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We created a brand of super premium tea houses inspired by a moment in time when the Chinese Empress first opened up the Forbidden City to the wider world. New cultures came together, traditions were reinvented, and the finest quality tea was shared.

The brand is a café experience with the products also being made available to buy online. The café provides a tea experience of the highest quality possible, combining traditional Chinese teas with Western bakery style treats such as pastries and cakes.

Our brand identity is a symbol of Empress Dowager Cixi, a lover of the finest tea and a formidable leader of the Chinese nobility who recognized the need to connect China to the West. The flower in her headdress connotes the natural qualities of the product. She drinks from an English teacup to show the international diversity of the brand.

The project includes ultra-premium tea packaging – a refillable and reusable glass container which keeps the tea sealed for freshness. The bottle features a re-interpretation of Chinese glass patterns from the Qing Dynasty, whilst also having a contemporary apothecary feel, suggesting the complex natural fragrance of the tea. Each of the tea blends are numbered and enigmatically named after stories from the Forbidden City, connecting back to the Empress herself.


As a part of the Brand World concept we developed the colour palette, patterns, illustration style and typographic system to work throughout the Tea House interior design and the entire range of products from teas to sweet treats.​


The core colour is derived from precious Chinese jade, with a palette of vibrant colours which come directly from the interior wall and ceilings of the Forbidden City and its many temples, palaces and pavilions. Our Creative Director, Asa, visited the palaces in Beijing, inspiring the brand thinking.​


The first tea house opened in August 2020. There are more design ideas to come, including interior art and sculpture, which we will reveal as the brand grows.​

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