HOUSE for Tea is our vision to build a specialist teahouse
to bring a new type of tea ceremony to the UK.
The vision is for an elemental building that houses a wonderful setting of furniture, lighting, objects and ceramics
to hold a sacred tea ceremony.
To date we have hosted a series of Tea ceremonies in collaboration with Kaori Tatebayashi at our London Workshop
Each Tea ceremony includes specialist teas and Japanese sweets
bespoke made tea pots, cups and sweets by Kaori Tatebayashi
Please send an email if you are interested in attending future events to
Isik at firstname.lastname@example.org
HOUSE for Tea
We are interested in a meditation, and awareness in design. To understand the ethics of form, to source local sustainable materials and to celebrate tradition and craft. SASA has spent years exploring sacred objects and spaces. We are interested in how meditation and ceremony informs design and want to apply this to the design of a teahouse, to create a specialist space that deeply resonates with those that inhabit it, and the world around us.
In 1906 Okakura Kakuzo wrote ‘The Book of Tea’ to inform the Western world of the great cultural importance of ‘Teaism’ in Japan. Within this essay he describes the multi-layer complexly of this cultural phenomena;
‘...The Philosophy of Tea is not mere æstheticism in the ordinary acceptance of the term, for it expresses conjointly with ethics and religion our whole point of view about man and nature. It is hygiene, for it enforces cleanliness; it is economics, for it shows comfort in simplicity rather than in the complex and costly; it is moral geometry, inasmuch as it defines our sense of proportion to the universe. It represents the true spirit of Eastern democracy by making all its votaries aristocrats in taste.’
Okakura Kakuzo, The Book of Tea, 1906
It is thought that the origins of Tea begin in the Yunnan region of China during the Shang dynasty. The consumption of Tea has been dated back to the third century AD, in which it was used as a medicinal drink. Early medical records simply suggest, “to drink bitter t’u constantly makes one think better” (Hua Tuo, 3c AD). Since then tea has been grown and developed globally. The production and consumption of this plant has become tightly interwoven into the roots of cultures across the world. A large part of this, and of central interest to SASA, is the Tea Ceremony. This is the ceremonial way of preparing and drinking tea and is widely practiced throughout China, Japan and Taiwan. This ritual is practiced religiously and the ceremonies and the design of their enclosing teahouses, over time, have become refined to perfection.
There are many types of ceremonies, the most popularly know are Gong Fu from China and Cha-no-yu from Japan. Though there are many cultural differences between the two, similarities include the art of simplicity and balance in form, movement and object. The Japanese tea ceremony has formed a large part of Zen Buddhism evoking great peace and clarity through meditation. In Japan the meaning of a tea ceremony transcends physical aesthetic and aligns with ethics and morality. Kakuzo argues, in the ‘The Book of Tea’ that this aspect of the tradition has been long unrecognised by the western world.
In Japan and China, tea was traditionally consumed by Buddhist monks to provide stimulation during long periods of meditation. Once in ceremony the tea becomes the central anchor point of the mind. Today, these rituals not only emphasis the beauty of these long lasting traditions, but a sense of awareness. Awareness towards the tea, the quality of its leaves, its sourcing and the ethics of its production. Attention towards the intricacies of tradition design an how it has influenced the form of each instrument used, and its specific place and function within the process. An appreciation for stillness and quiet contemplation. A feeling of detachment from our human concerns and busy lives.
“There is something in the nature of tea that leads us into a world of quiet contemplation of life.”
Lin Yutang, 1937
If you are interested or want to get involved with this project please get in touch.