural and promise of quality in-house roasted coffee, it’s no wonder. After leaving the shop, I realized I hadn’t had the chance to take a picture of one thing in particular. I made my way to A.R.C. later that same day just to take a picture of the one thing I missed: Shawn’s sick tattoo. Their mural is beautiful, but their art extends beyond that one wall, so make sure your stop by this coffee shop to enjoy some food for the soul with your cup of coffee.
Special thanks to Shawn for taking the time to chat with me, and for letting photograph his rad tattoo! See you again soon!