T2 Shoreditch, London
48-50 Redchurch St, Shoreditch, London E2 7DP
Landini Associates, Sydney
In a world where consumers can buy any product online, the most successful retail brands of the future will have one characteristic in common; they will all be enthusiastic experts.
The future of the shop is as a place of sensory storytelling and genuinely welcoming and knowledgeable service. T2 exemplifies this perfectly.
Founded by Maryanna Shearer in 1997 with the first T2 store on Brunswick Street in Melbourne’s trendy Fitzroy district, T2 is now Australia’s leading tea retailer, with more than 40 stores in Australia and New Zealand.
The business was bought by Unilever in 2013; the world’s largest tea wholesaler, with its Liptons and Bushells brands.
T2’s new global expansion is marked by the first international outposts in London, followed by SoHo New York.
This glorious boutique on Redchurch Street in trendy Shoreditch has been designed by Sydney based Landini Associates.
The new flagship is the third evolution of T2’s design; combining a distinctly Melbourne flavour with a dark and industrial shell.
Unlike the standalone T2B Brew concept in Australia, there is no dedicated hospitality offer (which is a pity).
However the tea brewing bar offers free samples and demonstrations and the staff are warm and welcoming.
The design, by Landini Associates, reflects the brand’s passion and expertise.
The core of the space is a 30 metre ‘tea library’ with more than 250 varieties of tea. Graphic timelines celebrate the history and craft of tea making.
Transparent display counters made from layers of interwoven welded steel expose the inner workings of the drawers – from pulls to brass pipes, fittings and sinks.
‘Aroma tables’ with open leaf displays encourage customers to smell and touch, whilst the tea tasting station completes the sensory storytelling experience.
Brewing methods are demonstrated here amongst an extensive variety of tea wares sourced from around the world.
This is definitely the best looking and funkiest tea shop on the planet.