Portland designers crafted this tea-toned tea shop in Miami to feature an inviting lounge-meets-café interior

Architecture East Interiors Newsletter Open
(Courtesy Ken Hayden)

(Courtesy Ken Hayden)

Miami’s caffeine junkies have a new, chic watering hole to haunt. Small Tea, whose neutral brown and tan–toned interior begets the perfect cuppa, was designed by Portland, OR–based Osmose Design. The store, café, and retreat serves 84 tea varieties, and its material palette is inspired by tea-making implements.

(Courtesy Ken Hayden)

(Courtesy Ken Hayden)

The canopy overhead is made of 1,250 boxes wrapped in woven abaca, a natural fiber typical of the baskets used to harvest tea leaves, and was designed by Osmose and installed by Goldenwood in Miami. Their patterning allegedly reflects the Small Tea logo and creates a play of shadows on the polished concrete flooring.

(Courtesy Ken Hayden)

(Courtesy Ken Hayden)

The upholstery for the Lievore Altherr Molina lounge chairs, too, is sheathed in abaca cloth. In keeping with the tea-drinking theme, a ceiling-mounted LED light fixture in the corner by Portland’s Pigeon Toe Ceramics features a cascade of custom-made ceramic teacups in which each light bulb nests.

“The truth is, we think coffee could really use a cup of tea right now,” Small Tea’s brand manifesto reads, before proceeding to define itself as: “A place where you can let life steep a little and find some distance from the rattle and hum.”

A sleek, oak-clad, oval-shaped island in the center of the store called the “Scent Station” allows non-connoisseurs to explore tea aromas and blends. Wall shelving displays handmade copper tins for tea-tenders to dispense the blends, while unique staggered-corner shelves hold an array of potted plants.

In conceptualizing the 40,000 square-foot space located in Coral Gables, Osmose design principal Andee Hess “steeped” herself in the art of tea harvesting, the history and corresponding patterning.

(Courtesy Ken Hayden)

(Courtesy Ken Hayden)

(Courtesy Ken Hayden)

(Courtesy Ken Hayden)

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