Discover tea, systematically organized by oxidation, including white, green, yellow, oolong, black, pu-erh scented and blended teas. Explore other sections of the store, devoted to authentic tea accessories and handmade paper products. Round off your sensuous shopping experience with teas prepared by knowledgeable teaists.
Specialty tea is still leading a fringe existence on the European continent. But that’s about to change, as P & T sets out from Berlin to spread the word on fine tea in an altogether novel fashion. 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 consumables such as wine, coffee, chocolate or tobacco. In the Western world however, specialty tea is still comparatively underdeveloped. Yet some strong indicators are showing that this market is evolving, such as the growing popularity of fragrant white teas or precious Japanese matcha.
P & T’s founder, Jens de Gruyter and his team, have made it their mission to make fine teas and tea culture more accessible and rewarding to a broader audience. Departure point of this vocation is the brand’s homebase on Bleibtreustrasse in Berlin, Charlottenburg and their latest store in Mitte. Nothing like a conventional tea shop, P & T’s stores break 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 original presentation system encourages selfdirected discovery, accessible information, immediate sensory experience and dialogue, in order to make the familiarization with its offering of fine orthodox teas an altogether more rewarding experience. To this end, the stores' interior, designed in co-operation with product designer Fabian von Ferrari, resembles a clever mix of aesthetically purist concept store and natural history museum, through which customers can navigate freely according to their individual needs.
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, yellow, oolong, black, and pu’erh, 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 a favourite has been identified, all teas are available to buy in three different sizes of convenient resealable vacuum packs.
P & T’s approach extends beyond the actual stores. An adjacent space in Charlottenburg hosts regular tea seminars and specialized tea tastings. A mobile tea bar at public events such as Berlin’s upcoming Premium fashion trade fair is part of a flexible tea catering service. And the brand’s online shop elegantly presents the fine teas and accessories on offer, supported by interesting and useful information.