T2 Soho
Success was immediate for T2 NYC; so now the “city that never sleeps” can blame the tea. Iconic Australian Tea brand, T2, once again teamed up with Landini Associates to launch its first US store in Soho, New York. This marked the fourth collaboration for the Australian duo, following T2 HQ and T2B, as well as the brand’s first international store, T2 Shoreditch in 2014. Like its predecessor, T2 Soho features a raw, striped back interior that serves as an antidote to the polished slickness of the traditional British Tea House. Walking into the store, one is immediately enveloped in a metal interior, the industrial colour palette juxtaposed by T2’s trademark orange packaging and brightly coloured cubic boxes that cascade from ceiling to floor. It is this sheer visual contrast that instantly draws passers-by into the store. As customers enter and are met with a myriad of aromas and tastes as rich and diverse as the countries they serve to represent. Taking advantage of every structural opportunity available, Landini Associates created their largest tea library yet. The double height oxidized steel library houses over 250 brews from Australia, India, China, Japan, and other tea hubs around the globe. Featured on the remaining walls is T2’s trademark Chinese newspaper - a testimony to the centuries-old art of tea-making, and the perfect backdrop to amplify what is already a striking feature of the store - the oversized T2 logo lit by incandescent light bulbs. Centre to it all, customers are enticed to explore their curiosity as they reach the tea-tasting stations and aroma tables: a place to trial, learn or simply stop and drink. Brewing methods are demonstrated here amongst an extensive variety of tea wares sourced from around the world. Landini’s fourth collaboration with T2 may very well be achieving the impossible: converting the acclaimed coffee drinkers of New York City to the exotic and enchanting world of tea. Photography by Paul Barbera