The design of PURE NFTEA, a trendy tea brand in Shenzhen, by EK Design incorporates the natural colors and textures of Pu’er tea and Yiwu red soil, with flexible seating and low, mortise-and-tenon structures in the triangular outdoor area.

  • area / size 2,153 sqft
  • Year 2023
  • Location Shenzhen, China,
  • In China, tea is more than a beverage. It is a cultural heritage.

    Tea has been out of fashion among young people for quite some time. For businesses in the tea sector, how to breathe new life into tea and attract people’s interest to understand and consume it has become a priority. How to win over young people? In other words, how to attract them?

    PURE NFTEA is a tea brand situated in C Future City, Futian District, Shenzhen. Owned by a young entrepreneur whose family has been in the tea business for decades, with their own tea plantation and factory, the brand’s name “PURE” is a transliteration of “Pu’er”. As a young individual, the client hopes to interpret tea culture in a fresh way, challenge young people’s perceptions of Chinese tea, introduce tea to the younger generation, and establish a trendy tea beverage brand that appeals to them.

    The space is comprised of both indoor and outdoor areas, both of which have a triangular horizontal plane. In terms of spatial relations, the tea store and the shopping mall where it sits mutually attract traffic. Therefore, the designers faced more challenges in creating an independent style, but also had more freedom to put inspiration into practice, which means “more openness, freedom, and creativity”.

    The red soil of Yiwu has a saturated color that resembles Pu’er tea. It is the perfect soil for nourishing Pu’er trees. In the project, the design team extracted the natural colors of both the soil and tea to showcase the unique terroir of Pu’er and the rich history of Chinese tea.

    Weathered red soil has a mottled texture that gives off an ancient vibe. The red finishes replicate the weathered fracture surface of the soil visually and tactilely. The black volcanic stone slabs create an interesting contrast with the “red soil”, depicting the ancient natural evolution process.

    The triangular outdoor space, enclosed by mortise-and-tenon modules, is connected to the indoor area. The low, flexible structures provide both seating and partitioning.

    As the tea store incorporates innovative tea beverages and socializing functions, it’s designed with a variety of seating options. The bar seating seamlessly blends with the existing beams and columns, almost as if it’s an extension of the environment. The asymmetrical booth structures are arranged in a harmonious manner, and tables are strategically placed in the corners to fully utilize the space.

    PURE NFTEA provides a welcoming and relaxed environment for all guests, whether they’re young people socializing with friends or seniors enjoying some quiet time alone. With spring just around the corner, a visit to PURE NFTEA to experience the joy of tea brewing in the beautiful, sunny weather is highly recommended.

    Design: EK Design
    Soft Fitting Design: PP Design Gallery
    Photography: Jack Qin, Hongyan Zhang