P & T Mitte/ Art / Berlin
Tea is still leading a fringe existence behind its competitor coffee, but things on the tea front are heating up.
Specialty tea bars like Samovar Tea in San Francisco keep popping up, and new shops make the ancient beverage appear modern and fresh. P & T from Berlin are doing just that with their second shop in the Mitte district.
Apart from water, tea is the most consumed drink on earth. And although it is a common staple in most cultures, tea is by no means only a mass-market commodity. Quite on the contrary: In the specialty tea segment, the appreciation for high-quality teas is comparable to the premium categories of other gourmet goods such as wine, coffee, chocolate or tobacco. In the Western world, however, specialty tea is still comparatively unknown.
That’s a shame, because so many of its benefits fit right in with our lifestyle. In many cultures, tea is used to fuel creative endeavors and communication. Its many healthy properties are said to enhance the drinker’s ability to think and find out of the box-solutions, and getting together to share a cup of tea is a thoroughly shared experience.
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P & T’s founder Jens de Gruyter is convinced that these properties make tea the perfect drink for the fast-paced, creative lifestyle of city-dwellers. He and his team have made it their mission to make fine teas and tea culture more accessible and rewarding to a broader audience. Nothing like a conventional tea shop, P & T’s store breaks with the traditional apothecary-like over-the-counter model, which assigns sole authority to the tea vendor and leaves the customer largely dependent on their service and advice.
Instead, P & T’s presentation system encourages discovery, accessible information, immediate sensory experience and dialogue, in order to make buying tea an altogether more rewarding and, frankly, a much more stylish experience.
On free-standing presentation cubes outfitted with sliding drawers the individual teas are displayed in a practical fashion with accompanying information, logically organized according to their degree of oxidation – from white to green, presenting yellow, oolong, black, and pu’erh teas, a specialty of Chinese tea culture that remains virtually unknown to most Europeans.
Customers are invited to smell the individual teas on display, read about their origins, production processes and their tasting characteristics or sample a particular tea, expertly brewed and served by a P & T ‘teaist’ at one of the tea tasting stations in the Chinese and Taiwanese style of Gong-Fu. Once the customer finds a favorite, the teas are available to buy in different sizes. P & T’s approach extends beyond the actual store. An adjacent space hosts regular tea seminars and specialized tea tastings and a mobile tea bar caters to events. The brand’s online shop elegantly presents the fine teas and accessories on offer for those that can’t make it to Berlin anytime soon.
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P & T Mitte
Alte Schönhauser Str. 50