HeyTea Lab by Tomo Design: 2020 Best of Year Winner for Coffee/Tea

Photography by Sean/courtesy of Tomo Design.

In China, preparing and drinking tea is steeped in tradition. But for millennials, the ritual basically boils down to waiting in line for a foamy cup of Heytea and posting about it on social media. The young brand has built a devoted following for its original, if improbable, blend of cheese and tea—and for offering a sensory experience to match in stores across the country. Its Shenzhen flagship, a two-story, 13,000-square-foot teahouse located in a waterfront retail complex, outdoes them all. Tomo Design translates Heytea’s relaxed and innovative culture into a futuristic café that explores various ways customers can engage with the brand. Gray and white granite, metal grilles, and textured silver counters unify the interior across five distinct sections, which include a shop, an illustration gallery, and a dessert bar. LED screens swirl with color on walls and ceilings, climbing upstairs to the sleek pitched roof of the Tea Geek Lab. Outside, a leafy Zen courtyard encourages guests to interact with the landscape, reminding them that, for all its modern advancements, tea still originates in nature.

Photography by Sean/courtesy of Tomo Design.
Photography by Sean/courtesy of Tomo Design.

Project Team: Uno Chan; Xiao Fei; Suri Liao; Joey He; Jason Luo; Yun Peng.

> See the full list of winners and honorees from Best of Year 2020