While coffee has increasingly become part of the hipster lifestyle just about anywhere on the planet, strangely the same can’t be said about tea. Perhaps too subtle in taste and less likely a beverage to roaringly kickstart an early morning with, this beverage deserves more credit and could do with a contemporary showcase that demonstrates its sophistication.
And that’s exactly the approach of P & T, a sleek new store in Berlin that not only stocks fine teas and a range of related products, but also evocatively throws specially selected gift cards, greeting cards, notebooks and wrapping paper into the equation, to create a broader – and dare we say poetic? – lifestyle experience.
The store’s interior is a collab effort of owner Jens de Gruyter and product designer Fabian von Ferrari, and blends the aesthetics of a minimalist concept store with the atmosphere of a natural history museum. Highly accessible to shoppers, it’s a welcoming retail space that encourages to explore every nook and cranny, and smell and taste the goods.
On free-standing presentation cubes outfitted with sliding drawers the individual teas are displayed in a practical fashion with accompagnying information, logically organized according to their degree of oxidation – from white to green, yellow, oolong, black and even pu’erh, a specialty of Chinese tea culture that remains virtually unknown to most foreigners. P & T has selected an elaborate range of teas and blended teas, imported from China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
All teas are available to buy in three different sizes of convenient resealable vacuum packs. Not surprisingly, the teas are supplemented by a beautiful selection of tea pots, cups, utensils and trays. A true showcase of tea as a lifestyle, the P & T store also features a separate space where it regularly hosts tea seminars and specialized tea tastings.