Text description provided by the architects. The popularity of bubble tea has been shaking up the beverage industry in recent years as the frothy, effervescent drink finds a market of faithful fans. Bubble tea is traditionally made with tea, fruit, milk or juice and little pearls of tapioca goodness. But not every bubble tea is the same with ingredients, price and experience differing as brands carve out their niche in a highly competitive market. 蜜葉裡Ambrosia is the name we gave to a new tea brand and shop in an up-and-coming area of Shenzhen, China. The clients wanted an international studio to design their hospitality venue and brand and engaged Biasol to help make their mark as fashionable, modern and mindful. Wanting to share an authentic taste of tea without the use of sugar, 蜜葉裡Ambrosia uses sensory loose-leaf teas and the finest natural honey.
蜜葉裡, meaning “honey leaf,” refers to the use of honey instead of sugar, and ambrosia, in ancient Greek myths, is the food or drink of the gods, conferring longevity or immortality. As 蜜葉裡Ambrosia fosters health, balance and happiness, we translated these values into the design of the venue with a material and colour palette as sweet and refreshing as bubble tea. The unique and impactful space has handcrafted techniques and a distinctive aesthetic to appeal to the modern and mindful tea drinker. The minimalist form is based on the traditional Chinese courtyard houses and architectural gateways to achieve a sense of flow, while the soft pink palette creates a calming, sensory experience.
Wooden arches with opaque glass panels frame the entry and service counter and are a contemporary nod to the traditional Chinese gateway, paifang. The long and narrow interior evokes the courtyard in historical siheyuan residences, where enclosed courtyards provide intimacy for family and friends. Rounded corners soften the feel of the long and narrow space, with a menu affixed to the wall at one end, and an upholstered banquette at the other end. The service counter is in the centre with all tea making taking place behind the scenes.
The light and feminine palette draws inspiration from pale earthy tones and timber textures. Fibonacci Stone’s “Pavlova” terrazzo on the floors, counter, tables and walls are an aggregate of sensory and calming tones with flesh, blush and salmon hues. Pendant lights above the counter are like bubbles rising to the surface, and a neon white light – “Be my best cup of tea” – reiterates the lifestyle that 蜜葉裡Ambrosia represents. Not just another bubble tea, 蜜葉裡Ambrosia is the best cup of bubble tea that life has to offer.